Nunhead on the Rye

The Ivy House 40 Stuart Road


The Newlands Tavern





As well as being a pub, the Newlands Tavern was also the Fentimans' family home. It wasn't unusual for the Fentiman kids to share their evening meal around the large kitchen table with such luminaries as Ian Dury and his fellow Kilburns, or a Feelgood or two. Sue and Reg's attitude paid off in terms of making the pub a success. Graham Parker, in a recent message recalls his band's daytime rehearsals fortified by pints of bitter that the owners "had kindly allowed us to pull from the taps".

The rebuilt Ivy House



 Take your seat by the fire

Can you do a turn?

 There will be an exhibition of History of the Public House


 Play the Piano?

For many years The Ivy House was called The Newlands Tavern, fleetingly becoming The Stuart Arms in the 1980s and 1990s, before receiving its current name.

For about 90 years the pub was in the hands of only two families. The 1871 census lists a Thomas Dickason - Beer House Keeper, Newlands Tavern - the first of four Dickasons to run the place. The family's association with the pub came to an end in the early 1920s when it was taken over by Edgar Rhodes. After his death in 1941, his wife Elizabeth ran the pub until 1958.

At some time during the Rhodes's tenure the pub was rebuilt. A Victorian photograph of the first tavern (right) shows a long two storey building. The exact date of the current building is uncertain, but may have been at the point when Edgar Rhodes's
original lease with the brewery expired in 1936. The architect was A.E. Sewell, Truman Brewery's prolific in-house architect, who operated in the 1920s and early 1930s.

The Ivy House owes its rather lonely situation at the brow of Stuart Road's slight hill to a German V1 bomb that crashed into the adjoining row of shops, in the afternoon of July 1st 1944, killing seventeen people. All the shops were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. When the war ended the celebration party was held in the pub, the surviving physical heart of the community.

See it on the big screen




Any requests?

The Ivy House campaign is made up of local residents who came together in the dark days immediately following the closure of the pub to try to ensure that it could continue to function as local boozer, community hub, and vital asset to the neighbourhood

. They are

Tessa Blunden. Tessa is a beer enthusiast and CAMRA member who works as a litigation lawyer at Travers Smith LLP, specializing in real estate litigation; she advises clients on all aspects of landlord and tenant law and property disputes, including rights to light and dilapidations. She has extensive experience of County Court and High Court litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Tessa has written about the campaign for the Guardian's Social Enterprise Network.

Emily Dresner. Emily is a Land Management and Conservation Lead Adviser for Natural England. She provides statutory nature conservation advice to landowners and site managers, and supports a wide range of biodiversity projects through grant funding and partnership working. Previously, Emily worked as a fund manager for a leading pensions and ISAs company. She is a trustee of Jalia, a grassroots charity which supports education for disadvantaged children in Kenya.

Hugo Simms. Hugo is a freelance writer and a teaching assistant at Ivydale Primary School. Recent literary output includes a "then and now" photo book of London and articles about music in London, including one focussing on the musical heritage and history of The Ivy House, a subject about which he has an extensive knowledge. Prior to the pub’s closure he was actively involved in the live events programme at the venue and he intends to remain closely involved with promoting such events at the pub when it re-opens.

Stuart Taylor. Stuart is a qualified town planner and works as an historic buildings adviser for the Georgian Group, one of the five national amenity societies; Stuart has provided a wide range of advice in the sensitive development and reuse of historic buildings and in placemaking and regeneration. He is a committee member of the Peckham Society and participates in the Southwark Conservation Area Advisory Group. Stuart has recently been invited to join the trustees of a Building Preservation Society in Sheerness, Kent.

Summary of Building

Public house. 1930s designed by AE Sewell for Truman's Brewery.

