Prince George is safe, says Hackney council

THE PRINCE George in Parkholme Road is safe from closure, says Hackney council. But the pub faces restrictions on its opening hours, after complaints from a small number of residents of the street.

A council spokesperson said today Thursday 12 August 2010: “Hackney council is working with publicans from the (George) to solve problems caused by noise coming from the pub’s front garden.

“This has been disturbing a number of the pub’s immediate neighbours.”

Here is Loving Dalston’s earlier report: 
A bizarre rumour that emerged two years ago could lead to the end of Dalston’s favourite public house.
The Prince George in Parkholme Road, boozer of choice for discerning Dalstoners since the 1860s, is now the subject of objections by eight or so residents who see it as a noisy nuisance in an enclave of  E8 affluence. They have complained to Hackney council, the licensing authority.

In 2008 a story spread that the pop magazine NME had named the George “NME Music Pub of the year”. The pub has a a juke box but not live music; perhaps the talk was someone’s idea of “irony”.
Joke or not, the result was near-instant: at weekends the pub found it had become a lure for youngsters wanting to drink at venues that charged less than the Dalston clubs that they would visit later in  the night.
The “Hoxton Horribles”, as Chris Ballingall, the manager, dubbed them, came in such number that they filled the road around the George which, noticing the raised eyebrows of its genteel neighbours, had to hire security staff. The pub next had to deal with visits from council noise-pollution staff responding to complaints from the public.
As it dawned on the Horribles that the only music they’d ever hear at the George would come from a box requiring 50p coins, they drifted away in search of other venues.
Despite the George’s closing the outside railed-off area on Saturdays at 9.30pm, however, objectors sensed that they had the pub on the run, and Ballingall and the owner, Robert Thomas, of Remarkable Restaurants, have been in discussions with local people and the council since then.
Today Tuesday 10 august 2010 the pub’s licence was being reviewed at the town hall after a complaint by the council’s pollution team (or, more accurately, anti-pollution team). It is likely that consultation will continue until the autumn, when the licensing authorities will rule on whether the pub can continue.
Anyone wanting to comment should visit the licensing website, before emailing their views to

In London about 11 pubs close every week — almost 40 throughout the country, says the British Beer and Pub Association.

David Altheer 090810

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18 thoughts on “Prince George is safe, says Hackney council

  1. The eddress you provided, Serpico, is not working, so I cannot reply by private email. — Ed.

  2. Ten years ago I lived exactly oposite the George and the place is ingrained on my memory. I fondly recall dawdling in their on hot summer afternoons and drinking ’till they locked the doors and closed the curtains. Then you felt like you were home and could relax and have another. This was pre-late opening.

    I went back there recently and have tried to catch up on all that has happened.

    It strikes me that the situation is probably just that Shoreditch and Dalston have become popular. The pub itself has been “discovered” – face it, it’s gorgeous! The NME rumour caused a flood of people and the smoking ban caused them all to stand outside.

    I spoke to a barman and he said they’d been through a strange time and the hassle had been driving the locals away but it was beginning to settle down.

    Without wanting to disuade anyone I hope it becomes less “fashionable” and regains some of it’s soul.

  3. You’re right of course Anonymous, it’s not purely longstanding locals who are objecting to the George, and as you said there are some newer arrivals who may be making waves. Not sure I’d call them “bourgeois arrivistes” though as the George’s owners have (to quote Mandy Rice-Davies: “he would say that, wouldn’t he?”).

    One of the fascinating things about Hackney is its heterogeneity, and Parkholme Rd is a good example. Just stone’s throws away from two very busy and noisy junctions, it’s a strange kind of sanctuary (which may or may not be a good thing). Just because someone moves into Hackney it shouldn’t mean that they should accept noise pollution or whatever else as part of the package.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree about the increase in noise and Nathan Barley-count though, I personally think it’s definitely worse.

  4. I’ve lived in the area about the same amount of time as you and I don’t agree the pub has got busier or noisier in that time. It’s obvious pubs will have some level of noise, don’t think the George does badly, and of course there will also be more people drinking outside in the summer.

    As for the residents…Hmmm, not disputing that there are some cross generational residents, but I also know there are at least two properties VERY close to the pub that have become home to new comers (as in within the last year or so). That is a fact not an assumption. Of course it could just be a coincidence that the campaign has arisen since they moved in……..

    I also know for a fact there are residents who want the pub to stay as it is. I obviously don’t know who’s in the majority and how long the complainants have been around, not having conducted a comprehensive survey, but it’s certainly not as simple as people that have lived there for generations suddenly being disturbed by a recent increase in custom at the pub.

  5. Actually, although I don’t live in Parkholme Road myself, I know the street and many of its residents, and most of them are long-term residents (some for generations). On the whole their time in the street has long-preceded the more recent upturn in noise (the commonest one being a kind of Home Counties braying) from the George. I’ve lived in the neighbourhood for only 6 years but I’ve definitely noticed a surge in the Nathan Barley count (and the associated noise) at the George.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to for the local residents to expect a bit of consideration from the punters. It’s very easy to make lazy assumptions about people (in this case the Parkholme residents) on the basis of minimal information.

