Not Santa’s Grotto … but the Pope’s Grotto!
There used to be a pub in Twickenham called the Pope’s Grotto. About 100 yards from where I lived, it played a huge part in my life since the age of 17 until I moved to Glasgow in 1996. I met my ex-husband there (probably best to skip over that!) and it is somewhere I will always find someone I know, even to this day!
In recent years it has been transformed from a friendly local pub to a modern hotel, now called the Alexander Pope, with a reputation for good food and a family friendly atmosphere. It just isn’t the same but this picture, taken c.1981, is just how I remember it! One main memory that stands out for me is that it was THE place to be during the power cuts in the 1970’s. Instead of sitting at home in the dark, people flocked to the pub in their droves where candles provided the lighting and there was a “blitz type” spirit and atmosphere that seemed somehow magical. I also remember it was a meeting place for many on Christmas lunchtime – the chance to catch up with friends before heading home for the obligatory turkey dinner!
Happy memories indeed. I hardly recognise the place these days but one of my customer’s has asked me to write a piece on their blog about a job they’ve just done there which made me very nostalgic for those simpler, happier times!