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Brixton history: Then & Now

The Angel and The Royal Zanettos

354 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9
[Map location]. Published 4th September 2012


The Angel pub on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton has a long and interesting history, but I was intrigued to learn of its connection with the late Victorian/early Edwardian music hall performers, The Royal Zanettos.com (formed of George, William (Pip), Arthur, Frank and Albert Bale).

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

As well as performing, the Bales were publicans, running The Ship in Margate, The Oak in Surbiton, The Tower in Westminster Bridge Road and the Angel in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9.

In this Victorian view, you can large banners on the pub advertising Style, Winch & Co's Noted Pale Ales, Celebrated Burton Pale Ales, The Finest London Stout & Porter and Foreign Wines.

Also note the road sign above - this shows Canterbury Road which used to cross Station Road and run through to Brixton Road. The curtailed road is now known as Valentia Place.

Just visible above the corner entrance is a sign for 'The Zanettos' (pictured below), whose skills included a 'Japanese Juggling' act and a navy-themed routine.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

The Royal Zanettos were active around the turn of the century and shared some fascinating bills.

On the 30th March 1895, they performed at the Tivoli theatre at The Strand, London in a matinee performance that included novelties such as 'Miss Jenny Valmore-serio-Comic, Miss Ida Heath-Transformation Dancer, Miss Winifred Johnson-Comedienne, Lieut. Walter Cole-ventriloquist, Miss Kate James-Comedienne, Miss Marie Collins-comedienne, Lotto, Lilo and Otto-bicyclists, The Egyptian Giant, Hassan Ali, Mr Rolf Arras-Equilibrist, Miss Maggie Duggan-Burlesque Artiste and Miss Minnie Cunningham-Serio and Dancer'.

It's quite interesting to see how many female comedians there are on that bill.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

Interesting to note that the pub was originally called the Angel Hotel.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

Postcard showing the beers available, priced per dozen bottles.

The Hammerton Brewery was situated in Stockwell and lasted until the 1950s. See: Hammerton Brewery feature.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

A closer view of the Angel, showing three entrances to the pub and the bold advertising along the roofline.

Note the three large and rather flamboyant gas lamps and the Saloon Bar entrance on Coldharbour Lane.

[Archive photos courtesy of: theroyalzanettos.com]

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

A modern view from 2011, just before the Angel closed for good.

Although clearly recognisable as the same building, some window and roof detail has been lost over the years.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

The pub was sold to developers in early 2012 and is unlikely to ever reopen as a public house.

In May 2012 it was handed to a Community Interest Company called the Brick Box who have been able to run it as a 'key community space' for six months.

Sadly, the local community hasn't had much use of the building at all since, with most events being semi-private affairs only advertised through Brick Box's own networks.

The windows have remained closed and blocked out throughout.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

In July 2012, a Brick Box 'public art project' saw the building being covered in slogans, something that didn't sit well with some locals.

Read more about the Angel here: Lost Pubs of Brixton: The Angel and find out about Brixton's lost theatres here.

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BRIXTON THEN AND NOW:

Acre Lane
Atlantic/Railton
Brixton Hill
Brixton Road
Brixton Station Rd
Central Brixton
Coldharbour Lane
Effra Road
Electric Ave/Lane
Herne Hill
Loughboro Junc



COLDHARBOUR LANE
Angel pub
Coldharbour La W
Coldharbour La E
Coldharbour Lane
439 Coldharbour La
CL/Barrington
CL/Cooltan
CL/Moorlands Est
CL/Moorland Rd
CL/Shakespeare
1958 street view
E Brixton station
E Brixton stn 2
E Brixton stn 3
E Brixton stn 4
Eel & Pier House
Geneva Road
Granville Arcade
Gresham Fire sta
Gresham Road
Moorland Rd
Somerleyton Rd
Somerleyton Rd, S
Sussex Arms

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