Public Houses in East & West Molesey

Rowland G. M. Baker, 1981

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Hurst Road, West Molesey


The Paddock, one of Molesey's newer pubs, stands on the north side of Hurst Road, on a part of what was Hurst Park Racecourse.

On Saturday 10 October 1962 the last bets were placed, the last starting gate sprung, and the last race run. The stable doors were locked and the punting public admitted no more. Soon all the equipment was sold off, gangs of carpenters and bricklayers moved on to the site, and terraces of suburban houses replaced grandstands and running rails.

It was in order to provide facilities for the hundreds of men and women who peopled these houses that the Paddock was erected, at a cost of some £50,000, to the designs of Messrs Mayall Hart and Partners [117].

The pub was officially opened by Lord Willoughby de Broke, an official of the Jockey Club, on 10 April 1968. The ceremony being made particularly colourful by the arrival of an old-fashion brewer's dray drawn by a team of superb Suffolk Punches, brought all the way from their stables at Colchester for the occasion [118].

The pervading atmosphere of the pub, from its very name to the whole of the internal décor, thoroughly emphasises the "horsey" nature of the hallowed ground above which the inn rises. Horse racing had continued on Molesey Hurst, with but a short break for at least two hundred years, and probably for much longer than that.

As well as the usual swinging sign, the design incorporates a prominent white panel on which the figures of two graceful racehorses, in typical poses, being led by stable lads, stand out in relief. These sculptures were, being led by stable lads, stand out in relief. These sculptures were commissioned by Messrs Truman, the brewers, from Mr. Anthony Grey, and are fashioned out of fibreglass coated in bronze. At night the suite is back lighted by concealed neon tubes to form a strikingly effective silhouette.

Another interesting feature of the layout is the large external paved area, where customers may sit out at tables under colourful shades, and quaff their particular fancy in the open air. Providing a delightful and well-patronised facility during sunny days.

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