Reasons for Designation

The Ivy House, formerly the Newlands Tavern, 40 Stuart Road, Nunhead, a 1930s public house designed by AE Sewell is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Degree of survival: an unusually high level of surviving original features and fittings form a largely complete1930s interior, now relatively rare, which illustrates the style, layout and features once typical of a suburban 'improved' pub; * Interior interest: wide range of good quality fittings on a consistent architectural theme including signage, fireplaces, bar counters and screens, tiled spittoon troughs, wooden panelling, coloured glazing, decorative plaster plaques, and hall with stage and Jacobethan style refreshment room; * Architectural interest: designed for a major brewery by a notable pub architect with a smart neo-Georgian frontage and idiosyncratic detailing.


The original pub on this site, the Newlands Tavern, was apparently built in the late 1870s or early 1880s and is first shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map from 1898. This was a two-storey building with a courtyard to the rear. In the 1930s, the owners, Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co, rebuilt the building, most likely to plans by their in-house architect AE Sewell who was responsible for numerous Truman’s pubs built or remodelled in the inter-war period. The lease the brewery signed with Edgar William Rhodes in 1922 expired in 1936 so it may be that the pub was rebuilt then. The pub was originally adjoined to the east by a parade of shops which was destroyed by a V1 flying-bomb in July 1944. During the ‘pub-rock’ boom of the mid-1970s, the Newlands Tavern was one of the major pub venues in South London and hosted early incarnations of many bands and performers who later rose to fame including Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer and Dr Feelgood. The pub was later renamed the Stuart Arms before becoming The Ivy House.


MATERIALS: mixed red and brown brick in Flemish bond with concrete or Portland Stone dressings with an overhanging, hipped tile roof to the central block and flat roofs with parapets to the wings.

EXTERIOR: designed in a neo-Georgian style, the building has a symmetrical front elevation of five bays, consisting of a three bay, three-storey, central block flanked by slightly projecting single bay, two-storey wings. To the rear a single-storey range contains the rear bar/refreshment room and the hall. On the front elevation the upper floors have horned sash windows with glazing bars in square openings. The first-floor windows have gauged brick arches, except for the central window which is set in a taller semi-circular headed arch with scallop decoration in the tympanum. The lintels of the second-floor windows are formed by the continuous broad concrete cornice. The large windows in the end bays of the ground floor are treated differently with irregular quoins and broad heads bearing plaques with the Truman logo continuous with a broad platband. The pair of entrances adjoining these bays have timber frames topped by square plaques, supported by volutes and bearing carriage lamps, and are surrounded by glazed screens. The rear of the building with its assortment of flat roofs has a mixture of original sash windows and uPVC replacements.

INTERIOR: consists of two front bars (the western bar has been converted to staff accommodation), the eastern bar giving access to a large hall to the rear. Adjoining this to the west is a rear bar which would originally have been a refreshment room. All three bars and the hall were served from a central service area and kitchen. The eastern front bar (originally the saloon bar) retains its dado height panelling, glazed entrance lobby, moulded stone fire surround, glazed multi-pane screen to the hall and original bench seating. The cornice of the panelling bears original incised gold lettering bearing the legends ‘BURTON – TRUMANS – LONDON’ over the fireplace, ‘BEN TRUMAN’ over the entrance to the men’s toilets, ‘IMPERIAL STOUT’,’ BURTON BREWED BITTER’ and ‘TRUBROWN ALE’ over the hall screen, and ‘TRUMANS EAGLE ALES’ near the front entrance). The curved bar counter is original and has the brown and white chequered tile spittoon trough which was a feature of 1930s Truman’s pubs. The panels over the bar counter are probably original but the bar back is modern. The men’s toilet retains its original white tiling.

The large hall is also panelled to dado height and has a stage at the northern end. This appears to retain its proscenium arch beneath later stage dressings. The hall has an original stone fire surround, bar counter with chequered tile spittoon trough, glazed double entrance doors from the front bar and recessed double doors to the refreshment room with an Art Deco style surround.

