DECOR * (mostly clean and mostly absent) DRINK ** (uninspiring lager selection) PRICE *** (reasonable but overpriced considering) ATMOSPHERE * (a morgue has a warmer ambience) STAFF *** (cautiously friendly)

JUST as a nugget of gold can be found in muddy river waters, brass among the muck and diamonds in the rough, the unforgivably repellent Abbey Arms is the meeting place for a genuinely wonderful music group.

Opened by Boy George in April, the free guitar workshop for visually impaired people runs at the boozer five days a week and is without a doubt a worthy cause.

However, it’s unlikely the Karma Chameleon star and human Etch-A-Sketch will be popping into this run-down, chav-infested dive again any time soon.

Inside and outside, the pub is a little like the former Culture Club singer’s head — mostly bare except for the ill-advised and unsightly decorations of a man either drunk or bereft of good taste.

Its close proximity to Abbey Wood station is a bonus as you may want to make a speedy escape.

Unfortunately, I had time to kill until my train back to civilisation so took a deep breath and walked sheepishly into the shabby looking pub, carefully negotiating the smokers loitering at the entrance.

In true Spaghetti Western style, the staff and punters lining the bar froze, put down their drinks and turned around to examine the brave “outsider”.

Gulping, I nervously approached the barmaid — half-dressed in a cheap tracksuit, hoop earrings dangling from her lobes and her hair scraped back in a Croydon face-lift.

With no ale available at the time, the shields turned around, I settled for lager and she smiled warily as I ordered a pint of Kronenbourg (a reasonable £3.35).

It was a friendly but unnerving welcome, so I quickly took my tipple to the nearest table, keeping my head down and trying to avoid eye contact.

I shifted uneasily on the grey, grubby cushioned bench by the window, which may or may not have been cleaned since the 70s, watching out of the corner of my eye what looked like the cast of Shameless, guzzling on beer and cackling like a coven of heavy smoking, sozzled witches.

With no music playing at the time, there was little in the way of ambience and I was left pondering the sorry state of local watering holes in the deafening silence.

Then, as if the pub gods had heard my plea for a sound other than the man at the bar coughing up a kidney, the jukebox jumped into action.

However, no sooner had the first beats and synthesised notes of some awful boyband’s one-hit wonder begun blaring through the speakers was I praying for the offending noise to stop.

There’s a pool table and games machines to pass the time, but even if you missed your train, haven’t drunk a drop all day and are dying of dehydration, don’t even think about falling into the arms of the Abbey.

Unless of course you also look like you were dragged out of the gutter.

Become friends with PubSpy on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ThePubSpy