End of an Era - The Canterbury Arms

Last Saturday night saw the end of a huge part of my life for the past 11 years. My pub, my local, my beloved Canterbury Arms had it's last day of trading before being bulldozed to make room for a bland block of over priced flats. Gentrification has hit Brixton with what can only be described as a sledge hammer and the strong community spirit which Brixton has enjoyed for generations is fast disappearing. Profit is winning over people at the moment and people just don't see that a fancy block of flats don't make community. A place to meet should be valued, where the old and young are welcome and the community are catered for.

The Canterbury has been a constant for me since I was introduced to it by my friend Gerry. I was going out with one of Gerry's mates at the time and they both worked at Brixton Academy. It was the go to pub for the roadies but also the local police and firemen as both stations were close by. I've celebrated at least 10 birthdays there, enjoyed spending Christmas Eve there, popped in for a quick pint, got very drunk there, met there before going to a funeral for a stiff drink. It's the only pub I've known where I could walk in and people knew who I was and knew what I drank (thanks Eamon). It's regulars were an ecclectic mix of society and I blooming loved it.
 Knowing I wouldn't be able to walk past the pub once it closed I took the opportunity to take photos of Dope's fabulous grafitti on the outside of the pub
 Complete with a wry sense of humour

 But the signs were there that the end was neigh....Below are a photos I took during the evening (sorry I foolishly didn't take my flash so they are not my best):

Yes a lot of alcohol was consumed during the evening.... 
 And here is a rare picture of me with two of my bestest buddies (I'm in the middle in case you're wondering - excuse the double chins...). We forged our friendship in the Canterbury and spent many an evening in there catching up. This was taken by Garry Johnson.
And me with OH and friends taken by Al Williams. They both took some incredible photographs. You can tell that both loved the pub as much I did (and they sensibly took a flash which I failed to do....). You can see the full set of their photos on the Canterbury Arms Facebook page
And finally an incredible group shot taken by Garry Johnson. Everyone spilled out of the pub to take part in this historic photograph. This is what community looks like. This is the real Brixton and it's disappearing quickly. 

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