The William Stanley, in South Norwood, provided the inspiring venue for the launch of a local history group.
Friends Jason Cooper, Ian Bone and Rich Lamy formed the South Norwood Tourist Board (SNTB) over a pint at the southeast London pub.
The trio behind the SNTB concept is now out to prove the credentials of South Norwood as a bona fide tourist destination, by citing its links to everything from the football World Cup to Sherlock Holmes.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived in Tennison Road, South Norwood, during 1891–94, which is where he wrote the famous Reichenbach Falls story – the death of Holmes. He also played cricket at Norwood Lakes.
In 1966, a dog called Pickles achieved overnight fame when he discovered the stolen World Cup, in a garden in Beulah Hill. Three months later, England went on to win the trophy.
The trio’s idea is to organise a series of walks and talks around the sites of interest.
Also, renowned engineer William Stanley is from the area – and his work included building Stanley Halls and founding the Stanley Technical School, now the Harris Academy South Norwood.
The Wetherspoon pub is named after him. Nicky Fagg (pictured), pub manager at The William Stanley, said: “The group of friends originally had the idea in the pub, while having a drink together and looking at our wall art.
“They realised that South Norwood is undervalued and that lots of interesting people and events have occurred in the area – hence the SNTB was born.
“We are delighted to support the guys in their idea and had a great evening at the quiz night event which we hosted in conjunction with them.”