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Spread Eagle, Camden

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user reviews of the Spread Eagle, Camden

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Almost a year since I last visited this Young’s pub while working in the area I return on a Thursday evening with a few work colleagues.

It’s 6.15pm when I arrive here and the pub is packed. There are 5 ales on the hand pumps but the one I choose is immediately off so I go to the keg options and choose a pint of Meantime’s Fools Gold. A good pint but it’s slightly too cold for me, doesn’t stop me drinking it though and 2 further pints!

As reported on my last visit the pub is nicely decorated and is a very pleasant place for a few pints.

lezford - 12 Nov 2015 13:22
Not a great deal wrong with this one, indeed I used to be a consistent visitor prior to last year's refurb. Always a decent pint of Young's ordinary on tap at a good price for the area. Lagers inevitably more expensive, almost hitting £5 in some cases.

The sticking point is that I'm not fond of the recent trend spattering of 'craft' on anything and everything - the Spread Eagle is a case in point, now having 'Craft Pub and Dining House' proudly adorning its sign. Pray tell, Young's, what on earth is a 'craft pub'? It appears that they think this new word is worth a few bob, even when making nonsense out of names, as the case is here.

Decent boozer for Camden, atmosphere fine and prices okay if you stick to their own bitters. Don't touch the food if you want to keep your arms and legs.
R3NW5 - 26 Jun 2015 14:46
Quiet on a Tuesday afternoon when I visited recently, a total of 4 punters and the bar man!

I went for a very good pint of Meantime’s Yakima Red @ 4.1%, this was against the range of Young’s beers they had on.

Still a very nice pub but I hope it’s not always this empty.

lezford - 15 Oct 2014 12:47
London and Britain in general fails again- after returning from abroad the whole British thing hits you like a steam train.....stress and beers available in equal measure! As usual with Wethys destroying pubs across the country, there is no capacity in here to sit down- and a small bar means no bar stools (due to the fight to the bar as UK requires). Stressy visitors to Camden no doubt shocked at the prices in this place add to a feeling of timebomb...we were asked not to sit next to two punters as 'they were expecting some friends'! Idiots. There is a good choice of beer including stuff from Camden brewery but the prices can hit ten quid for two pints- especially the continental lagers. At least there are crummy bar snacks- sausage rolls..usual tapas inglesas.....so good beer but nowhere to sit., stressed punters, bar service usual inattentiveness and the prices to make you faint...probably closes at 11 too...they let you drink outside though with a glass!!! which for Britain is amazing- also no bouncer on the door so these positives push the pub to a 5 - but if I were you I'd stay at home....
alezilla - 19 Apr 2014 18:37
Large roomed pub which on our visit, had a fairly young customer base who were watching the football on numerous screens spread around the pub.
It is all bare brick, pipes and blackboards which advertise a large array of continental lagers and rums etc.
The beer would ordinarily be very expensive, however as this was a Monday night, all real ales, which included brews from Cottage Brewing and London Fields Brewery were on offer at £2.45, a substantial saving on their normal cost and which made good value.
All in all, a pleasant enough place, with a great offer on their ale on Monday nights

SouthYorkshireman - 4 Feb 2014 18:39
Good selection of ales, including the Camden Town Brewery offerings.
Excellent "wit" beer.
Very busy, but no problem with service at bar. Quite pricey, but that's Camden for you
mont62y - 17 Jan 2014 16:12
Popped in here this afternoon for the first time in about 5 years after being told it had improved a lot recently.
The interior is definitely more attractive and comfortable now and the choice of ales a lot better BUT £11 for two drinks?? AND I had to ask for a top-up
HarryHawthorn - 15 Jan 2014 22:30
This is a really nice pub. Quite small, but comfortable seating and a place to sit at the bar if you wish.

A Youngs pub offering 6 hand pulls, 3 of which are Young’s own ales and 3 guest plus your other usual beers, wines and spirits.

Incredibly friendly and efficient bar staff; and because it’s not around the canal area, you don’t get the tourists which is nice, and I’d say there are a few locals.

Some would say this place is quite expensive for both food and drinks, I didn’t think for Camden it was that bad until I popped over the road to The Earl of Camden… but that’s a whole other review!

I do genuinely like this pub, however the toilets are a hideous disappointment! They are not the most pleasant ones I have been in, and I must admit I was quite surprised based on the standard of the rest of the pub.
B3XTER - 21 Nov 2013 13:32
One bar traditional pub up from Camden Town station.

