The Duke E17

Just when you think all the pubs in Walthamstow have been titivated, another one goes and gets its self some new owners, a fresh lick of paint of some bloody good burgers. The Dukes Head on Wood Street closed its doors back in April, and to be honest with you, I thought it was probably going to be turned in to flats. This cavernous old pub lay empty for a while. Rumours that it had been purchased by the owners of the Bell proved not to be true, the Dukes head just sat there on the corner doing not much of anything. I’m pleased to say the Duke has bucked the trend, it hasn’t become the latest des res for some upwardly mobile bright young things. It is still a pub, and it has thrown open its doors and let the good people of Walthamstow back inside. Much to the dogs delight, the pub is also dog friendly so got come in for nose around as well.

When Prince reinvented himself he changed his name to symbol. The pub has done something similar and now goes by the moniker of The Duke, but I’m pleased to say that loosing its head has done the Duke no damage at all. Not only has the front had a lick of paint, but the inside has been given a good old going over with a roller as well. If you frequented the Duke before it closed you will still recognise bits of the interior, the stage is still by the window and some of the seating is the same. Enough of a change has been made to make the inside feel fresh and new. A couple of large Chesterfields sit in the middle of the pub, the pool table has gone and a new sign has been added to the front of the bar. It was good to see that the pub has retained its dartboard, a staple ingredient of the Great British Pub that tends to get ripped out during refurbs these days. A word of caution though, if you ever see me near the dartboard I would avoid the immediate area as my aim is absolutely shocking.

The selection of beers is pretty decent, it has the regular larger offerings and a number of real ales including some local brews from Wildcard Brewery. We sank a few pints of Shipwreck, an American Pale Ale which was very drinkable. There is also a good selection of cocktails on offer which we will need to go back and sample at some point. The food is provided by the burger joint, and is pretty reasonably priced. I had a cheese burger which cost £7.95, it was served with fries and cooked to perfection. The menu only offers burgers which may not suit everyone, but if the burgers we ordered are anything to go by the quality is very high. The serving staff from the burger joint all wear radios and head sets. Every now and then it did remind me of those American restaurants where staff are prone to singing happy birthday to people and cheering because someone has ordered a milkshake. Thankfully the friendly staff were enthusiastic but refrained from whooping.

When we were in the Duke on Sunday Afternoon I saw a number of people that drank in the pub before it closed, and I also saw people that I had never spotted in there before. Perhaps that’s a good indication that the owners of the Duke have got the refurb right? Maybe they have changed just enough to get new people in, without alienating the old customers. As with any pub that has changed, and it has changed, this isn’t just a lick of paint, it will take a while for the Duke to bed in and decide what kind of pub it is going to be. From our first visit though, it looks like the owners have done a good job. The atmosphere was nice, the staff friendly and beer and food was good. The Duke may have lost its head, but it seems to know which direction it is going. For more info check the pubs new website.


  1. Upwardly mobile bright young things are just ordinary people trying to find a home around London in order to live somewhere while trying to eke out a living.

    1. Hi Pam. I thank my lucky stars that we got on the property ladder when we did. I have no idea how we would afford rent or mortgage if we were looking now. My comment about upwardly mobile people is in no way meant as a criticism to people trying to find somewhere to live. I’m simply pleased that this very old pub escaped the developers and has re opened as a pub. The area around the pub is being developed fast, new flats are going up behind on what used to be part of the indoor market. And the entire estate around the corner is being re developed. It is a small miracle that the Dukes has survived when so many other pubs in Walthamstow have not.

      1. Fully respect your review pal, But with all due respect I have been a local and a regular of this place for 20 years and this pub simply doesn’t seem like a pub for the local people, its trying to attract the whole ‘ Islington ‘ people and for me a pub should first of all be catering for it’s locals which this place doesn’t seem to be doing at all, Have they employed any local people? Have they listened to the local people to see what they’d like ? We need more good pubs not more Gastro pubs.

