The Gladstone Arms
|Location||Lant Street, Southwark|
|Key people||Megha Khanna, Abhinav Saxena, Gaurav Khanna|
The Gladstone Arms is a public house in Lant Street in the Borough – the Southwark district of London. It is also known as The Glad. Built on the site of a Victorian pub, the current building was constructed in the 1920s. It has been threatened by redevelopment but its popularity as a meeting place and live music venue have caused it to be recognised as an asset of community value.
There has been a public house here since the 19th century and, after Charles Dickens lodged in the street, he subsequently referred to it in The Pickwick Papers. The current structure was rebuilt in the interwar period of the 20th century. It is named after William Ewart Gladstone who was prime minister four times in the 19th century. In addition to its traditional drinking clientele, it attracts young, creative types and gays.
It is used as a live music venue and has its own record label. The type of music includes folk, blues and rock. Acts who have performed there include Ellie Goulding and Noah and the Whale. The pub is small and intimate and so does not have a stage or elaborate sound system but it is popular and crowded on music nights.
Closure and re-opening
In 2015, the pub was threatened by demolition and redevelopment as a 10-storey block of flats but the planning application was refused after a campaign by the Walworth Society to save it. The building was not listed by Historic England but it was recognised as an asset of community value. The tenancy has been revived since December 2016. Local MP Neil Coyle joined the Campaign for Real Ale in a pub crawl to save this and other local pubs and has been successful. The pub was inactive and boarded up for a period (between November 2016 to April 2017), but the business has been revived by Megha Khanna, Abhinav Saxena and Gaurav Khanna who will continue the tradition of live music and an interesting food menu consisting of small plates.
- Oborne, Peter; Williams, Anne (2015), "The fight to save the Gladstone Arms is a battle for the soul of London", The Spectator
- Geoffrey S. Fletcher (1970), The London Dickens Knew, p. 25,
The Gladstone Arms, rebuilt between the wars, was the pub where the impecunious medical student, Bob Sawyer, obtained the glasses...
- Dictionary of Pub Names, Wordsworth, 2006, p. 163, ISBN 9781840222661
- Gay and Lesbian London, Time Out, 2004, p. 35
- Haydon, Peter; Hampson, Tim (2011), "The Gladstone Arms", London's Best Pubs, New Holland, p. 208, ISBN 978-1-84773-919-3
- Ben Morgan (17 August 2016), "Gladstone Arms: Battle to save one of Southwark's last 'backstreet pubs' from closure", Evening Standard
- Alex Yeates (25 August 2016), "Your Pub Needs You!", Southwark News
- "Pubwatch: The Gladstone Arms", Deserter, 7 September 2015