The refreshment room/rear bar is decorated in a Jacobethan style with a timbered ceiling and decorative painted plaster plaques, animals, birds and ships above dado height panelling. These bear a resemblance to the plaster decoration on the exterior of the Railway Hotel, Edgware by the same architect. The room has an inglenook in the west wall with a stone fire surround, built-in settles (one having lost its arm rest) and pair of windows with a coloured glass chevron design. The north wall has a large multi-pane arched window with some original coloured glass and an exit to the rear courtyard. The bar is original with a glazed screen above at either end, again with a chevron design in coloured glass.

The western front bar has been converted to accommodation and partitioned, probably to enlarge the adjoining women’s toilet, with the consequent loss of the bar counter. To judge from the simple fireplace, this was originally the public bar and it retains some other original features such as the coloured glazing in the metal windows, cornice and picture rail but is otherwise altered. The upper floors were not inspected, but are understood to consist solely of modernized staff accommodation, and therefore unlikely to be of special interest.



Local Entertainment


The Magdala Pub

Lordship Lane

Then the Flying bombs came

Nunhead SE15
A VI Flying Bomb (Doodle Bug )
Between Hollydale Road and Stanbury Road
At 02:12 AM on 23/06/1944
50 private houses damaged in Hollydale Road, surrounding property in St Mary's Road, Stanbury Road and Lugard Road slightly damaged by blast.

Casualties 3 Dead.
These statistics were gathered by Steve of E. Dulwich.

The area now known as Cossall Walk used to be Sunwell Street and Cooks Road, ( This was not a bombed area ) the part of Sunwell Street that was the railway embankment, there was a brick built Air raid Shelter in the alcove where the footpath now enters Kirkwood Road that was a builders depot occupied by my employer Builder Greenaway & Son, The Yard was from Gordon Rosd to Kirkwood Road, I worked there about 1947 making wooden roof trusses for houses being built in Kent one of several of the Villages was Pluckly now known for the Darling Buds of May. I also remember that the men had to go and stay in the village in one of those huts as used on Aufwiedershen Pet, they negotiated that they were given the use of a small truck that could be used for their pleasure time. Their lorries were kept in arches under the Queens Road Station leading from Queens Road there were Horse Tram lines showing in the narrow lane.

The mention of the Prefabs in McDermott Road replaced bombing, my future wife lived in the house on the corner of Nigel Road, and saw two dogs dug out dead, she often spoke about that, one of the Prefabs later burned down.

Nunhead SE15
A VI Flying Bomb (Doodle Bug )
Ivydale Road/Inverton Road junction
At 01.30 aAM 12/08/1944
10 houses demolished
Church and 20 houses damaged small fire in Ivydale Road 7 shops and houses Church Hall and 6 houses damaged in Inverton Road 20 houses damaged in Bellwood Road 20 houses damaged in Surrey Road.
Today the signs of the Flying bomb can still be seen.
The church has recently been re-built , and number of sites still are occupied by pre-fabs.
Casualties 2 Dead.
These statistics were gathered by Steve of E. Dulwich.

Picture Post Cards


Picture Post Cards.

I do have a substantial collection of post cards, it can be a rewarding hobby, but can involve a costly sum to purchase the cards.

I belonged to a club, most clubs collect both the cards and the stamps.

What can you find out about a card?

1. The subject of the picture be it a train it might be a Steam engine with a wheel formation of 0 4 0 this means it has no wheels in front or behind the four driving wheels, it might have a number of carriages how many and what livery are the painted in?

2. The post card would have been made in the early days in the local Stationery shop in the close vicinity in a back room, most were taken as a photograph, the negative was used each time to be place over a plain card then exposed to the light placing a copy of that photograph, these were just black on white, some even came out as sepia an orange colour, this had to be fixed that meant submerging in a solution  and hanging out to dry. The reverse side would have printed on it the name of the manufacturer address a possible number of how many printed in this format, a dividing line for the address to be written and a space for the message an outline of the position of where the postage stamp should be glued.