      2. I’ve been drinking in the Dukes of and on for 16 years. I regularly used to get thrashed at pool there. I agree it’s different from how it was, and isn’t a traditional pub anymore. But, the old old Dukes head struggled to get punters through the door, perhaps change is a necessity in order that it stays a pub.

      3. Ain’t seen you about mate must have been on different nights :-), The old duke struggled to get people through the doors simply because the prices we’re too high, Ie 3.65 a pint, When the lord Brooke was opened alot of us regulars went up there as it was alot cheaper. Now the duke is charging nearly a pound more a pint so 4.50 those prices are ridiculous and you can’t warrant those prices especially in Woodstreet. By all means good luck to the new owners but I feel they have got this one wrong and certainly are not looking to keep the working class locals. Such a shame as I’m sure you’d agree this pub was always blinding. I’ll never excuse board games in a pub, There’s a time and a place for such games and that’s with your grandparents 🙂

      4. We may not agree on everything, but I’m with you on the board games, scrabble belongs with grandma. I also agree with you that there were some great nights to be had in the Dukes. But I still think that in order to remain viable pubs need to keep changing and offer what people want, and what people want isn’t always the traditional pub with a pool table.

        I’m. But bit a nerd really, so I find it interesting that pub refurbs always stir up strong feelings. Reckon I should write a piece called refurb or ruin, the changing face of E17 pubs. Would you be interested in being interviewed if I did?

      5. Yeah agreed I think any pub should keep Scrabble well hidden! I just find it strange that the Duke kept the dart board ( Classic pub game ) and got rid of the pool table, Baring in mind this pub history is deep rooted with Darts & Pool and even Cribbage ( Monday nights ) which used to bring a heck of alot of people through the doors, So taking that away from it losing alot of history in my opinion, Where the pool table used to be there isn’t really any need for that seating set up, as there is more than enough all over the pub. And I’m pretty sure a table would bring even more people in as baring the Raglan, Victoria, and Flowerpot not many places in E17 have a pool table. I still can’t excuse paying 4.50 for a pint of ( unheard of ) Lager in Walthamstow. I think if you asked any true local of Walthamstow and I’m not referring to people whom have just moved in to the area in the last few years because they no longer see it as a dangerous area if you ask the true local people of the borough I think you’ll find 99 percent of them want a Traditional boozer, Keep the ‘ Gastro overpriced ‘ Places to Walthamstow Village, I’m sure there’s many people that will agree with you and of course that will also agree with me but as a true local and a huge fan of the original Dukes Head I can’t help but feel I won’t return unless alot of stuff changes. I feel the new owners are not trying to cater for the local people but are trying to attract the whole ‘ middle class ‘ crowd which by all means is fine but as a ‘publicans’ surly there first priority is to get to know the real locals and find out what they’d like wither they put into play our suggests or not it would be nice to be heard seen’s we’ve all been regulars for donkeys years. I’ll certainly be interviewed for it pal 🙂

  2. Put my head round the door on Saturday afternoon – looks nicer and more welcoming from the inside than the outside (that black is too much for me), bar staff very friendly, nice pint of San Miguel. Enjoyable to sit outside on Wood Street and watch the world go by. A much better experience than my first visit to the re-launched College Arms when that re-opened as William Morris. It’d be interesting to see if the old crowd still feel as welcome in 6 months – I hope they do, it takes all sorts of people to make a place interesting and a pub needs a variety of trade to survive.

