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The Railway Bell, Tooting, SW17

284 Mitcham Road
SW17
SW17 9NT

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


John Bonser left this review about The Railway Bell

Occupying a prominent main road position virtually opposite Tooting Station is The Railway Bell, a large roadhouse style pub with a mock Tudor exterior.

A large horseshoe shaped bar serves a number of adjoining areas and a separate door now no longer in use tells us that this was formerly a multi room pub.

The main bar has a high beamed ceiling and is carpeted, but with a distinct lack of seating, has a rather basic and spartan feel. There’s some original features remaining – most notably the half height wood panelling and some small patterned leaded windows high up, but the rather faded and peeling wallpaper contributes to a definite impression of a somewhat run down and neglected pub. There’s a few pictures of old trains dotted around – eg Mallard – but there’s no real effort to develop a theme or to create a welcoming and attractive interior.

A separate area on the left has a snooker table and this leads round to an area that appears to be used for live music and shows. Here are some old photos of Tooting, including one of people queueing for potatoes in Tooting High Street in 1914, but again there’s a rather neglected run down feel to the pub, with thick black tape holding the worn carpet together in several places.

There’s no food or anything and the principal attraction appears to be poker nights and live music at weekends. There’s a drop down screen for big sporting events. Several small posters aimed at women were advertising the forthcoming appearance of Daisy Chainsaw and her Dream Boys ( male strippers ) – admission price is £ 12.50p if you fancy popping along.

A “no drugs” notice in the window gives us a clue of the pub’s normal customer profile.

On my recent Sunday lunchtime visit, the pub had less than half a dozen customers by 1 pm and, whilst I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I‘ve been in friendlier and more welcoming places. 2 handpumps were serving London Pride - £ 3.30p – a price which might be regarded as high given the area and the lack of facilities. As it was a fresh barrel, it did however taste pretty good.

This pub is not scheduled for a revisit

On 10th August 2011 - rating: 4
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