Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Going to see a man about a dog

The document outlining the reasons for making Hackney Road a conservation area is well worth a read as it contains some fascinating information about the history of various buildings as well as the origins of the phrase 'Going to see a man about a dog'....

Apparently it is first recorded in a melodrama from the early 1900s about a racehorse called The Flying Scud. See below.

The Flying Scud at No. 137 Hackney Road is a mid-Victorian public house with rooms above. It is highly visible, sitting on a corner site, and is a good example of a handsome, single-bar pub, typical of mid 19th-Century East end pubs. It dates from c.1860’s, and stands a very tall three storeys, making the most of this narrow site. The ground floor has a period shopfront with brick piers, a double-height timber fascia with traces of its original pub signs still surviving.

The frontage was overlaid with white tiling, probably c.1910 when the ‘beer house’ was re-modelled for Messrs. Truman, Hanbury and Buxton. The upper floors are faced in London stock brick and still retain their original 4-over-4 timber sash windows, which are set into fine, red-brick, rubbedsurrounds with ‘gauged’ arches over.

The original Flying Scud was a sailing-ship of the 1850’s. It was also the name of a successful race horse of the 1870s. In 1901, there was a major West End hit called “The Flying Scud,” a racing drama, featuring a live horse on stage. [The play coined the phrase ‘going to see a man about a dog’.]

Formerly run by Truman’s, this pub closed in 1994.

Conservation Area for Hackney Road?

Hackney Council is proposing to create a Conservation Area in Hackney Road. The proposed area runs from Waterson Street in the south, takes in the area around Haggerston Park, and then runs along Goldsmith’s Row, up to Whiston Road on the northern boundary.

Full details can be found here:


What does Conservation Area staus mean?

  • Conservation Area Consent is required in order to demolish a building in a conservation area. Hackney Council will seek to keep all buildings that make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area.
  • Six weeks notice must be given in writing before any work is carried out to lop, top or fell a tree in a conservation area.
  • New development proposals must “preserve or enhance” the character or appearance of a conservation Area. Hackney has greater control over building work in conservation areas, including materials and detailed design.
  • Planning permission may be required for alterations or extensions that would not normally need permission, such as minor roof alterations, dormer windows or a satellite dish. (Advice should be sought at an early stage.)
  • Hackney also has greater control over the erection of advertisements and signs. For instance, Hackney has the power to control shop signs, posters or estate agents boards that would not normally need permission