The Changing Hoy and Helmet Sign - Updated

The pub sign of the Hoy and Helmet has changed several times over the years.

A Hoy was a small sloop rigged coasting ship or heavy barge used for freight. The word comes from the Middle Dutch hoey.  English hoys were usually single masted very like the pictures on the earlier pub signs at the Hoy and Helmet.  Hoys would carry cargo or passengers to larger ships anchored in the Thames. ( details from Wikipedia )

There are older pictures of The Hoy pub but the pub signs are not very clear.  This one perhaps from the 1930s appears to be a brewer’s sign.

This picture is not as clear as the others, but the sign has been changed.  It is unknown when this happened, can you help?

The latest Hoy and Helmet Sign, a rather modern black and cream design in which the boat looks nothing like the original hoy.

Following the renovations in December 2016 The Hoy and Helmet now has a new sign, which depicts a boat much more like the boat The Hoy and Helmet was named after.

The oldest pub sign showing a smallish boat.
The Hoy sign showing ship in full sail.
Matthew Fawell
The latest sign erected approximately 2014
Margaret March
At this time there only appears to be a brewery sign
Joan English
New Sign for the Hoy, Dec 2016
Dave Cowan

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  • The new sign is a sad excuse for a pub with so much history. It detracts from the old building’s appearance. It doesn’t have a warm invitation to it.

    Whoever commissioned it obviously didn’t think for too long about the aesthetics!

    By William West (17/08/2016)
  • I worked at the Hoy as a student during summer holidays between 1978 and 1983.  Jack Llewellyn was the landlord.  I remember the sign at this time as being the first (oldest) one shown – it was explained to me that the long mooring staith in the picture is the ‘Helmet’ and the boat the ‘Hoy’. 

    By Stephen Jones (16/08/2016)

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