    1. Mate the old crowd don’t even feel welcome already and the place has been open less than a week, Me and my brother and brother in law popped in Sunday afternoon didn’t spot one regular

    2. I popped in over the weekend 1st time I’ve been in the place since the re-opening. I ain’t happy with it to be fair. I don’t see how it can even be called a pub. was evening time and there was hardly any lighting in the place. Was busy with what I’d call ‘ Village/Castle pub people ‘ where’s the Tv’s???? Where’s the Pool table? They’ve put board games and awful looking seating where the table used to be. I’ve seen the owners have quite a few boozers, Maybe there all flying but for me this will be busy for first month/two months then paying nearly a fiver for unheard of lager will soon be too much. Walthamstow needs to hang on to traditional pubs aswell as welcoming change. we have enough places like The duke, ie The Castle, Queens Arms, The Bell, The Village, The Nags head. William Morris, Why on earth do we need another place like that? People want football shown people want the rugby on, Horse racing, people want a few games of pool people want a real boozer with drinks at reasonable prices. I ain’t too fussed what so called ‘locals’ are saying. I’m 36 and born and bred in Walthamstow and I as a few others in this column truly do represent the real locals. Bring back the real dukes

  3. Ain’t the same for me or many friends who used to frequent this pub, It’s as thou there trying to push working class people out and invite all the ‘ yuppy’ people in, No thought what so ever for any of the ‘ locals ‘ Bascaily bringing Walthamstow Village too Woodstreet which ain’t going to work in my opinion. It’s such a shame as I have lived in Walthamstow 28 years and this pub was a blinding place a proper pub, Showing the football, Pool table and darts even local Cribbage teams which I feel is needed in a British pub and certainly keeps punters in, Now there’s board games and huge sofa’s very much like the Bell pub I haven’t gone to a pub to sit down and play Monopoly or Admire the chesterfield sofa’s. For me the atmosphere of the true people of Woodstreet Walthamstow has totally been ruined. nearly 5 pound for a pint in Woodstreet is a joke and serving Coffee’s in a pub? I’d assume the dukes head is literally turning in his grave. Such a shame.

  4. Board games in the duke? do me a favour. No pool table? Pub was famous for its pool/dart teams and leagues. I didn’t know this was the Royal Oak or the Bell. Trying to change to good old fashion pubs too much. Popped in on Sunday afternoon didn’t spot one regular and that screams alot too me, paid nearly 16 pound for three drinks full of people you’ve never ever seen in this pub. Talk about forget the local people. I agree with what you’ve said Ray. The pot is the only real pub left now.

  5. I’ve worked in Woodstreet for about 5years and used to pop in here with a few mates on a Friday/sat night for a few games of pool and a laugh I popped in after my shift at work on Saturday and was taken back. don’t get me wrong some of the old style of the duke is there but its been ruined lol. Who are all these people? I was by no means in here everyday but over the course of the years me and some pals would be in having banter with the locals but these people I have personally never seen them before so I have to second some of the other guys comments about that. there simply wasn’t anyone I recognised felt quite sad, What’s more there is no Lagers that used to be there. very much like the Nags head ( unheard of beers ) You have Sam Miguel on draught which was over 4 pound a pint and bottles of Peroni which was again over 4 pound. can’t have a session or be involved with big rounds with those prices. No pool table instead some seating area . No tv’s so there won’t be any sports shown. only decent thing was the background music. I don’t even think this can be called a Pub it’s more like a harvester for the middle class . I’ll keep to the Raglan and Flowerpot alot better vibe with true stowies in.

  6. I have actually seen plenty of faces I recognise in there contrary to comments above. Might not have been previous Dukes Head locals but certainly Wood St locals. I also think the new owners have pitched it just about right. A traditional boozer wasn’t an option, that is exactly what failed to bring in sufficient numbers and closed earlier this year. They also didn’t take the obvious gastro-pub route of which Walthamstow now has enough of and not convinced quite right for Wood St. What this does is give us choice, it’ll be good for the Flowerpot as it now has a free run of the street for the traditional boozer with sports while giving us a new option. Even the choice of a burger joint – which I wasn’t sure of at first – works as it doesn’t cannibalise any of the local restaurant cuisines.

    I get the resistance to change but vague notions of ‘true stowies’ and what a ‘good’ pub even means doesn’t really add to the conversation. I think the reality is the demographic of Wood St has changed over the last 5-10 years. One look at the Duke fuller on a Weds night now than it was on a Sat night before it closed should make this obvious.