Young's pub with 6 ales on hand pump. 3 Young's plus Bombardier, Surrey Hills Shere Drop and Robinson's Dizzy Blonde.

Lots of old photos of Camden adorn the walls.

Decent bar, good barman, nice atmosphere.
lezford - 29 Oct 2013 13:28
Been in a couple of times recently before gigs. Good range of beers etc. had sharing food second visit but uninspiring, though not expensive. If you get a seat the place seems better !
patriclaire - 3 Mar 2013 10:06
I popped into this pub with a couple of friends just before Xmas prior to going to the Electric Ballroom. We each tried the Young's ordinary, special and Bombardier and found they had a peculiar (metallic?) aftertaste. This spolit what would have been a pleasant visit to one of my old "haunts". Perhaps the pipes needed cleaning?
lambethdoylee - 16 Jan 2013 15:27
Young's pub both spacious and cosy. Guest ales as well as Young's - the Young's Gold was in decent nick. Typical Young's interior, toilets reasonable although there was a whiff on the stairs down to them. Decent pub and the place to go if you want a proper pub in the area.
SimonM - 8 Nov 2012 13:24
First tried visiting this pub a few years back. But they had live music on and were looking to charge me for the privilege of having a pint. I finally made the return visit on Monday this week. I believe it's a Youngs pub. They certainly had their Special, Bitter & London Gold on. But in addition, they also had Liberation Ale, St Austell Tribute & Redemption Fellowship Porter. It was fairly quiet on my visit and exceeded my low expectations.
blue_scrumpy - 10 Aug 2012 21:12
Beer is in good condition but apart from that this place is bog standard. Inside is soulless, as others have said, so grab a seat outside if you can. (Tough call between breathing in stale pub smell or Parkway traffic fumes). Spirits seemed a bit pricey compared to local competition to me.
EN5 - 31 May 2011 14:43
I have been to this place a few times this year and I have to say I love it. Bit of a smell going in but for me that just adds to the character! Good ales and usually something new worth trying when I get there. Probably the best option for a 'real pub' in Camden Town.
One quibble was a member of staff. There was a short man stood behind the bar with a face like thunder, which was not what I had come to expect from the staff here. And I'm sure he had had a few drinks!
All in all though, a really good place for a good drink in a relaxing atmosphere. Just steer clear of the angry barman!
rachelgreen - 29 Dec 2010 20:54
Yeah, there are nicer pubs in Camden with less soulless interiors, but this place does probably the best beer in Camden, and it's a lot less posey than a most of the alternatives. If you like your boozers serving decent beer, and not full of people shouting at each other, this is your place.
dead_celeb - 7 Nov 2010 22:56
Pretty much the best pub in Camden for beer, not just the usual Youngs bevs, the other day it had Butcombe and Wandle as guests both in good condition,good food a well had a steak ciabbata for a fiver, happy dys
paddypint - 25 Aug 2010 23:58
Good beer in Camden....tricky! I like Youngs beers and four out of the five we tasted were fine. This means that beer-wise the place stands head and shoulders above 99% of the local competition. Dunno what it was like in the good old days but I agree it is a bit dull inside.
Green_0nions - 31 Jul 2010 13:47
I worked at the spreadeagle in 1991 along with my friend shazza and to Aussie guys Steve & Dave. We had so many good times and the locals were awesome people who we still talk about from time to time with the fondest memories. Its a shame that the old pub doesn't look the same (if it ain't broke). Next time you're there have a drink for us. Cheers
Eunice - 27 May 2010 00:56
This pub has been changed around a lot in the last 30 years - it used to have two separate bars, so a bit of choppig and changing is hardly new. Still one of the best Camden pubs with a great spec and good beer.
andyross - 13 Apr 2010 21:05
What the hell are Wells/Youngs doing to the interior of this pub? I visited it last night and it's a bloody mess. In the main bar area they have removed the table and chairs that sat against the wall separating it from the 'lounge', leaving a horrible empty space. They have installed high table seating against the window which now blocks the entrance into the lounge. They've removed the low tables and chairs from the area leading out onto Parkway and replaced them with more high table seating. The once comfortable lounge area is now a jumble of mismatched furniture. Despite it being fairly busy for a Sunday night there was virtually no atmosphere. Someone needs to come in and sort it out. As it stands I will not be returning to this formerly great pub.
holbornboy - 25 Jan 2010 16:16
This is a vastly improved pub with six real ales , Youngs Bitter, Special, Winter warmer, Wells Bombardier and St Austell Tribute plus a guest . The bar was packed at eight on a weekday which is good , all of the ales were drinkable and i noticed they had Perroni for the lager lovers alongside the usual crap.
mr.toes.5_ - 23 Nov 2009 07:28
I agree with holbornboy: Youngs have not left this pub with much internal character and it has their typical corporate appearance. However, it's still one of the better pubs in Camden and the beer has always been in good condition when I've visited. Last night, a pint of Young's bitter and a pint of Deuchars were both in good form, there's a good wine list, and we had no problem getting a seat.
red - 9 Aug 2009 14:17
This is probably still the best pub in Camden Town, but that's not saying much these days. I virtually lived in the pub for most of the 80s when it was a traditional Youngs pub populated by genuine locals, some of whom had been drinking there for decades. At that time it had three separate bars, each with it's own distinct atmosphere.
When Camden Town became the centre of the so-called Britpop boom, The Spread Eagle became its HQ. A certain pair of Mancunian 'musicians' started to patronise the place and every sad, indie hanger-on descended on the pub. It started making more money than ever before and I have always wondered if that played a part in what Youngs did next. They knocked a couple of the walls down and created a single long bar. They replaced the furniture with what looked like a load of knockoffs. They got rid of the proper tables and chairs outside and replaced them with a pile of crap. Every few years Youngs give the pub a makeover, always for the worse. In the latest, they have painted the frontage black and the room on the corner has been turned into some hideous jazz lounge. The pub I drank in is now just a distant memory.
I salute you, Youngs, on removing everything that made the Spread Eagle a great pub.

