A little piece of the East End history has been saved for posterity, and the continued joy of its many customers, thanks to the tenacity of its landlady.
The George Tavern on Commercial Road — a Grade II listed building whose various incarnations have been name-checked by Chaucer, Pepys and Dickens — has a reputation as an arts and music venue, but its existence was indirectly threatened by an adjacent housing development.
Pauline Forster, who built the pub's reputation over the past 14 years, argued that residents in the new flats would inevitably object to the noise from gigs. The pub's late licence would become untenable, risking the venue's future. The flats would also block light into the rooms above, which Forster hires out for photo shoots.
The campaign attracted plenty of celebrity endorsement. The likes of Justin Timberlake, Kate Moss and Georgia May Jagger lent their names to the cause. Even so, the initial hearing at the High Court ruled in favour of the developer.
That decision has now been overturned by the Court of Appeal, and the development in its current form will not go ahead.
Image via the pub's website.