The Crown & Sceptre, 57 Melina Road, London W12 – Part One

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.’

The September 1983 edition of ‘Ranger’ included an article on the pub:

‘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 !

Steve Russell

13 thoughts on “The Crown & Sceptre, 57 Melina Road, London W12 – Part One

  1. Nice write up Steve on my favourite watering hole in W12. As the Swedish Rs wrote 10 out of 10 for QPR factor:
    My first visit was after the Liverpool away game in 1987 that we lost 4-0. My brother and I headed there as it had been recommended and it took ages for us to find it. It was worth the wait though and we enjoyed a great pint of Pride.

    I enjoyed Jimmy’s stories from 1982 – it was also the venue for players pulling pints on 24 April 1976 after the Leeds home game with Rangers at the time, temporarily, League Champions. Last but not least it was of course Reg Toomer’s favourite boozer in Boys from the Bush!

  2. Anyone remember ‘Boys From The Bush’ from the 90’s about an ex pat QPR fan.The Crown is in that.

  3. my first visit to the Crown was in dec.84 boxing day vafter we drew 2-2 against Chelsea.But it wasn`t until jan 86 I`ll learned Jim & June to know brilliant people.I got a lot of friends at the pub and still have.J&J soon moved out Wembly way.Dave and Dawn took care of the pub the next few years.Dave was a season ticket holder but originally a Spurs man They went out to Windsor after some time.Dave could occationaly been spotted in the Salutation serving the punters.Then along came Maurice & Sheila from running a bar in Spain,they wern`t exactly Rangers people.They wanted to create a more posh lunch place for all the folks from BBC……not a great success.M&S was very plesant to be with but not such a big hit with the supporters.So they were on their way and amusing stories we had there over their years.Then Fullers came up with the wine bar idea which deservedly ruined the pub for us QPR fans.Today it is nearly back to its former greatness thanks to exellent managesment.After 25 years still my local in London.With great affection and thankfulness to all the friends I`ve made there Tore Karlsen nowegian QPR supporter.

  4. Reg Toomer ? Thats the nickname my West Ham mate in NY calls me by and I call him Sir Bobby !! I was in the Crown the night before the final and we ended up outside Loftus Rd at midnight where a street party was being held. I stayed until about 2am !!! A proper pub selling proper beers.

  5. A different era, in a different time, when we were as one.
    Agree with Martin, it was/still is a great QPR pub.
    Rarely get in there now… maybe it’s time to get back down there with Chris for some real ale, though he’s only interested in the chocolate flavored varity!

  6. Wonderful review on a great pub! Always go here after a game at Loftus Road. Haven’t tried the food yet but the pride is always spot on! Staff always attentive. Great atmos after the Leeds game in may. Lovely place. Will always go there after every match!

  7. I’ve not been in the C&S since Jim and June left. i remember they used to advertise in the QPR handbook at one time, though I’ve seen them advertise in Chelsea’s one at the time but we’ll quickly gloss over that!
    I remember from long ago a female boss of mine mentioned the pub to me as she was a QPR fan and used to live in Boscombe Road which is just around the corner from the Crown & Sceptre.
    I remember being gobsmacked at all the QPR related pictures inside.
    I really must get back there for a pint one of these days. I tend to meet up with mates at the Defectors Weld which admittedly is a bit of a poseurs boozer but it has some very comfortable seating without the riff raff :-)!!!

  8. my uncle jim aunt june used to run the crown and sceptre my memories of the pub was its freindly atmosphere and jim and june welcomed everyone always happy and smiling.we always went in before games and after and my uncle jim took me to my 1st qpr game when i was 4 many years ago now i remember when the players used to come back to the pub also some actors from the bbc also used the pub the likes of jimmy nail,and give us a break crew.the pub was qpr through and through there was always a story to be told theres not many pubs like that around any more ,the memories will live on u rs.jim and junes nephew kevin arnett.

    • Hi Kevin .Ive contacted the crown and sceptre people trying to contact the landlord/lady form 1975/6 for a book im writing .A chap there suggested that June and Jim were the hosts from that time .i would love to get a bit of backgroun knowledge from that season ,a few anectdotes etc .Would you be able to help .The guy who suggested this is a John reilly who works at The crown and Sceptre.Thanks for your time Rob

  9. we used to drink down there when my brother Jim ran the pub we had some good times down there, it was a friendly pub never any trouble which makes a change.

  10. Great pub, I remember being carried from the pub on my granddad’s shoulders one new years eve, must have been around 1960 back to our first house in the bush in Southbrook Street.
    Then, some great memories of The Rs home games back in the 70s. One night in particular when we beat West Ham 6-1 and all the players came back to the pub.
    I agree Jim and June were wonderful hosts, hope they are still O.K. Really genuine people.

    Sludger, from QPR HQ here in Western Australia

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