Top 10 funniest or weirdest pub names in south-east London and north Kent

News Shopper: The Fanny on the Hill in Welling The Fanny on the Hill in Welling

I asked for your suggestions for the strangest or most amusing pub names in the area, and got some great responses.

Combining some of those with some favourites nominated here, I present this top 10 list.

These are the pubs which most put the Red Lions, Queen’s Heads, White Swans and other boring boozer names to shame.

There is no particular order to the list so you can have your say in the comments box below about which one you think deserves the title of weirdest or funniest pub name in the area, or any others you reckon should have been included.

Fanny on the Hill

Also featured in my top 10 rudest place names, this has to be one of the most snigger-wrthy pub name out there.

You may be disappointed to learn the likely origins of the name for this Welling pub aren’t really rude at all.

Hidden-London.com says: “The pub is said to derive its name from a barmaid at an earlier hostelry who would shine a lamp to tell Dick Turpin that the coast was clear. However, the original Fanny is more likely to have been Anne Muirhead, who ran the White Horse beerhouse for about 20 years in the mid-19th century.”

Zoë-Dawn Briggs said on Facebook: “The Fanny is named after Dick Turpin's wife, apparently she used to wait nearby with a lantern for him.”

Wrong ‘Un

As is its way, and a point that will be further illustrated later on, Wetherspoon pubs tend to have quirky names – and this ‘un in Bexleyheath is no exception.

News Shopper: Review: The Wrong 'Un, Bexleyheath

Although our PubSpy wwasn’t entirely convinved, the name is not intended as a reflection on the pub or its clientele. Instead it’s drawn from a cricket term as eexplained on the JD Wetherspoon website: “Cricket has been a favourite local pastime for more than two centuries. There are references to Bexley men playing cricket in 1746. One of the most difficult deliveries for a batsman to play is the googly, or wrong 'un, bowled by a leg spinner.”

Cock Inn

Another one that’s on the list for appealing to anyone who has an inner 12-year-old that titters at the mention of something slightly naughty. This doesn’t look particularly rude on screen but sounds it when said out loud, especially when phrased in certain ways.

There appears to be at least a couple of Cocks in north Kent, one in Luddesdowne and another in Halstead. It’s almost certain their names are connected to male chickens and not anything filthy.

News Shopper:

Fighting Cocks

Speaking of which, get a load of The Fighting Cocks. An eye-catching name for a pub, but one which can be simply explained. From the Horton Kirby tavern’s website: “The building is said to have originated in 1776 as a farmhouse, subsequently being converted into an alehouse in 1818. The landlord at the time used to arrange cockfights, hence the name.

News Shopper:

Photo from fightingcockshortonkirby.co.uk

“The landlord was incidentally fined on three seperate occasions for keeping a gaming house. In those days, cock fighting was OK, but wagering on the result was illegal!. A cockpit existed at the inn until the middle of the 19th century.”

The Buff 

Another distinctive name with chicken-related roots, as whatpub.com explains: “The pub is named after the Orpington Buff chicken which was first bred in the town in the 19th century. Its construction to serve the expanding housing of the town belongs to a much more recent period however.”

News Shopper:

Door Hinge

This tiny Welling watering hole was London’s first contribution to the micropub craze.

Landlord Ray Hurley told News Shopper the boozer is named after his mum whose maiden name was Doreen Indge.

News Shopper:

Ray said: "At school they shortened Doreen to Door and she was known as Door Hinge or Squeaky or Rusty Hinge.

"She would have loved the place. She was a typical old London girl from Deptford."

Flying Boat

The second imaginatively titled Wwetherspoon drinking spot to make it on to our list. Here’s the origin for this Dartford pub’s peculiar name: “John Clayton Beadle moved his horse-drawn-vehicle-making business to Spital Street in 1900. In 1910, he added the single-storey car showroom where you now stand. The workshops at the rear of the showroom included a roller-skating rink which doubled as a meeting venue, with Winston Churchill and AJ Balfour both addressing crowds here.

