Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.
Object of the Week :
R is for Red Lions – Three of them!
Elstree and Borehamwood has had its fair share of pubs named Red Lion.
The Red Lion Hotel on the crossroads at Elstree was a timber framed building and first mentioned in 1656. It stood on the East side of the High Street on the corner of Barnet Lane and was demolished in 1934 to allow for the widening of the road.
This is the Red Lion in Shenley Road which is now McDonalds but previously was a pub since the mid 1930s. This was particularly popular with film stars from the Studios across the road, who would pop in for a drink and chat with fellow actors. A darts team from the old Red Lion in Borehamwood was almost crowned national pub champions when they took part in a tournament in the late 1940s. On Wednesdays in the 1960s it was home to the Boreham Wood & Elstree Folk Music Club where many up-and-coming artists played from Sandy Denny to Bert Jansch. And on Saturdays featured middle of the road and cabaret artists such as Lennie Peters, later to be one half of top popsters Peters and Lee.
Here we see the Old Red Lion in Green Street which closed in the late 1960s. In the 1940s and 1950s life used to revolve around the Red Lion pub and the area had a real sense of community. The interior was described as very Spartan with bare boards on the floor and no carpets and served real ale. There was no licence to sell spirits and wine wasn’t as popular then as it is today. The pub had two bars but according to local memories, one was seldom used.