  6. I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone wanting to sell their house opposite the george at a reduced price due to noise pollution. I’d happily live opposite and enjoy the place so easily.

  7. What are you even talking about, can’t afford to get a table at the George and can’t afford to drink there? Many local boozers charge similar prices, and as for getting a table they can be neither reserved nor paid for…go down any weeknight or earlyish any weekend eve and you can get a table. You walk in and you sit down. Very easy.

    Obviously pubs will sometimes create some noise. Don’t live on top of one if you can’t accept that. You bought your home, not the pub, and cannot determine on what terms the pub should operate. Maybe some of the complainants are Parkholme oldtimers, but some are definitely newcomers. In any case, nobody moved in before 1860 and there is legal precendent that if you choose to live very close to a licensed venue (oh what a lovely quaint local pub people probably thought when they viewed their new home when the pub was shut!) you can’t really complain about a bit of noise, and that really all it is, even if the noise is more than when you first moved in.

    And anonymous above, you sound rather like you’re claiming to speak for ‘the neighbours’. You’re not. Some neighbours, perhaps. Far from all, and maybe only a minority.

  8. Prinny? eh is that what the place is called? I thought it was The George, or does that take too much time to say?

  9. Thanks for taking the time to write the above. Perhaps it was also the licensing notice posted outside the pub that made locals fear for the Prinny’s future.

  10. There is NO threat to the Prince George closing down – these are just new rumours (prob started by the owner Remarkable Restaurants) and subsequent hysteria about non-existent developers and a small number of so-called nasty neighbours.
    This is about a much loved, generally chilled out local pub that unfortunately became a little too popular for its residential setting (like many others in Dalston!). Combined with the changes in licensing hours and unfortunate side effects of the smoking bans, this accelerated into a situation which needed some mediation and management – which is now finally happening thanks to the Council’s Pollution Control team stepping in. The combination of these factors has led to similar situations all over the country.
    The owners still want to continue cashing in on the increased popularity (btw many of the “Hoxton Horribles” referred to above are still there!), whilst some of the neighbours continue to suffer. The work the council are now doing is already having good effect, with trial closures of the garden at 21.30 (yes, that was the council who implemented those, not the owners).
    Furthermore, you’ll actually find that these positive licence amendments, which are not really causing much detriment to the lives of the pub drinkers nor the pockets of the pub owners, are being supported by lots of neighbours who have lived there for 10 years, 20 years and even 30 years, ie, neighbours who have lived quite happily alongside the gentle hubbub, have been regulars too, and have happily put up with the occasional anti-social noises – no problem. (Ironically The George is now so expensive and popular that many of the longer-term local crowd can’t even afford to drink there any more let alone get a table on a weekend…)
    Generally the neighbours see The George as an asset, and, prior to the last few years, a pleasure to reside near to. This is however a LOCAL pub in a RESIDENTIAL area, which is also part of what makes this pub such a lovely place to go – away from the traffic and shopping areas.
    Don’t be fooled – the pub is in NO DANGER of being closed down! And none of the neighbours want it to either! The pub has after all survived as a chilled out local since 1860 – it has proved that it doesn’t need to be rammed to the gills by the Hoxton brigade (and all their friends from Ealing, Kilburn and wherever else) in order to survive.
    Some gentle reviewing of and amendments to its licence is all that is happening. But unfortunately Remarkable Restaurants wish to mainain their profit margins. The hysteria and rumours of closure on the various social sites happen to be extremely helpful to them… quoting pub owner Robert Thomas from the Save the George facebook group: “Russell, if we could scare up a couple more on these lines [refering to a support letter from local resident] before Monday we could be in a much better bargaining position with Khadine Jackson [council noise pollution officer] on Monday…”
    “SCARE UP”…mmm…wonder what tactics Robert and Russell had in mind…

  11. People tend not to buy flats above kebab shops because they don’t want the smell pervading their homes. Pray tell, then, Neighbours of The George, why did you buy a house next to an already vibrant and well established local pub, if you are the types to complain about evening noise? Honestly – did you plan on becoming your grandparents quite so early on in life?

  12. Gosh – hold the front page – living near pub gets a bit noisy now and again shocker

  13. Must be the noisy lock ins they have every week. Stop them and they’ll be ok.

  14. I can’t believe noise is the only issue after the pubs been open since 1860. If this is the case, close down my local community centre who have VERY loud children’s partys and religious meetings throughout the weekends and evenings.

  15. It’s the norm for Hackney. All the second homers complaining that their pad in town isn’t as peaceful as their weekend place in the country. The Croydonisation of Hackney continues………….

  16. Why do people move next to pubs and then complain about noise? Of course there can be freak occurrences such as the NME review sending the “sheep” to Dalston. All in all, I imagine it’s a standard pub situation re: noise. If you want peace and quiet move out of one of the world’s major cities and into the country side. Although beware of the leaves rustling.

  17. I love the George, but I wouldn’t want to live next to it, or indeed any pub. The complaints may not be spurious as people do tend to spill out of pubs unaware of how loud they are being. It would be a real shame if this really was a threat to its licence. However I doubt there is much of a history of trouble at the pub, which should weigh in its favour.
    Having not been in there for quite a while, I now feel the need to sink a few there, just in case.

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