North London

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Saved Islington pub wins local CAMRA award

Thursday 24 August 2023

August 2023

Last summer, The Compton Arms in Islington looked like it might lose its licence. After a feisty campaign led by locals, and supported by CAMRA, the pub’s licence was retained with minor changes and now the pub has been rewarded by the North London Branch of CAMRA with the Summer Pub of the Season Award.

Summer Pub of the Season 2023 Presentation of Award to The Compton Arms

Colin Coyne, Chair of North London CAMRA, said “We are delighted to celebrate the success of the 2022 campaign to fight the changes wanted by a handful of residents and to make this award to the team at the Compton Arms for running such a great pub. It is not for nothing that this pub inspired George Orwell’s Perfect Pub essay”.

Colin then added, “George Orwell described his perfect pub as somewhere the clientele go there for conversation as much as for the beer. And he also said ‘If you are asked why you favour a particular public-house, it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water is what people call its ‘atmosphere’. I think we all agree that the Compton Arms has that in spades. It truly is a local landmark and long may it stay that way”.

The Compton Arms is a small, attractive, cottage style building, in a narrow side street dating; it dates from the 18th century. The main part of the pub is a narrow bare-boarded area, with bottle glass-panelled windows to the street. To the rear of the bar is a smaller dining area and there is also a lower lounge area that leads to a pleasant patio courtyard. The pub is independently owned by Nick Stephens, (Locals Club Ltd) who also has the Gun in East London.

Summer Pub of the Season Award to The Compton Arms

The award was handed over by Colin to Tom, the assistant manager who said “We’d like to thank the North London branch of CAMRA for this Award and the recognition it brings to the pub”.

For further details contact: Colin Coyne (CAMRA) 07973 831082, ku.gro.armac.nodnolhtron@namriahc. Compton Arms 020 7354 8473.

Extra Facts

1. CAMRA is the Campaign for Real Ale and is a volunteer membership organisation with over 200 volunteer branches across the UK and over 150,000 members.

2. CAMRA nationally was formed in 1971. It exists to promote good beer, protect pubs and defend consumer rights.

3. The North London branch of CAMRA covers most of the North London postcodes plus WC1 and parts of WC2, and has almost 700 pubs in it.

4. The essay referred to appeared in the London Evening Standard in 1946 and it was in this article that Orwell described the mythical Moon Under Water as the perfect pub, a name that was subsequently used by Wetherspoon’s for some of their pubs. George Orwell's son Richard Blair joined the fight to save the Compton and appealed to the Council to maintain it as a vibrant pub.

5. The full address of the Compton Arms is 4 Compton Avenue, London N1 2XD

6. Opening hours are currently Monday closed; 3pm to 11pm Tuesday to Thursday; 3pm – midnight Friday; noon – midnight Saturday; noon -10.30pm Sunday

7. For more details on the pub, visit: