The George IV is just a short walk from Turnham Green Underground Station and recently I met up there with Bill Burnett from Aberdeen, who had stayed over in London following the Fulham away game.
Originally known as the ‘Lord Boston’s Arms’, the pub is said to have been licensed from at least 1771. This name was shortened to the ‘Boston Arms’ in 1790 until around 1820 when George IV came to the throne.
Lord Boston’s son, the second Baron, was a Lord of the Bedchamber to both George III and George IV. A Lord of the Bedchamber, previously known as Gentleman of the Bedchamber, was a Courtier in the Royal Household of the King of the United Kingdom and the Prince of Wales.
A Lord of the Bedchamber’s duties consisted of assisting the King with his dressing, waiting on him when he ate in private, guarding access to him in his bedchamber etc.
Fuller, Smith & Turner acquired the pub in 1826. Four years later, the manager, George Cloud, started a horse-drawn bus service, which operated from the pub to the City and it became so popular that it had to run every 15 minutes.
Joseph Van was the landlord between 1887 and 1913 and an article in Reynolds’s newspaper, dated 20th November 1892, reads:
‘Mr Joseph Van, of the George IV, Chiswick, applied for a music and dancing license:
The Chairman: “I see that you state in your application that ladies are not to be admitted.”
The Chairman: “Then what do you want a dancing license for?” (laughter)
Applicant: “It is for club members.”
The Chairman: “But is it for dancing on the stage or in the hall?”
Applicant: “In the hall.”
The Chairman: “Then you must have the other sex admitted, surely?”
Applicant: “Well, I suppose we must then.” (laughter)
The application was then granted.’
The pub was re-built around 1931/32. A storeroom was converted into a function suite in 2002 and it later became the ‘Headliner’s Comedy Club’ with live comedy shows at the weekend and other events during the week. It is now the Boston Room, which is in homage to the buildings colourful history and dedicated to all the Lords of the Bedchamber. There is a courtyard garden with an outside TV screen.
In 2004 the George IV was the winner of the ‘Fuller, Smith & Turner’s Local Pub Award’.
There have been reports of a ghostly presence, not surprisingly known as ‘George’.
The pint of Fullers ESB went down well as did the Chalcroft Farm cheeseburger with pickled red cabbage and triple cooked chips, but have to say that it was rather pricey at ¬£11.00!
(My thanks to Colin Woodley and the pub staff for their assistance in putting this article together)