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Books by Johnny Homer

  • East End Pubs

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: BSWSA
    Paperback
    There are few more quintessentially English experiences than supping a pint of ale in a centuries-old public house, where the walls could tell you stories. The East End of London is awash with such places, remarkably so in some respects, given the destruction wreaked by the Great Fire of London, Second World War bombs and post-war planners. Some were around before Shakespeare; others are comparatively recent Victorian additions - but all have a fascinating story behind them. Journalist and broadcaster Johnny Homer traces the history of the East End's drinking establishments, taking in the landlords, notable characters, stories and a pint or two along the way. Well researched and beautifully illustrated, London's East End Pubs provides something for everyone, whether they live in this vibrant part of London or are visiting for the first time.
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  • Southwark Pubs

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: BHZYX
    Paperback
    Southwark is one of London's oldest and most intriguing neighbourhoods; a hotbed of culture and commerce that has played a major part in the development of the capital. Its streets were familiar to Shakespeare and Dickens, both of whom surely drank and schemed and dreamed in the many inns and taverns that abounded. This is where Chaucer's pilgrims left from on their long march to Canterbury, and many centuries later it was a major terminus for the many coaches that served the south of England. Four hundred years ago Londoners flocked to the area to watch the latest Shakespeare play at the Globe, or perhaps to visit one of the area's numerous brothels. Bear-baiting and dog-fighting were popular attractions, too. People still pour into the area, although these days in search of more innocent pleasures such as high art at Tate Modern, the foodie haven that is Borough Market or to catch a performance at the recreated Globe on Bankside. The one thing that has remained the same across the centuries is the diversity and quality of the area's many pubs. Southwark Pubs offers an historical guide to some of the borough's most fascinating hostelries, from London's last surviving galleried coaching inn to the Thameside tavern that waved the Pilgrim Fathers off on their first voyage to America. Here is a drop of liquid London history for the lover of ale and anecdote alike.
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  • Clerkenwell & Islington Pubs

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: BANOT
    Paperback
    Clerkenwell and Islington are two of London's most historic districts; areas where radicalism once thrived and heavy industry flourished, where poverty and lawlessness were commonplace. This diverse and colourful history can be traced in the area's many pubs. The ancient parish of Clerkenwell, located just outside the City of London's walls, was historically the home of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. Later, it became famous for its watchmaking and printing industry. Dickens knew Clerkenwell, and it features in Oliver Twist, while it was here that Vladimir Lenin sowed the nascent seeds of Communism and in Little Italy Garibaldi was welcomed as a hero. But revolution and picking pockets is thirsty work, and the area's pubs were plentiful and varied. Islington, further north, was once a country retreat far away from the noise and industry of the City, but today this once solidly working-class area, favoured by the rich and the famous, is boisterous and busy and boasts a mixture of traditional hostelries, gastropubs and craft beer bars. Clerkenwell and Islington Pubs takes an historical, and sometimes contemporary, look at some of the area's most interesting watering holes; drinking destinations that down the years have played host to a varied cast of characters that includes the likes of Samuel Pepys, Joe Orton, The Clash, U2 and even James I.
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  • Brewing in Kent

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: AUXCP
    Paperback
    The county of Kent holds a unique place in the history of brewing in Great Britain. When hops were first cultivated in this country around 600 years ago, introduced by Dutch and Flemish merchants, it was at Westbere just outside Canterbury where they were grown. Indeed the Kentish soil proved so suited to the growing of Humulus lupulus, the Latin name for the hop, that the Garden of England soon became the centre of the British hop industry. Perhaps this is why brewing was one of Kent's major industries for many, many years. In the market town of Faversham, Shepherd Neame is based - the oldest surviving brewer in the country with a history that can be traced back to 1570, perhaps a little earlier. Despite its hop heritage, Kent was not immune to the decline in regional brewing that blighted the post-war years. However, in the last decade or so a spectacular renaissance has taken place, and from the dark days of the mid-1990s when the county had only a handful of brewers, it can now boast in excess of forty. Kent is also the birthplace of the micropub, small and independent pubs that put the focus on locally sourced produce. They have helped revive the brewer's art in Kent and, in doing so, written the latest chapter in a charming and very colourful history.
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  • Whitstable & Herne Bay Pubs

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: AUPRE
    Paperback
    The Kent coastal towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay are five miles apart but very different in character. However they are united in having a wealth of diverse and colourful pubs. Whitstable, over the past decade or so, has become one of the most fashionable destinations in the UK, attracting hundreds of thousands of well-heeled tourists every year, both from the UK and abroad. The town also hosts a highly regarded literary festival and also a bi-annual contemporary art festival. Whitstable's many pubs are central to both events and all year round play a major part in the town's culture. Herne Bay has lived in Whitstable's trendy shadow for some time now, but over the past two years has been developing a character of its own. It now combines elements of a traditional English seaside town with a number of increasingly upmarket elements.
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  • City of London Pubs

    Johnny Homer

    Product Code: ASIKT
    Paperback
    The City of London, the fabled 'Square Mile', is the financial hub of world trade. It is also an area with a rich and almost tangible history, a history that is reflected in its colourful and varied selection of pubs and watering holes. The City can boast one of the greatest densities of pubs anywhere in the world, and these pubs range from 17th Century taverns dating from just after the Great Fire of 1666 through to swish and hip modern bars catering for today's modern City worker. Amazingly there has been no dedicated book about the City of London's pubs since 1973's City of London Pubs, written by Timothy M Richards and James Stevens Curl. Given the area's growing residential population, the hundreds of thousands who work there during the week and the huge numbers of tourists it attracts every year, surely the time is right for a new guide to the City's myriad and characterful pubs.
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