The Rising Son

The story of a boy, a pub, a war and a remarkable woman

Were you one of the elite who used to meet in The Rising Sun? Did you ever raise a jar in one of its bars? Many a football fan did. If you lived in the middle of the last century in London, in Chelsea or Fulham, you’d know the pub. It stood - stands - opposite the main gates of Chelsea Football Club at Stamford Bridge. Like much else in the neighbourhood it has changed hands, changed names, and probably changed sex since then. There’s little left of what it once was. Hitler had his eyes on it at one time, or so it seemed. Not to buy it or to run it, just to bomb it. He didn’t manage to destroy it though; he left that to the developers. For many of its customers the pub was a home from home. For others it was simply home. For one woman it was a private kingdom over which she ruled with a rod of kindness, though her reign began in bitter hatred. For others it was just a place of bitter, of brown ale, and stout and mild, of Scotch eggs and Muscado. What’s Muscado? Well might you ask. It was a kind of cola that acted like colonic irrigation on a kid whose favourite tipple it was. For some, The Rising Sun was a work place, for others it was a shelter, the centre of a community. For many, before and after the war, it was the ‘still point of the turning world’. The Muscado Kid, who was reared there, saw no point in it and couldn’t wait to get away. Then he got away and couldn’t wait to get back. Then many moons later, as the sun began to set, it dawned on him there was a story to be told. A story of Uncle Reg and ‘I’m here’; of Big Pat and Dodger Green; of mass murder in a church; of tin baths and a haunting nipple; of Janaway and ‘bit of bush’; of a selfless sister and an adored Mum; of Dur-Dur and the several Mickeys. This is that story. The pub that was The Rising Sun closed long ago. Now, once again, it’s opening time.

 

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