Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Was Lenin a customer ?

Readers in the London W1 area may like to know that the Cock Tavern on Great Portland Street has re-opened after a spruce-up, with new, cheerful landlords, and, if you're comfortable with the Sam Smith deal, it's worth a visit. The upstairs room could be useful for Christmas parties.

The first record of a publican on the site is from 1839, when the pub was just known as The Cock. The Cock Tavern first appears in records from 1882. The present building is the work of architects Bird and Walters, who built more than 70 pubs across the capital over 36 years from 1862, and altered many more. The Bird and Walters Cock emerged in 1897.

In April/May 1905 Lenin visited London for the meeting of Bolsheviks known as the 3rd Russian Social Democratic Labour Party Congress - venue/s still unknown - which he chaired. At the time, William Melville, formerly head of the Special Branch, was running a new intelligence department in the War Office, known as M03, later Mo5 (and MI5 in 1916). He used the services of a Special Branch detective Herbert Fitch to shadow Lenin and other delegates who were "holding covert meetings in pubs in Islington and Great Portland Street". Fitch never named the pubs, but a list typed by Melville in 1905 reads "The Duke of Sussex, 106 Islington High Street; the Cock Tavern, 27 Great Portland Street and The White Lion, 25 Islington High Street".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other people who read this.......