354 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9
[Map location]. Published 18th July 2012
The Angel, 354 Coldharbour Lane. [Dec 2011]
UPDATE JULY 2012: Sold to property developers
The Angel has been sold to super-rich property developers Lexadon, who intend to turn it into, "Four mews houses, four high-specification apartments and one commercial space subject to planning permission."
Before the builders move in, the property has been given over to the community arts enterprise Brick Box for six months, who have been invited to 'expand upon its mantra of art, love and magic in the heart of South London.' The building was painted over on 17th July 2012 (see above).
This has prompted a very, very lively discussion on the urban75 discussion boards!
One of the last remaining old-school black Brixton pubs, The Angel closed without warning on May 26th, 2006, with the premises suddenly being sealed tight with metal security doors and windows.
The pub reopened in May 2009 but seemed to struggle, and was very erratic in its opening hours.
The final closure came in October 2011, and it was advertised for auction in December 2011 as a "luxury development, situated less than a minute away from Brixton's resurgent and vibrant new shopping destination, Brixton Village."
See December 2011 feature on the pub here.
We're still researching its history, but it seems that pub was featured on BBC Nationwide in 1980 in a TV report about West Indian immigrants coming to Brixton in the 1950's.
Here's the (slightly incomprehensible) program notes from the BBC's experimental resource, which lists their archive footage.
It suggests that the Angel was an important part of Brixton's recent history, being the 'first pub to sell drinks to coloured people'
Pub manager; Lynette SIMMS; Norman BEATON; s. thru'out Brixton streets. Pub Sequence: ext s Angel pub in Brixton (5.47-5.50), rept to cam on Angel being first pub to sell drinks to coloured people (5.50-6.14), int s.bar n Angel (9.46-10.13) (11.01-11.17)intv: Tony WALLER, Angel was the first pub he drank in when he came to Britain(6.14-7.07), his first job was in a paint factory, being the first & only black man there, he was treated v.well by workers there, when more coloured people started working then intolerance started to happen (7.20-7.50), worked a lot of overtime to buy Angel pub (9.15-9.46).
In the 12 years we lived opposite the Angel it never caused us any bother, and on the odd occasion that we popped in for a pint, we always enjoyed the friendly vibe and reggae/ska sounds. It will be much missed.
The Angel in its final guise before closing for good, April 2010.
Update: Read about The Angel's connection with Edwardian music hall act The Zanettos
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