The British Listed Buildings article on the former Temperance Billiard Hall at the corner of King's Road and Flood Street in Chelsea explains,

The temperance movement aimed to combat alcoholism by building 'dry' recreational halls and hotels which rivalled the architecture of the opulent public houses of the late C19. The buildings often used the same decorative materials that pubs used, such as tiled facades and stained glass windows, to create the congenial atmosphere of a public house without the pitfalls of available alcohol. Temperance Billiard Halls Ltd initially targeted the suburbs of south London, where many new pubs had been built in the late C19, as well as north-west England where the firm originated. By the beginning of WWI, however, billiards halls had been built across London, by both Temperance Billiard Halls Ltd and Lucania Temperance Billiard Halls Ltd, the two principal firms in operation. By 1939 there were over 50 temperance billiard halls in London, though few are of comparable quality to the first tranche built before WWI. After WWII, billiards declined in popularity as did, at a much speedier pace, the temperance movement. Many halls were converted to snooker or bingo halls and public houses.

Tea parlors provided another place where people could socialize in the absence of alcohol.

Related Material


“Former Temperance Billiard Hall 131-141, Chelsea,” British Listed Buildings. Web. 20 September 2011.

Last modified 8 October 2011