    For me it’s a good addition to the street.

    1. I agree with you, I think they’ve done a great job. If customers don’t want the the traditional idea of a pub, then pubs have to change to stay alive. I think a big change in Walthamstow is that people used to live hear but go out in other parts of London, now many will go out locally. And that’s because pubs like the duke are offering what they want.

      1. That’s a good point about locals now actually going local rather than into other parts. Hadn’t really considered that but it makes sense.

        PS, I seem to have double posted below…

  7. I have actually seen plenty of faces I recognise in there contrary to comments above. Might not have been previous Dukes Head locals but certainly Wood St locals. I also think the new owners have pitched it just about right. A traditional boozer wasn’t an option, that is exactly what failed to bring in sufficient numbers and closed earlier this year. They also didn’t take the obvious gastro-pub route of which Walthamstow now has enough of and not convinced quite right for Wood St. What this does is give us choice, it’ll be good for the Flowerpot as it now has a free run of the street for the traditional boozer with sports while giving us a new option. Even the choice of a burger joint – which I wasn’t sure of at first – works as it doesn’t cannibalise any of the local restaurant cuisines.

    I get the resistance to change but vague notions of ‘true stowies’ and what a ‘good’ pub even means doesn’t really add to the conversation. I think the reality is the demographic of Wood St has changed over the last 5-10 years. One look at the Duke fuller on a Weds night now than it was on a Sat night before it closed should make this obvious.

    For me it’s a good addition to the street.

    1. You reconsigned plenty of faces in there that we’re locals to woodstreet? Firstly what I’d say to that is all the people in the pub have been people that have moved into Walthamstow from other area’s such as Islington etc within the last 3-5 years as they discovered the property prices we’re a far bit cheaper and it’s also got good transport links, These people we’re never regulars in the Dukes Head, In the Village pubs and The Bell they most probably have been locals since moving into the borough. Secondly any publican should first of all want to get to know the people whom have drank in the pub for years ( The ones who actually are regulars and spend money in the pub ) Not the ones whom puff on e-cigerates and bring there tiny dogs in ), Myself and others have been drinking in this pub on a regular basic for 20 years ( that being me ) Others I know have been in here for 30 plus years alot coming in from The White Swan ( Alot of the so called locals you mention wouldn’t know of this pub ) True Stowies certainly would. To not take these punters into consideration before literally trying to bring Islington and Walthamstow Village to Woodstreet isn’t right in my opinion. If you actually mixed with the locals with I think you and Walthamstowdiary didn’t actually do then you’d realise why this pub struggled over the past year/ 18 months, It wasn’t because it was a bad pub. If anything this pub was alot better than the Pot ever was. What took alot of regulars drinking elsewhere or other people was the prices, People weren’t prepared to pay 3.65 for a pint when they could go upto the Lord Brooke ( When it was opened ) and pay 2.50 a pint during happy hour. The pot was also cheaper so alot of people went there. Now this pub is charging 4.50 a pint that is a joke, This isn’t the Docklands or Shoreditch and you can’t excuse those prices. The true locals have been pushed out and replaced with a whole different crowd who simply don’t represent Woodstreet. It’s such a pity but me and several others agree on this.

      1. Steve mate I agree with you. The place isn’t right for woodstreet and isn’t what the true ‘ stowies’ want .. cheers for using my word ha ha . It’s catered for the yuppy’s, Why does Walthamstow need more pubs like this? You have The William Morris, The Village Pub, The Queens arms, The Bell now this, I just don’t get why the traditional pubs have been ruined . No tv’s No decent beers. Any other beers are way over priced. The staff look down at working class people. I had a bearded gentleman serve me who looked really down at me when I popped in wearing work clothes. Only decent thing about the place is they have kept on one of the old staff. Steve think I’ll be sticking to the Raglan and pot. Pubs need pool tables, Sports, lagers people know and want. This is a yuppy Harvester

  8. Pub used to be great for live bands can’t see that happening anymore I suppose what the new people want they get eh

  9. I stuck my head around the door yesterday and boy O it was busy yes but there wasn’t a familiar face in sight . I personally don’t like what the new owners have done to this place. we need more real pubs not more arty farty places for people whom before we’re too worried to drink down Woodstreet because the old crowd had a proper craic and plenty of banter.

