The Magdala pub: Landlord keen to 'welcome customers new and old'

Dick Morgan at The Magdala pub in Hampstead, photographed on August 4, 2020. Picture: Harry Taylor

Dick Morgan, the man bringing back the Magdala pub. - Credit: Harry Taylor

The new landlord of the Magdala pub in South Hill Park is looking forward to serving beer again when lockdown restrictions allow takeaways from April 12. 

Dick Morgan - whose Twickenham Green Taverns has taken over the ground floor and basement of the pub - said it'd be great to welcome punters.

He told the Ham&High: ""It was a long and drawn-out negotiation but we managed to get the deal over the line. We're really looking forward to welcoming customers old and new. 

The Magdala Tavern in South Hill Park. Picture: Harry Taylor

The Magdala will be open for takeaway in April. - Credit: Archant

The pub will have a new "theatre" kitchen, and focus on independent beers, he said.

The landlord added: "It's been shut for a long time and it's nice for people to see it's been brought back from the dead.


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"Of course, the fact is the local residents and councillors fought hard to retain it as a pub."

Dick said the aim is to offer a point of difference from bigger chain pubs, adding: "As a free house, as opposed to being tied to anyone, we'll be selling small-batch beers, no Fosters of any kind!"

The Magdala is famously the pub in which David Blakely had been drinking before he was shot in the street by Ruth Ellis shot in 1955. She became the last woman to be hanged in Britain later that year. 

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Dick, who grew up around the corner from the pub, previously said: "My grandad heard the gunshot go off. I don't remember it but it was a big scandal at the time. "

The pub now has a new website - themagdala.co.uk - and Dick said he is pleased with the way the "restoration" has gone. 

Shut since 2014, the building's owner, Ori Calif, had a number of applications to convert parts of the pub into housing rejected.

Twickenham Green Taverns has a 15-year-lease on the ground floor and basement of the premises. 

Another previously shuttered pub in a building owned by Mr Calif – the Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale – is also set to serve beers for the first time in years on April 12.

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