The Thornton Heath Chronicle has discovered that the landlord of the famous jazz venue The Lord Napier, which closed suddenly last month, has moved to the Caribbean for a fresh start.
The pub is owned by north London based Parkheath Estates Ltd but they only learned from The Chronicle that the pub had closed and said they are in the process of “tracking” Bob Alob who is the licensee down.
The first regulars knew about the closure was when a notice was placed on the door saying that it was closed until further notice.
Parkheath purchased the pub from Young’s and Co Brewery in 2016 for £400,000.
When we asked when the pub would reopen, the sole director of the company Afshin Foulad said: “Given that you have alerted us to this, I am in the process of tracking them down.”
Publican Mr Alob and his wife Brenda Crofts who moved to the Caribbean in the last month were married in February this year.
Mr Foulad added; “It’s irrelevant for us where he is. As far as we’re concerned he still is the leaseholder.”
Meanwhile on Bob’s Facebook page he was happily admiring rabbits in his new back garden in the Caribbean though he wouldn’t reveal in postings exactly where he wasThe Chronicle tried to contact Bob via his Facebook page but got no response.
The pub has been a central part of the Beulah Road community, incredibly, since Victorian times.
David Masters, born two doors up, has memories of beer being delivered, not only by horse and cart, but also by steam-powered lorry. Don Smith, bassist with the Delta Big Band, originally the Mike Daniels Big Band, recalls playing there as far back as 1955.
In the late sixties the Napier really took off as a jazz venue under publican Vic Watts aided by John Young, one of the brothers of the Young’s Brewery family, and ‘regular’ Alan Carter.
Bill Brunskill’s band held a residency from 1968 until the late nineties, which was immortalised in a Thames Television documentary “Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill”. The heyday was undoubtedly the seventies and eighties. However, well loved publican Bob kept the music going to the end, with regular Reggae nights.