    1. I keep hearing the phrase “we need more real pubs” yet The Dukes Head was one, and it failed. The College Arms was one and it failed. Pig & Whistle was one and it failed. The Raglan and Flowerpot are rarely so full that you can’t get a seat. This view about real pubs simply isn’t backed up by actual punters at the bar. If the Lord Brooke offers £2.50 cheap lager happy hours then good luck to it but that’s not a standard that all pubs should be held to.

      The old pub format is dying on its arse up and down the country not just in London. To insist a pub should keep a format that closed it down a mere month or two before when you’ve still got three local alternatives and quite a few more within walking distance should you so want it makes no sense whatsoever.

      Would you rather The Dukes was now a block of flats? Or a mini-mart like The Plough? I understand changes like this break up established social patterns but it was already closed, the new owners didn’t do that. To want someone to take up the mantel and blindly repeat that failure is pure head in the sand stuff.

      I still don’t get this true stowie thing. It’s so arbitrary. Is Ilford like it was 20 years ago? Is anywhere in London like it was 20 years ago? I don’t recognise my hometown but that’s just what it is now. Was Wood Street built in 1985 and deemed to never change again? It’s a romantic personal view of a place but things change all the time and will continue to do so.

      1. I respect your views, But I can near enough be sure you haven’t been in Walthamstow more than 25 years? I came to walthamstow If you knew the reasons as to why The Dukes Head failed in recent times it was simply because of there prices nothing more nothing less, People thought 3.65-3.85 for a pint is overpriced for Woodstreet which it is. Was nothing to do with it being a traditional pub was simply a price issue. Now this place is charging 4.50 a pint maybe you’ve got plenty of money as alot of the new people moving into the area have, so these prices won’t affect you. The fact is what others have said in regards to this pub in my opinion is true they have ruined the place. No local feels comfortable in there, are the bar staff even locals? I know one is other than that I highly doubt they’ve tried to employ any local people. They have catered for the whole middle class yuppy setting which is totally fine but in the middle of woodstreet doesn’t fit in. The flowerpot is packed most nights of the week I think you’ll find, And is a cracking little pub, a real pub, football, pool table, live music, real craic and banter real locals, ( Not the people who used to drink in the village and was worried to venture down into woodstreet ) 10 pound for a burger a chips? 4.50 a pint? god know’s much much for a gin and tonic the prices and the pub don’t represent the real people of Walthamstow.

      2. we certainly do need more real pubs, we don’t need any more pubs like The Bell, if you like those short of pubs head over to shoreditch or Islington, The dukes simply failed due to the prices we’re too high 3.85 for a pint when the live music started isn’t justifiable now this place is charging 4.50 that is actually a liberty, Let’s not forget this is Walthamstow and Woodstreet. Alot of people are moving into the area and sadly most of the the working class real stowies are being pushed out, which is a shame, I’m personally not into the whole middle class yuppy pub. I’m a working class lad from this area and feel really let down by the new owners who most probably haven’t even employed local people let alone caterd to the real punters of woodstreet. who are all these new people in the pub? never seen any of them before. must be the people from the Village pub heading down now they think this pub is ‘ safe ‘ for them The flowerpot is regularly packed out and remains the only real pub around, Pool table, Live music, Live sports, Real stowies and plenty of craic. This pub certainly doesn’t want to cater for anyone who used to drink regularly in the original pub. I’ve been in the pubs of woodstreet for many years going all the way back to the White Swan and Arthur’s wine bar real stowies will know of these places. you can keep your board games and pin ball machines give me a real British boozer anyday

