To locals, it was generally known as the “Souse” after the landlady Mrs South who took over around 1943.
It originally had a public bar, saloon bar and a smokers’ bar around the corner in an alleyway (which also led to the gents’ toilets). The smokers bar also had a nickname: “The Iron Lung”.
Before changes in local licensing laws after the Second World War, it was notable in the past for being the last pub in Kensington where pubs shut at 10.30pm during the week. North of here, the Harrow Road area lay in the Borough of Paddington, whose pubs shut at 11pm, causing a sudden exodus of customers from the ’Western’.
The nearby gas works supplied gas to the local area by means of an underground pipe system. One of the main pipes ran just adjacent to the beer cellar of the Western and cooled the beer stored there. The pub was formerly reknowned, because of this, for the quality of its ale (probably due to the cooling effect of this gas pipe).
The pub lasted through to the end of the first decade of the twenty first century before becoming a restaurant.