Tributes to one of Islington’s last old-fashioned landlords

THE end of an era arrived this month with the death of one of Islington’s best loved publicans.

Jimmy Tucker, 89, who ran the Lord Clyde, in Essex Road, Islington, for 30 years, passed away after a short illness.

His family say he was one of a dying breed of old fashioned tradesmen with traditional values – always ready to help friends and customers in times of trouble.

Tracy Tucker, Jimmy’s daughter, who lives in Rotherfield Street, Islington, just round the corner from the Lord Clyde, said: “Everyone would come around to see my dad. He would lend the regulars money to tide them over and listen to their problems, and together they’d sort it out.”

Mr Tucker ran the Lord Clyde pub from 1961 to 1990 as a typical “cockney boozer”. It was the social hub of the local community, and families would congregate there on a Saturday night, dressed to the nines and ready for a knees-up around the piano. Wife Pat, who once sang with Sixties heart throb Matt Munro, led the merriment.

“He was a right character, a proper publican” said Tracy. “He ran his pub the way they were supposed to be run. Everything was spotless, gleaming. Not like today. They just pretend to do it the old way nowadays.”

During his time as landlord of the Lord Clyde, Mr Tucker watched Islington become more and more gentrified as the political high flyers and professionals moved in after the 1960s.

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But even as the borough changed rapidly, the old pubs and the stallholders on nearby Chapel Market remained the glue that held communities together.

“Dad was friends with all the stallholders at Chapel Street and even after he moved to Kent he collected the Gazette every week to find out what was happening to his mate,” Tracy said. “He outlived them all, but he’s still remembered round here.

“Now and again, an old customer still stops me in the street and ask me ‘How’s your mum, how’s your dad?”