  10. Went past today was shut, Maybe they’ve listen to the locals and started to change it for the better wishful thinking aye lads

      1. I’ve never seen you about mate, Who did you used to drink with? I’ve been a regular for 26 years now my eyes can’t be that bad lol

      2. Ahhh fair enough mate. pitty we don’t agree on the pub but that’s what makes us human, I heard a barman from the pub was beat up and mugged and that a punter was attacked by another punter and now is in a coma, ain’t a very good start for the place.

  11. I can sympathise with both points of view.
    Used to go in the Dukes Head a couple of times a year with my brother in law for a few pints but not a regular.
    I’ve been in the new Dukes a few times already with my wife and kids and liked it-mainly because it feels like a place you can take the kids-which is a major plus.
    It would be crap if the new Duke was unable to keep the regulars from before and it sounds like the beer prices are a major issue.

    1. Hi Carl, At least your honest in regards to not being a regular, I can certainly see this new place being kid friendly yes but I wouldn’t of said the old Dukes wasn’t kid friendly either, I feel personally they have changed to much and tried to go to ‘ yuppy’ like which hasn’t pleased the true regulars that used to frequent the Duke. I mean board games in place of a Pool table? How do you feel about the prices? I mean 4.50 for a pint of lager I’ve never heard of in Woodstreet E17 is ridiculous

      1. Terry I do agree that the price of a pint may be too much. But I’m not sure the loss of the pool table needs to mean that people shouldn’t drink there anymore. I grew up in a village in the midlands that had five pubs, all but one are now closed. The only one still open is the one that started serving food, brewing beer, welcoming kids dogs and families. Pubs can’t stay frozen in time, they have to offer what people want. People want pubs to multi purpose now, that does mean that pubs will change. I would still much rather see pubs evolve in to new pubs than get developed in to flats. My parents village has lost so much since its pubs closed, and they closed because they wouldn’t change. I would hate to see that happen here

      2. Of course Pubs have to give people what they want but what about the actual regular Dukes Head locals? Doesn’t what they want count? It seem’s not The new owners haven’t catered for any of us as I’m sure some of the other lads in this post will concur, Welcoming Kids and dogs in a Pub is all good and well but what about the people who go down the pub to get away from the screaming loud kids and next doors barking dog? It work’s both ways, At the risk of becoming and bore and repeating myself I have been using the Duke for many many .. many years and my point about the Pool table is that the duke has a very deep rooted history when it comes to Pool tournaments, Pool leagues and general fun and banter to be had by people in the pub, The place is a big pub and there is actually no need for new seating and board games where the Pool table once was as there is plenty of other seating, Walthamstow has far to many overpriced places like this, William Morris, All the pubs in and around Walthamstow Village, The Bell etc, I’m glad you agree with me on the prices, 4.50 a pint if your out for a night and involved in a round you can’t afford those prices, let’s not forget this is E17 woodstreet. let’s stop trying to make it something it’s not. We need a decent traditional pub serving drinks people have actually heard of at reasonable prices, By no means am I saying a pound a pint, Where can you go in Walthamstow now and Watch the football and play pool and not have to worry about screaming kids? Fact is not many places because sadly places like the new dukes are taking over which doesn’t reflect people whom actually are born and bred here and have spent many a hour in the real pubs.

  12. The old Dukes Head died because it wasn’t relevant and wasn’t supported. Stop glorifying a past that probably only exists in your imagination.

    Great article by Walthamstow diary! Thanks.

    1. Very strange comment there Reid, If it only exists in my imagination its quite strange how most of the people in this post agree with me, also I am 99.9 percent sure that you was never a regular in the Duke, May of popped your head in there once for half a shandy but then quickly left for the Bell as soon as you heard a few of the locals use a few swear words during abit of banter. If you knew anything as to why The Dukes Head closed it was all due to costs, I knew the governor’s of the pub did you? I spoke many times with them and it was simply a price issue, Was out of there control and they simply couldn’t compete with cheaper pubs. This place is a joke now.

