Could Woolwich’s Star shine again?

North London pub landlord Mike Smith has a message for you. He posted this comment on an old post at the weekend, but it struck a chord with me so I thought I’d give it a bit more prominence. Here’s what he has to say.

I’m interested in restoring The Star pub into a community pub for Woolwich. I have a pub in North London [The Three Compasses in Hornsey] and I want to do the same for Woolwich, which Is where I come from (I now live in Lewisham). I understand the property is owned by the New Wine Church and that they have plans to develop the property into residential apartments. Does anyone have any tips on where I might start regarding getting things going? Cheers, Mike

I used to drink in The Star in the early 1990s. Some pals drank in there, so I drank with them. It was friendlier than its tacky interior would suggest – I’ve struggled and failed to remember the name of the couple that ran it at the time – and did the whole loud music thing before the Earl of Chatham down the road took it on a few years later. As one of the nearest pubs to Woolwich barracks, a few squaddies used to drink there too.

But those were the last days of The Star, and it shut about 15 years ago, and has been decaying ever since – an ad for Labatt’s Canadian Lager betraying the era when pints were last pulled there.

I’ve no idea who owns the land now, but New Wine does have some big property holdings in the area. I suspect Mike is a brave man wanting to take that on, but yes, Woolwich is short of a decent pub or two. Especially since the rioters burned down The Great Harry, and the Director-General was knocked down for the new Greenwich Council HQ. Although Rose’s, off Hare Street, is a little gem.

So, can you help Mike? Could The Star ever shine again?


  1. Try the Land registry services, you can search by address or map & if it is registered you can find out all sorts of things including (possibly!) who the owner of any property is. It is only a few pounds & may help.

  2. I lived in Woolwich for about 3 months beginning of 1990, very close to the Star and I avoided the place then, so would say its going to a hard job to turn it around even now.

    But am all for people giving stuff a go… would just wish Mike luck!

    Was it New Wine that bought the Horse and Groom and messed their application up?

  3. Was it New Wine that bought the Horse and Groom and messed their application up?

    It was another group, as far as I know.

  4. Why not contact the Council’s Business Support people at –

    They should be able to get you the information you need regarding ownership and advise on how to take forward your ideas. There have been previous attempts to re-open the place in the past for community use but they came to nothing.

  5. this pub is was purchases by the New Wine Church in 2002, they had planning permission on this site to demolish it and turn it into a 9 storey multi purpose building, however this has expired and they will be restoring the building this year but unfortunately it will not be into a pub as its not really in keeping with their beliefs…they have already converted the art-deco cinema near the Woolwich Ferry which has been very successful, they also own the Mire pub next to the old cinema.

  6. my sister jenny n kev run the star in the 90s i loved it there n spent my teens growing up in the star. i would love to see it open and alive once more so many good times such a shame its in the state its in. me n my fieance meet in the pub 17 years ago. The soilders treat the pub like home n everyone was welcome. I would love to see the pub open once more. wish i could have bought it.

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