Plaque

(lost) Hand & Racquet

Hand & Racquet
Hand & Racquet
Inscription

The Hand & Racquet has been around in different forms since the Tudor times (1600's) - originally founded as a brewery by William Whitcomb who gave his name to the street and to the surrounding streets. They were named after some of the local brews i.e. 'Panton Ale' and 'Oxen Ale'.

The Pub stayed much the same until 1827 when it moved, quite how no one knows but it moved from 21 Whitcomb Street to 48 which it is still at!

In 1865 the upstairs bar/restaurant was added by the Oldbury Family who ran the pub for over 50 years. The upstairs became a Mecca for comedy, artists such as Tony Hancock, Sid James and Tommy Cooper were often seen quaffing ale or two!

Tommy Cooper, when the bar was split into 2 bars would use his height to peer to through the windows to see if anyone he knew was in the bar, as he always tried to avoid buying other people drinks. The problem was everyone would see the fez and follow him in.

Tony Hancock's 2 writers Galton and Simpson used the pub, which gets a mention, in many of the famous Hancock's Half-Hours.

Site: Hand & Racquet (1 memorial)

WC2, Whitcomb Street, Hand and Racquet pub

In 2009 Alan Patient reported that "the pub has been boarded up for many months and the plaque removed." 2013: The Victorian Society are fighting to save this building from demolition, and it's there that we learn "The name refers to the tennis court and the national headquarters of the game which had been located across the street until 1866." 2015: Alan Patient reports that the battle was lost - the pub and a lot of the surrounding buildings have been demolished. Very sad.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Hand & Racquet

Subjects commemorated i

Galton and Simpson

Wrote Steptoe and Son, and others.

Read More

Tommy Cooper

Comedian.  Born Wales.  Member of the Magic Circle.  Died of a heart attack o...

Read More

Tony Hancock

Comedy actor.  Otherwise known as Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock, of 23 Ra...

Read More

Sid James

Comedy actor.  Born in Johannesburg (on Hancock Street), South Africa, to a p...

Read More

Show all 6

Nearby Memorials

First Test Match in England

First Test Match in England

SE11, Kennington Oval, Hobbs Gates

The "D.R. London S.E.5" is puzzling. The Oval is in the SE11 post code, not SE5. Possibly "D. R." is an organisation, based in SE5, that ...

2 subjects commemorated, 1 creator
Augustus John

Augustus John

SW3, Mallord Street, 28

Greater London Council This house was built for Augustus John, 1878 - 1961, painter.

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Joe Strummer squat

Joe Strummer squat

NW1, Daventry Street, 33

Strummer lived here in a squat with the band, the 101ers, named after a previous squat they'd occupied at 101 Walterton Road, W9.

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Swedish Church - W1

Swedish Church - W1

W1, Harcourt Street, Swedish Church

The referenced psalm includes some words that make it appropriate for travellers, but of the female gender, which seems odd for sailors: ...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Holborn Town Hall - RAF

Holborn Town Hall - RAF

WC1, High Holborn, former Holborn Town Hall, 193-7

Frinton & Walton agree with our thoughts that the “McM” probably indicates the artist but report that even the De La Rue archivist ca...

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator