The story behind the Bull

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Roger Godbold's cows, as seen on Countryfile
Roger Godbold’s cows, as seen recently on Countryfile

We wrote on Sunday that we didn’t know what had happened to make the Manor House return as The Bull – well here are some answers.

The first thing to note is that the new name is a reference to the infamous roaming cattle of Wanstead (see here if you don’t know what that means).

Mark Foster, the man who converted the empty Allied Irish Bank into the Manor House, has explained what led to the rebranding and the eventual reopening of the pub which took place over the weekend. He writes:

There has been plenty of questions and speculation on what’s been happening with The Manor House so it’s time to clarify.

It’s been a challenging few months for many industries. Hospitality is one that was hit particularly hard. With forced closure and no funding available, the business running the pub failed to survive and the staff, who were all furloughed, were made redundant.

There was a possibility of the doors being closed permanently. Thankfully that isn’t the case. 

The name change didn’t need to happen but it’s the right time to reset. The venue has been a pub since it opened in 2014 but its name has often meant people expected something else or thought it had a lofty opinion of itself. It’s a pub. It has been from the start and The Bull firmly underlines that, with a little nod to the roaming cattle from Wanstead’s past. 

As for the team that work there, the business is smaller due to where we are in the covid-19 situation and therefore the staff numbers are too. The offering is a little different from before. The menu will be changing to what’s been in place previously and now there is more focus on table service due to the virus risk mitigation processes that we’ve put be in place so the skills required change too.

Absolutely, there will be some familiar faces from the old pub that have helped it deliver previously and we look forward to seeing you soon. This has been incredibly tough for all pubs and the High Street as a whole. Hopefully we’re getting to the other side of it, good luck to all. 

5 Comments on "The story behind the Bull"


  1. Agree the old name smacked of high-Falutin dining but the venue was always v popular and looked like a pub with a big garden!
    Hope they do well at this tricky time obviously
    However they woz definitely cows that roamed down my road and ate my shrubbery!! Not bulls I’m glad to say!


    1. I live in Forest Drive a few yards from Manor Park Station and the cows used to go all the way down to Manor Park Broadway[Eating the flower in the front gardens on the way] often causing traffick hold ups but never any accident – the drivers were more aware in those days an didn’t use Forest Dive and Station Road like a Speedway track or Silverstone…..


  2. The Cows – My Mother, who used to live in St Marys Croft, on the edge of The George Green, always used to recall being told off by a Policeman because she was chasing a cow out of the garden with a long packet of spaghetti. I grew up being told they belonged to the Queen, crown property.


  3. God to know the landlord considers the bull to be a pub, rarely used the manor as during the day it was more like a creche


  4. Is it a different company that has taken over the pub as it’s not clear from the article?

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