Modern life moves more quickly each day, the development of technology over the last ten years has proved this fact quite clearly, the process of change has gone into over-drive. For many, the antidote to this constant change is to look back at the past, to find something familiar and reliable that one can trust. This phenomenon of holding onto the past is reflected in this country by the current abundance of preservation societies and conversation groups that spend their time securing the past for the future. Even the youth are in on the act wearing Edwardian style jackets with dressed moustaches and cropped tidy hair, somehow the past seems to be a comfortable place to be for many of us.
Recently I came across a postcard from 1910 of my local pub, the Hope and Anchor that sits on the Lea Navigation between Upper Clapton and Springfield Park, I was pleasantly surprised to see that little had changed in over 100 years apart from the housing estate at the back, the frontage still remains pretty much the same.
Today the Hope and Anchor is an ‘honest’ pub resisting any change, where young and old drinkers frequent the pub along with a healthy canal boat community. The boat people are more live-in rather than the old working community of a hundred years ago, either way they are quite a colourful bunch where drinking seems to go on pretty much all day, everyday at a good steady rate. Beer is served in glasses with handles, there are real ales and larger’s available and water bowls are provided outside for the dogs. My hope is that this pub stays as it is for another 100 years with its open views across Leyton Marshes and along the Lea Navigation. I heard a story that someone caught 20 2-3lb barbel on this stretch just a month or two back, perhaps the fishing is returning back to its former quality, one can hope.