Champion the Wonder Pub
by Peter Berthoud
The Champion, that fine Sam Smith's pub on Wells Street, is well known for it's excellent stained glass.
This little pub, near the eastern end of Oxford Street is a multi-coloured gem. It's the next best thing to having a pint of Alpine in a cathedral.
The Grade II listed pub dates from c.1860-1870 but the Victorian and Edwardian heroes and heroines are actually a quite recent addition. They were commissioned from stained glass artist Ann Sotheran and were completed in 1989, over a century after the pub first opened.
I couldn't find a full set of photos anywhere on the internet. So to remedy that, here are images and the accompanying text for all the major panels.
Originally sent to Africa as a missionary, he explored and mapped vast areas of the continent.
CAPT. MATTHEW WEBB
Was the first to swim the English Channel (30 miles in 21 hours) he died swimming across Niagara Falls.
Became a traveller and mountaineer first man to climb the Matterhorn and Chimborazo in the Andes
[Victoria Regina Imperatrix]
EARL OF MAYO
Richard Bourke an ideal Viceroy and one of the best loved of the rulers of British India
A legendary figure whose all round ability and enthusiasm dominated cricket for over thirty years
Gained professional status for nurses and raised hospital standards, especially in the Crimea
“Ruby Robert” is the only Englishman to win three world titles at different weights
YOUNG TOM MORRIS
Won four consecutive Open Championships, the first at the age of 17
CAPT BERTIE DWYER
“Flying” Bertie Dwyer was one of the early Cresta riders, a President of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club and winner of several trophies
Possibly the greatest jockey ever, being Champion jockey for thirteen consecutive years, with twenty-one Classic victories
WILLIAM M. RENSHAW
Winner of seven singles and seven doubles cups, he with his brother, made Lawn Tennis into a sport
The Champion pub
12-13 Wells Street
London W1T 3PA