News Shopper:

"The workshops were demolished in 1998, when the premises were converted into a public house. During the First and Second World War, production at Beadle's was geared to the war effort, including making floats for Sunderland flying boats - one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats in the Second World War.”

Who'd 'a' Thought It

If I was to pick an absolutte favourite on this list, the Who'd 'a' Thought It in Plumstead would get my vote.

News Shopper: Who'd a Thought It, Timbercroft Lane, Plumstead

A commenter on the Little London Observationist blog sheds some light on where the name came from: “The Who’d ‘a’ Thought It belonged to my great-grandmother at one point. Eliza Collins, I think her name was. The story about the name of the pub, as my grandmother Lydia told it, was that the family spent many hours trying to think up a good name for the pub, but were unsuccessful. Finally one of them said “well, who’d a thought it!” and they decided that was the right name for the pub.”

Frog & Radiator

I’m finishing this list with two pub names which are no longer used but should be. The first is the Frog & Radiator in Greenwich which was changed to the Ship & Billet and is now known as The Duchess. I don’t know where the outlandish earlier name came from, but it was definitely much better.

News Shopper:

Photo by Ewan Munro via Flickr

Tom Foolery

People at News Shopper have written nice things about the Barrel & Horn in Bromley High Street such as here and here. I’ve never been but I’m prepared to accept it’s a great bar based purely on this statement from its website: ”Quite simply the best thing to happen to Bromley since the Chuckle Brothers played the Churchill.”

The thing is, the name ... it’s just not very ... look, it’s not a bad name but it’s certainly not unusual enough to have made this list. The place’s old naame, The Tom Foolery, was miles better I think.

News Shopper: The Tom Foolery, High Street, Bromley

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:48pm Fri 30 May 14

white rabbit9 says...

I would never go in the buff.
I would never go in the buff. white rabbit9
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Fri 30 May 14

Toolbox69 says...

I used to prefer popping in the Fanny on the Hill until it was closed for good.
I used to prefer popping in the Fanny on the Hill until it was closed for good. Toolbox69
  • Score: 3

2:41pm Fri 30 May 14

Maria O''Donnell says...

Wasn't the Frog and Radiator so called because it was opposite Greenwich Hospital Children's Ward. They used to put giant brightly coloured stickers in the windows and in one, there was a sticker of a giant frog sat on top of a radiator?
Wasn't the Frog and Radiator so called because it was opposite Greenwich Hospital Children's Ward. They used to put giant brightly coloured stickers in the windows and in one, there was a sticker of a giant frog sat on top of a radiator? Maria O''Donnell
  • Score: 1

3:59pm Fri 30 May 14

Bob Goulding says...

white rabbit9 wrote:
I would never go in the buff.
We used to be regulars for weekday lunches at the Buff (by the way the chicken is a 'Buff Orpington' not an 'Orpington Buff'). I remember that there was a rather well spoken lady running the food bar who used to call out orders when they were ready for collection. We had many a laugh when 'spotted dick' was on the menu.
[quote][p][bold]white rabbit9[/bold] wrote: I would never go in the buff.[/p][/quote]We used to be regulars for weekday lunches at the Buff (by the way the chicken is a 'Buff Orpington' not an 'Orpington Buff'). I remember that there was a rather well spoken lady running the food bar who used to call out orders when they were ready for collection. We had many a laugh when 'spotted dick' was on the menu. Bob Goulding
  • Score: 1

11:26pm Fri 30 May 14

Harold_Monk says...

If I owned a pub I'd call it 'The Queen Z'
If I owned a pub I'd call it 'The Queen Z' Harold_Monk
  • Score: -1

12:25am Sun 1 Jun 14

white rabbit9 says...

We had many a laugh when 'spotted dick' was on the menu.
--------------------

Incredible how I used to drink in there and always used to see many dicks in the buff.
We had many a laugh when 'spotted dick' was on the menu. -------------------- Incredible how I used to drink in there and always used to see many dicks in the buff. white rabbit9
  • Score: -1

4:22pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Toolbox69 says...

Fanny on the hill has to be the best watering hole!
Fanny on the hill has to be the best watering hole! Toolbox69
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree