See London's First Housing Estate Pub - Then And Now

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 6 months ago
See London's First Housing Estate Pub - Then And Now
The Fellowship and Star in Bellingham
The Fellowship and Star images from the 1920s and today stitched together.

The Fellowship and Star in Bellingham isn't your average pub.

The pub was originally built in 1923, and was the first ever pub on a housing estate. It was part of the 'Homes for Heroes' development, which aimed to provide housing for first world war veterans and their families. The spacious pub also held a cinema and a live music venue — which saw Fleetwood Mac grace its stage.

Henry Cooper
Boxer Henry Cooper behind the bar, back in a time before sports nutritionists.
Cooper used the Fellowship as a training base before his fight with Muhammad Ali (also known as Cassius Clay).

They're not the only celebs to have graced The Fellowship. Boxer Henry Cooper used the pub as a training base before his fight with Muhammad Ali (back when he was still known as Cassius Clay).

Like many estate pubs, the Fellowship fell into decline. Then, in 2014, Phoenix Community Housing took over the freehold and successfully applied for lottery funding to restore the pub to its former glory — not just as a pub, but as a community venue that would regenerate the wider area.

A cross section of plans for the vast pub
The exterior of The Fellowship when it opened in the 1920s

It relaunched at the start of summer 2019, and these photos show just how much work had to be put in to the reopening.

The pub was in dire need of work.
And now, inside the bar today.

The cobwebs have been dusted off the cinema and, now known as the Bellingham Film Palace, it's showing the latest blockbusters. And as it did back in the day, the pub now has live music playing once more.

The cobweb-covered cinema before the refurbishment.
And now in its post-refurbishment glory

Ignoring all these bells and whistles the pub is still just that. A pub. So if you're looking for a tipple in south east London, look no further.

The pub today.

The Fellowship and Star, Randlesdown Road, SE6 3BT.

Last Updated 16 August 2019