    2. Reid what are you talking about it’s quite clear you wasn’t a customer in the original Dukes Head therefore your opinion on the old boozer really isn’t relevant, What Terry and others in this post including myself are stating is bang on. Traditional pubs are more than relevant, It’s the yuppys like yourself that are most probably to frighten to support them as there actually full of real working class people unlike the likes of the William Morris and the Bell. I’m a Irishman and have been in many pubs be it be in Ireland or in and around the EastEnd and alot are like the original Duke and believe me they are relevant, there relevant to real people who want a real pub with prices that reflect the area.

  13. Ain’t no longer a boozer, just a place for the middle class to talk about how they now feel safe to venture into Woodstreet. Stick to the pot, Full of the real woodstreet people.

  14. I’ve been in Walthamstow for 16 years now and do remember the White Swan, Pig and Whistle and the Plough.

    When I bought my house here in 1999 it cost £100,000. That property is now going for £500,000. £500,000!! That’s the joke. A 5x increase in 16 years. Has anyone’s wage gone up x5 in the past 16 years? I doubt it. So no wonder those from Hackney are moving out to Walthamstow.

    So along the same lines, how much do you think it will cost to pay a mortgage or rent on a large Victorian property such as the Duke’s Head on a road that is ever increasing in popularity and the demographic is changing? Where people on higher wages are moving in, causing further development (consider the Marlowe Estate development due to complete in 2020), greater demand for property for limited supply.

    Many of the people who used to go to the White Swan, and the old Pie and Mash (which I miss), they might still all be here, but they are becoming more of a minority compared to the people who have moved to capitalise on the transport links and relatively lower property prices compared to, as you say, Islington or Hackney so they can simply afford to live.

    You can’t walk for 5 minutes through the Stow without stumbling upon a hoarding across development sites advertising ‘contemporary studio, 1 and 2 bedroom flats”. The people moving into these flats have money to burn and they want places nearby to spend it, and the places you’ll see them in will be places like the Queens Arms, The Bell, The Castle etc. From the owner of the new Duke’s point of view, it’s just good business sense.

    The cost of a pint is not the problem that’s causing these boozers to close, it’s the symptom.

    The real problem is the increasing population, influx of foreign money in property that is pushing all Londoners further and further out of the areas they have traditionally inhabited, inflation. A pub business cannot run to a profit continually charging £2.50 for a pint when the property prices in the area and “cost of business” is exponentially growing and the customers are changing. It’s not sustainable, the Lord Palmerston more recently is a testament to this.

    One of the most glorious things about London is its diversity, for every race age and creed to mix and live together in the great melting pot of the City. We are experiencing this all first hand in debates over £2.50 pints vs £4.50 pints, pool table vs chesterfields etc but that’s all in the noise, the real debate is a wider one for our leaders in local and national government, what are they doing to ensure sustainable economics before the fabric of London is torn in two?

      1. Lol your probably one of this new mob who’s suddenly decided it must be ‘ safe’ to actually venture into Wood Street, Do us all a favour and take your yuppy mates with there buggies, dogs and mental dress sense and piss off back to Islington

      2. Hi John. I’ve never lived in Islington. I live just off Markhouse Road, Coppermill Lane before that, and on the High Street before that. I’ve been visiting Wood Street for years and have been to the Duke before and after renovation. I wear jeans and T-shirts mainly and shop in Burtons and BHS (not particularly mental). Even if I was new, so what. Walthamstow isn’t a closed state, new people can come here and live here if they want. As for the pub, yes it’s changed, but it needed to in order to stay open.

