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Picture of Wibbley Wobbley
Image posted by Rex Rattus
Submitted on Friday, 24th September 2010
With picture contributions to 1077 other pubs
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Requested be closed with reason - Other: Closed and gutted.

Wibbley Wobbley, Rotherhithe, SE16

Pub added by Pub SignMan
Greenland Dock, off Rope St
Surrey Quays
SE16
SE16 7SZ
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of Wibbley Wobbley (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about Wibbley Wobbley

Despite the decent proportion of splendid Victorian boozers and slick modern craft beer bars that London has to offer, it has to be said that drinking in the capital can sometimes be a rather predictable affair, which makes the discovery of the Wibbley Wobbley a most unexpected treat. The pub is housed in a converted Rhine pleasure cruiser, moored in the quiet surrounds of Greenland Dock. Bizarrely, this was my first ‘local’ when I moved to London over ten years ago, so it took me a little while to figure out that not all of the capital’s pubs are quite this quirky. Back then, the proprietor was legendary compare and comedian Malcolm Hardee, who successfully ran the pub in conjunction with a couple of fellow comedians and Jools Holland until his untimely death in 2005, when he sadly drowned after falling into the dock following a night in the pub.
A very wibbly wobbly gangplank leads you into the bar area, where a small servery at the front of the boat is tucked into a corner with limited seating opposite and some sort of ship’s compass standing proud in the middle of the floor. There is a coin and note collection dotted around the servery and a support pillar has an old rope wound tightly around it, adding a nice decorative touch. A boxed off cabin screens the rest of the room from view, but once past it, two rows of banquettes and low stools run the length of the boat offering a good amount of seating. The room is partly carpeted with seafaring photos and pictures on the walls and nautical charts papered over the ceiling. Stairs at the rear lead to the toilets and can be tricky to negotiate after a few pints. I seem to remember a restaurant on the upper deck in the past, but this appears to be out of action nowadays. In pleasant weather, it is always nice to make use of the adjacent pontoon which has a few picnic benches and gives restricted views across the dock and has a covered area at one end with barbeque facilities.
Unfortunately, the unstable nature of the craft means that it is not possible to keep real ale, so beers are restricted to Greene King IPA Chilled and a keg version of Old Speckled Hen, along with the usual lager and cider options. I’ve always found the staff to be a friendly bunch and although it was fairly quiet on my mid week visit, I’ve enjoyed some great nights here when the place has been full and (literally) rocking.
I’ll always have a bit of a soft spot for this place and, although it seems to have lost some of its magic following Hardee’s death, I think there is more to this place than just the novelty value. It’s a shame they can’t put any decent beer on, as I’d make my way out here more often if they did, but there’s enough going on here to ensure I always pop in when in the area.

On 26th September 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2512 recommendations about 2512 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rex Rattus left this review about Wibbley Wobbley

I don’t think that this pub has changed since Roger’s visit a few years ago. And what a very strange pub it is. On a wet and windy day it’s a bit of a challenge getting into the pub down the steeply sloping gangplank, but it’s worth the effort. Inside the boat it’s a one-room pub (I didn’t spot the upstairs restaurant mentioned previously) with red upholstered banquettes and stools, and some solid looking round wooden tables. The ceiling is papered with some nautical charts, some looking as if they have been there many years, perhaps since Britannia really did rule the waves. There are some picnic benches on the small jetty on the starboard side, but sadly not in use during the wet and windy afternoon when I paid my visit.
It was surprisingly busy (perhaps a couple of dozen punters in there) during my late lunchtime weekday visit, but I guess the novelty value is something of a draw. I too felt that it was more of a pub than the bars on ships like the Tattershall Castle, probably because it’s a much smaller vessel. There’s still no real ale – bitters being keg Ruddles Best and GKIPA. It’s worth a visit for the novelty value, but not for the beer choice.

On 25th September 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Roger Button left this review about Wibbley Wobbley

One of the more eccentric “pubs” in London, the Wibbly Wobbly is a converted barge (or tug boat depending on which report you read) founded by local comedian Malcolm Hardy (and I believe Jools Holland had a hand in it as well). Malcolm sadly drowned in January 2005 when he fell into the dock whilst rowing home to his houseboat on the other side of the dock but he has left us with this wonderful unusual legacy. There is a restaurant on the upper deck and the main bar is situated on the lower deck. Unlike other boats (namely the ones moored on the Thames) the Wibbly Wobbly feels more like a pub than a bar and is certainly not an expensive tourist trap. Given that it is in a sheltered dock and not on a river, you have little chance of being seasick unless you are intimidated by the smallest of ripples. There are a few concessions to this unique experience. The first is that when busy, it can get very smoky when inside. The second is that they don't have any real ales (probably too difficult to keep) so the beers / lagers are fairly standard. There is an outside seated section where you can sit and do a bit of seagull feeding and cormorant spotting. Well worth going out of the way for and several other good pubs dotted around.

On 18th November 2005 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Pub SignMan
Latest updates View all updates for Wibbley Wobbley, SE16
2nd May 2015, 19:41
Picture submitted by john mcgraw approved
 
2nd May 2015, 19:41
Picture submitted by john mcgraw approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Jukebox : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : Yes last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : No last updated 18 November 2005 by Will Larter
  • Real Cider : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
  • Wheelchair Access : No last updated 26 September 2013 by Pub SignMan
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