Memories of The North Star

One of the great things about our campaign to save The North Star pub is hearing of people’s memories of the pub and what it’s meant to the community for the past 100+ years. We recently received an email with a photo of the pub from the 1900s from Val Charlton – all the way from New Zealand! Val writes:

My grandparents (Harris) ran the pub for more than 50 years I believe – until the early 1950s. This photo shows my grandmother with my mother and her eldest brother with grandad in the other doorway. It must be a similar vintage to the photo used in your campaign. Went there a number of times later in life with my Dad (Stanley Peake) who was a regular patron.

Sad to hear that so many pubs are disappearing off the scene, particularly the old-style community meeting places.

Thanks for sharing your memories with us Val – we hope to save the pub and create many more stories like this in the years to come!

Do you have any memories of the pub you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or email us directly at


  1. Alasdair Donaldson

    This is a touching response from Val in New Zealand. I wonder if any current patrons remember Val, or Stanley Peake, or can add any more information about those 50 years of management. I’m interested that it was owned then by Fuller Story, which eventually became part of Fuller Smith & Turner, later Fullers of Chiswick – if it had stayed that way it would have been a vast improvement on Ei, who’re now selling it off.
    My own earliest memories date back only to 1986, when we moved to Rutland Road.

  2. Malcolm Peake

    The photo my sister Val sent you of the North Star was around 1912/13, before my Uncle Harold was born. My mother May is standing in front of Grandma, May Selina Harris, who is holding baby Hastings. Harold was a Cooper at Nicholson’s Brewery in Maidenhead, and I think Nicholson’s owned the pub before they were taken over by Courages. Harold lived with my Grandparents at the North Star till they sold it in the late 50’s to Dee and Des, and they moved to Clare Road. They had the pub for over 50 years and were the longest serving Licensed Victualler’s in the Borough, as I believe did Dee and Des. My Grandfather was Hastings Hugh Harris and was a Groom/Chauffeur living in Princes Gate Mews when my mother was born in 1909, and they bought the tenancy of the pub in about 1910. As children we used to stay occasionally with our Grandparents in the pub, when our parents had night outs, it was really exciting treat. A bath was brought out from the outbuildings and put in front of the stove where numerous sauce pans were heating up the water, we were bathed first in front of the stove and then put to bed, then our grandparent used the bath and finally Harold, who as a Cooper was the dirtiest! The garden behind the pub was my grandfathers pride and joy and was a typical cottage garden with flowers for the pub , but mainly vegetables and fruit, which when there was a glut was given to customers. They also kept a few chickens, and had a grape vine which grew up the south facing side of the pub, but I don’t remember ever having any grapes! The Off licence was entered from the door in the photo my grandmother is standing in, she used to sell “Pop,” Tizer, and sweets to the local children, and alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco and snuff to the adults. My job was to collect cabbage leaves from the garden to put in the top of the stones jars holding the tobacco which kept it moist and help to make paper cones for the loose snuff, which was weighed out on some lovely small brass scales. I remember the pub had some wonderful caricature prints of famous race horse owners, trainers and jockey’s. It was a real pub for sports men, and the chat was always about football, cricket or racing. In the end bar was a dart board , shove halfpenny board, playing cards and crib board for scoring. The customers in the pub were a real cross section of society, a farmer, painters and decorator, electrician, joiners, and my father a tailor, many of which were friends and supplied us with their skills in our shop in the town right through to the 1990’s.

    1. Save The Star

      Hi Malcolm,

      Sadly we were unsuccessful in our attempt to raise enough money to purchase the freehold of the North Star.

      Our chairman Brian has provided more information here:

      Thank you for your interest, support and the wonderful memories of the pub. We all still hope that the pub can be saved from development.

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