Pubs of the past: An ode to the White Hart, Collier Row

White Hart pub in Collier Row, Havering

The White Hart pub in Collier Row - pictured here in the 1920s - closed in 2006 - Credit: Brian Evans

Havering is home to so many brilliant pubs - not purely in the present day, but also in the past.

To honour this, the Recorder wants to pay tribute to venues in the borough which have been loved and lost over the years.

First up is the White Hart in Collier Row.

While pictures show this boozer was open in the 1920s, historic records indicate it existed well before that - as far back as 1896.

Perched near the top of White Hart Lane - close to the junction with Collier Row Road - the White Hart closed its doors for good in 2006, and was demolished soon after to make way for new development.

That arrived in the form of Tithe Court, a 42-unit retirement living complex built in 2011 which still exists.

The White Hart had a turn being called the Double Top when under the ownership of former darts world champion Eric Bristow.

If memories shared by locals are anything to go by, the White Hart has left quite the legacy.

Mick Champness and then-partner, now-wife Tina moved to Collier Row in 1995; two years later, they held their engagement party at the White Hart.

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"I remember the landlord being a largish, friendly bloke who ran it with his wife. There was also a kids corner that had a ball pit which the kids loved," he said. 

Couple have party at now-closed White Hart pub in Collier Row once called Double Top and owned by darts player Eric Bristow

Mick Champness and his now-wife Tina celebrating their engagement party at the White Hart in 1997 - Credit: Mick Champness

Recalling how the pub sold Holsten Pils - "my lager of choice at the time" - Mick said he was sorry to "see it go". 

Another person to get engaged at the White Hart was Janet Newby, who recalls the moment from 25 years ago.

"The DJ - I think was called John - called me on the stage, then my husband came on the stage and got down on one knee and proposed."

Janet's pleased to report that, after tying the knot in 2000, the pair are still happily married.

Ellie Ralph was "one of the kids who played in the ball pits" mentioned by Mick.

Now an adult, she also remembers having birthday parties at the pub; specifically being treated to "amazing turkey dinosaurs".

Shal Lowe was another who took advantage of the pub's recreational area: "My friend and I use to take our kids to the fun ball pit at lunch times - they played, we had a cheeky lunch and shandy."

She joked: "34 years ago! I now feel old."

Do you have memories of this pub you'd like to share? Get in touch -