George Evans’s dad used to work behind the bar years ago and one thing that he remembers well that is, ‘every Christmas the blokes from the BBC would do the place up with all fancy lights. A couple of the well known ‘chaps’ used to get in there from time to time.’
Jimmy Murray also sent me some of his wonderful memories:
‘1982 was my first introduction to the Crown & Sceptre. It was well known as THE QPR pub. I had always intended to call in there, but never quite managed to make it…but my time had finally come. It was May 22nd and we were at Wembley against Tottenham and still on a high after dumping WBA out of the Cup at Highbury some weeks before. I walked to Wembley with my dad from Neasden where we lived at the time. Underdogs maybe, but the atmosphere was truly brilliant, none more so than when Simon Stainrod’s long throw found Bob Hazell’s head who flicked it on to Terry Fenwick to give us no more than we deserved.
After the game, we stopped off for a few sherbets, but the word was that the players were heading back to the Bush and the Crown & Sceptre…we had to go. On arrival, the place was rammed, and getting to the bar was a mission. The first thing that I noticed was the amount of memorabilia, it was truly amazing, this was THE home of QPR. I noticed a lot of faces and the place felt like home.
Having finally made it to the bar, the fella behind said, “What can I get you sir ?”I thought…is this for real ? It was Tony Currie ! I then looked around and he wasn’t the only player serving, there were half-a-dozen of them. Needless to say we had a great night and the players were brilliant. We were at one, we were QPR…and I had finally come home.’
‘Question: Find a good, friendly pub five minutes from Loftus Road, where you can get a bite before the match, drink good beer and even find a parking space.
Answer: The Crown & Sceptre in Melina Road. Landlord Jim Arnett, a QPR supporter for 40 years, runs a pub that fits all these requirements, plus a good deal more. For beer drinkers, Jim’s Fuller’s ales are tops, he drinks his own draught, so you can be sure of the quality.
The Crown & Sceptre has plenty of choice in quick, hot and cold lunches and evening snacks and is popular with supporters driving in from the West of London. Regulars on a Saturday come from as far as Reading and Slough. Just as important though, is the atmosphere in the bars. Jim runs a real sportsman’s pub – he himself is Vice-President of the QPR Supporters Club team and President of the West London Sunday League and his connections with the Club go back to schooldays at Latimer Road.
Many QPR stars, past and present are regular faces at the bar. By next month, the Crown & Sceptre will look familiar to most of us – much of the new TV series, ‘Give us a Break’ was filmed in the bar there. In fact, the Crown & Sceptre has quite a showbiz flavour anyway; Robin Askwith, star of many ‘Confessions’ movies and a keen QPR supporter, drops in quite often along with other famous faces from nearby Lime Grove Studios. The Crown & Sceptre has also become quite a favourite with some of the ‘Give us a Break’ team too.
The Crown & Sceptre isn’t too easy to find – but then that has its advantages. You won’t find hordes of supporters from opposing teams and you won’t have to fight to get the drinks in on time. Oh, and Jim tells us that he already sells plenty of draught Guinness !’
Later, the pub was renovated, the QPR memorabilia was taken down and with it some of its character and charm was lost. In fact, many R’s fans refused to go in there for a while. I don’t know about Robin Askwith , but the Rangers pictures did eventually return and so did some of the previous matchday regulars, and they come from further afield than Reading and Slough !. The Thai food is a bit expensive, but very nice and the beer is excellent of course. Just fancy a pint of Pride !