The King’s Breeches

Here’s another from Some Missing Persons with lovely words by my chum Gordon. Wordsmith’s site

He would know a lot about this subject as he was an enthusiast for frequenting such places, “all strictly for research though old chap”. This drawing is rare for me these days as it’s in colour. The original is in colour too, so it has all been hand crafted as they say, a bit like artisan bread.  £3-50 for a loaf of bread?

In this case the colour is added using the old fashioned magic marker and then enhanced with chalks for the geeky illustrator types amongst you. All this made rather redundant by photoshop these days, but adding to the argument that there is really no such thing as an original any more. There’s no such things an original, is there?

It also makes a change for me to draw places rather than just people, must do more! I suspect that Gordon used the Princess Louise Pub in High Holborn, London as his model for his words, and it still exists, as I noticed the other week when in the area. Whether the interior is changed or not I cannot say as I did not venture in. Please note in the detail, a small fly trapped in the perspex pork pie cover. I did once witness this and upon complaining to the landlord was told that this was where it lived. Also note that this was written before smoking was banned from such places, so if it does still exist as it was, it will no longer have the same atmosphere as being in Bejing on a foggy day.



This city-centre pub is very popular with exiles from the old Iron Curtain countries, since it reminds them so much of the railway-station waiting rooms back home. Connoisseurs of 1950s minimalism will also enjoy the five well-seasoned South American banknotes pinned to the stone-effect wallpaper above the bar.

Other establishments near-by offer a full menu plus blackboard specials,and live music in the evenings. The King’s Breeches provides for a niche market to one side of the business-lunch crowd, with a small selection of superheated pies out of a Perspex cabinet. The free paper serviette assists easy eating rather than forcing on customers the embarrassing refinements of cutlery and plate. After dark, a juke box can be switched on by special request and any record played, provided it is Crystal Chandeliers.

Lecturers from the art college, attracted by the working-class atmosphere, drink no more than two units while chattering incessantly and waving their hands about. Journalists and flat-capped regulars prefer to ensure inner cleanliness with sequential pints of the memorable local bitter, reading their sporting papers in silence while flicking ash into dampening lagoons on the mahogany tops of original Victorian tables.

The tenant landlord, a dark taciturn man who is never rude to anyone but never friendly either, is greatly distressing the brewery by not dying. The predictions of the Chief Actuary of the Publicans, Sinners and General Insurance Co indicate that pub landlords’ shortlivedness is second only to those who combine lion taming with drug dealing and cave diving, but our man is past 70 and showing no signs. When he does die, the brewery will rip the pub asunder, rename it The Tup and Tart, install satellite TV, a juke box, and a manager who will have to call the police on Fridays and Saturdays.


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