  15. Wasn’t referring to yourself was commenting back to Wood Street resident, But none the less as we’ve already established you was never a regular in this pub, You popped in a few times but not that often due to them not allowing dogs? Well the Governors before these lot had the pub over 10 years and they never allowed dogs, So I find what you saying you used to frequent this pub alittle hard to swallow and as alot have said above we don’t recognise your face?. If you go into The Duke now you’ll be amazed at all these new faces, Where was they just a year prior? In Walthamstow Village as it seemed ‘ safer’ ? Not one of them ever ventured into Woodstreet weither it be to the Pot or the Duke. None of this new crowd are born and bred within the borough which of course isn’t a must but where was all this support for the pub a year back? 5 years back? 10 years back? There simply wasn’t any, If you think by allowing dogs in, Screaming kids, Board games, Mothers finishing the school run and coming in for a large glass of red with there children, over priced burgers and booze is the way forward for a traditional East End boozer then I’m sorry I strongly disagree. Keep these type of pups for the city people.

    1. I can see you are one of the more friendly locals. :-/

      Jenza has said it all, so won’t add anything.

      P.s I’ve lived here for 30 years.

      Have a great life

      1. Most certainly am one of the more friendly locals, I can see your one of the people who never stepped foot into Woodstreet a few years ago just incase you bumped into some working class people whom may actually use a swear word ( Crickey those people in Woodstreet are rough ) As I said above take yourself and Jenza and jog on

      2. I wonder if you are able to read clearly? I said that I have lived on wood street for 30 years, so how can I have never stepped foot onto Wood Street? And you presume (again) that I am not working class. Oh dear.

        (*Turns off notifications for new comments and responses)

  16. I’ve got an idea! We could put a filtering system on the door of the Duke. Put the punters through a series of tests: how long have you been in Walthamstow? Oooo, 5 years? Sorry, minimum term of 15 years. Then they enter into the next stage: the probation period. We can ask them to fill out a series of questionnaires screening their local knowledge, ensure they have the right accent, their pay cheques are within a certain bracket.before they are put through to the next final stage: requesting a drink at the bar. It’ll all fall down and they’ll be out on their heel if they ask for wine. Genius! Better yet, why don’t we just put up a barrier at Walthamstow Central? The judges will be seasoned despots, sorry Locals, who using their keen eye for the appropriate Stowian faces will sift people into two queues, “the right kind” and the “wrong kind”, checking their skull for signs of Islingtonian stature before sticking them back on the Victoria Line. Hell, that same strategy went down a treat back back in Nazi Germany, what could possibly go wrong in the long term? I for one am really looking forward to a quiet wine, errr I mean “beer, beer!!” in the Duke, hell by 2020, it’ll be so quiet I can go into the Duke and pour one myself. In fact this kind of place sounds like a beautiful post-apocalyptic boozers paradise. Someone write to the Waltham Forest Guardian! The local MP! You want me to do it? Oh. Nah it’s ok, I’ll just save it for the tail end of blog threads.

    1. Well your paragraph was about as interesting as the new customers in The Duke.. ZzZzZ ! I have an idea thou, Why don’t you stick to the bell ? or William Morris ? or an even better idea quit pretending your from around these parts when its quite clear your not, I can already tell your a middle class snob who’s only moved into the area because it was cheaper than surrounding area’s, Who probably used to enjoy the quiz’s up the village and the strange beers in the Nags but wouldn’t dare venture into ‘ dangerous Woodstreet’ let alone those rough pubs, You say you remember The Swan? The Pig? and Plough? Who do you know from any of those pubs? I’m eager to know As I was a regular in all those boozers.

      1. I’m sorry to make you uncomfortable. Re read first post above if you’re desperate for a box to put me into, I’m sure you can use your imagination. Now if you excuse me, I have a red wine waiting, and a Duke burger to tuck in to.

      2. It would take far more than you to make me uncomfortable luv, Just don’t come on here trying to portray you know anything about the boozers in Woodstreet when it’s clear you are the other soppy twat who’s clearly worried to give his name don’t know anything 🙂

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