A CENTURY-old landmark pub re-opened today as a bookmakers.

The Baker's Arms, at the junction of Lea Bridge Road and Leyton High Road, has been a public house since the early 19th Century – even having the cross roads junction named after it.

But today it was opened by the UK's fastest growing betting retailer, Paddy Power, following weeks of refurbishment.

John Pardoe, 56, chairman of the East London branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) said it was shame to lose another pub in the borough, but that the pub had lost popularity as a community pub a long time ago.

He said: “It is a historical landmark because a pub has been there since they had trams running up and down Leyton High Road. But I don't think the Bakers Arms had been respected by many locals for 20 or 30 years.

“It became a pub many people didn't feel comfortable in. It is an unfortunate occurrence that is happening on a large scale throughout the country with people not using their locals.”

The bookies, which has created six jobs, opened its doors today and is offering punters offers on various betting markets throughout the week.

Paddy Power said: “We are delighted to be coming to the Bakers Arms area and with our location at such a historic landmark hope to play an active part in the community.”

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