3. It is possible to see what time and date it was posted, sometimes there were three posts a day, so a morning collection would be received  later that same say. Where it was posted. The address that it was sent to, and the recipient.

4. The stamp that was on it shows the King ruling then.

5. In the early days all writing by the sender was by steel nib pen dipped in an ink bottle, as space was very limited the wording was simple, just saying from a person on holiday, “ Dad had a dip in the sea today ”.

6. These cards for collecting have been sold over again and again, it is interesting to see the lightly pencilled price on the back, from a few pence to many pounds, I had to stop buying them when they cost over £1 each.

7. I used to keep these in albums but when you have over a hundred it takes up too much space so I have now put each one in its own plastic sleeve, you can read each side without removing it. It is a problem of what category to put them, Area, Date, Coloured or Black on white. I use empty Christmas Card Boxes I can store about fifty in each.

8. Many pictures were painted over to pick out green as a tree or a red engine, I have several identical painted over and they do differ in the area covered.

9. If you have been a member of a Post Card Club then you become friends with other collectors, who you know have a collection of a set that you are interested in they will show you them on their site and allow you can snag them.

10. Should you decide to join a club a monthly meeting, it seldom lasts more than a hour and a half, then a member will display a set of his post cards and perhaps give a little talk on them, there is always dealers there with thousands of post cards for sale. It only costs a fiver a year to be a member this covers the cost of the news letters  and invitations from other clubs you are invited to go to.


Just like home


The Brick Copper

Mum would then fill the dolly tub up with hot water, which she would heat in the copper or in pans which she would heat on the top of the gas cooker.

Most of the houses in our district had coppers built into the scullery the coppers were brick built and had a small fireplace underneath where you built the fire to heat the water.

In the first photograph the fireplace is hidden behind the wooden lid of the copper so you can't see it.

The second photo shows a copper with its lid on and you can see the fireplace ours was a little different to these two coppers but this gives you some idea of what one looked like.

If you had a boil wash it would be done in the copper rather than the dolly tub.

The copper took up the whole corner of the small scullery. In the small terraced houses the scullery was only a small room something like eight foot long and seven foot wide. There was just enough space between the sink on one wall and the gas stove on the other to put the big tin bath on bath night.

The Mangle and the Blue Bag

After the washing had been done then came the arduous task of rinsing the soap out of the washing.

First mum would ring as much of the soapy water out of the washing by hand as she could, this water going back into to dolly tube to be used for the next load of washing. Having rung out as much as could be rung out by hand then the washing would be put through a mangle to squeeze out as much water as possible.

The mangle that we had was a big wrought iron mangle with huge wooden rollers on and it used to live in the back yard just outside of the back door.

After that the washing would be rinsed in cold water in the big stone scullery sink until the water ran clear and there seemed to be no soap left in the clothes.

If the items being rinsed were white often a Reckitt's blue bag was added to the rinsing water at this stage.

These blue bags made your whites look white again. Often the whites especially if bars of washing soap had been used to wash them would tend to go a little yellow the blue bag countered this and restored the appearance of the whites.

When mum was satisfied that the soap had been removed from the clothes they would then be mangled again until all the water that could be squeezed out was squeezed out.

The space between the rollers could be adjusted by screwing the handles on the top of the mangle. If you look at the photo of the mangle above you can see the large threaded bolt on the side that made this adjustment.

I remember winding the mangle in our back yard for my mum as she fed in the wet washing.After being mangled the sheets used to be so tightly squeezed between the rollers that they used to come out from between the rollers almost horizontal and as stiff as a board.

This is a photo of two children doing what thousands of children did each week. This mangle was smaller than ours but it gives you an idea of what we looked like. All this physical work kept us pretty fit as kids.

It was amazing just how much water could be removed from the washing by these old fashioned mangles. When it was cold outside mum’s fingers used to get so cold and chapped.

It was incredibly hard work and washday was something that had to be done each week, no matter what the weather.


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