Licence fight for Limehouse pub said to have inspired the Queen Vic in Eastenders

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 February 2019

The Queen's Head is in Limehouse. Pic: Google

The Queen's Head is in Limehouse. Pic: Google


A family-run pub in Limehouse said to have inspired The Queen Vic in Eastenders faces a fight for its licence after a supervisor reportedly told a noise complaints officer to “have a drink and relax”.

Tower Hamlets Council is reviewing the licence for the Queen’s Head in Flamborough Street Limehouse following several run-ins with police and neighbours.

The Grade II-listed pub was visited by the Queen Mother in 1987.

An iconic photo of her pulling a pint behind the bar is now on display in pub’s across the country and the Royal is said to have joked the bitter she tried there was “far better than any champagne”.

Now it faces a licence review after neighbours complained about “screaming and shouting”, karaoke and late-night lock-ins.

Police were sent to the pub three times in December and nine times in November after a spate of noise complaints.

In a statement to Tower Hamlets Council, Pc Mark Perry said that at 1am on December 22 he found 20 customers locked in after hours.

He claimed the supervisor, Valentina Thomas, offered him a drink. When he turned it down she is said to swear and offered him a drink ‘to help him relax’.

During another visit the manager, Thomas Jeffries, “appeared to show no regard for any authority”, the police statement said.

Tower Hamlets’ licensing committee will discuss the case next month.

Police and council officers have advised the committee to add several conditions to the licence, including removing its current supervisor and banning live music.

If management refuses and the problems continue, the pub could be stripped of its licence altogether.

The pub opened in 1855. After Eastenders was first shown in 1985, it was reported that Albert Square’s Queen’s Vic was based on it.

A spokesman for the Queen’s Head said: “All complaints were made before Christmas. Since then soundproofed windows and doors have been installed.”

The spokesman declined to comment on what was allegedly said to the police officer.

The Queen’s Head has the maximum five-star rating on Trip Advisor with reviews praising it as a ‘a real East End boozer’ with ‘proper beer’ and ‘proper people’.

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