holbornboy - 30 Jul 2009 12:10
Concur 100% in the positive reviews as regards beers and ambience.

After several months' visits can say the only negative is not the pub at all but some of the (weekend at least) punters - bawling and shouting oiks and oikettes who can't hold a conversation without screaming at the top of their voices - to the extent of drowning out a conversation at the other end of the room.

"There was a time when English pubs were treated as churches".

That said, for a civilised drink and/or bite in Camden this is the place unless you want to wander down by the canal for the seclusion of The Constitution...
_grobag_ - 10 Jun 2009 21:30
A peaceful respite from the madness nearby. This is a Youngs tied house, so the general standards of beer quality and cleanliness are good.

Five ales on offer (Youngs Ordinary, Special, Waggledance plus Deuchars IPA and Bomardier), plus a good selection of lagers. Irritatingly, the Waggledance proved to be off despite the clip not being turned. My pint of Special was in pretty good shape and was well-priced for the area (under 3).

Others features include a quizzer.

Perhaps the only real nod to its surroundings are low-grade pop art canvasses of various musicians like Weller and Hendrix.

If youre in Camden, Id recommend it as it looks good in the context of its competition and its only a half minutes walk the wrong way from the local venues and tube - a good place to wait for someone rather than chancing your health/guts in the Worlds end or Camden Eye.
Quinno - 5 Jun 2009 18:37
Mandy is now at the Stinging Nettle opposite Goldhawk Road tube station. Still with Youngs!
ginsling - 8 Feb 2009 21:51
I quite liked it in here even though it was very busy and the tables by the window had been reserved for 45 minutes with no one sitting there. I didnt spot any television screens either.

Youngs Special and Ordinary were available along with Bombardier and various premium and standard lagers. The barmaid was very friendly and when people left the tables were cleared very quickly.

Food is served from 12:00 until 22:00 and there is a quiz night on Mondays.

This is a decent pub to get away from the madness of Camden High Street.
Strongers - 30 Sep 2008 11:02
can any one tell me if the lovely mandy is still at this pub she was a lovely boss and a great friend. this must be a wicked boozer if she runs it fayem
fayem - 8 Aug 2008 15:18
Nice, relaxed pub, which is one of my local drinking stops in North London.
Dell72 - 23 Jun 2008 15:10
New managers from 31/3/08. In the process, a most wonderful manager leaves the licensed trade. A sad loss indeed. Good luck to the new couple.
ianbeer - 1 Apr 2008 03:10
cool little boozer
random_drinker - 12 Jun 2007 13:45
Used to frequent this pub a lot on Sunday afternoons to watch the football. It was nice. However recently, though they still show the football, it competes with a live musician and not a very good musician. Has recently replaced Stella Artois with Red Stripe (bad move) and the food is of very plain quality. Will be finding another pub for me Sunday afternoon football/lunch. There's enough of them in Camden!
tbase26 - 20 Apr 2007 11:35
Got to admit this is a relaxed pub with good youngs bitters on draught,everytime i am in Camden i always pop in for a pint of youngs.

It is away from the hustle and bustle of the high st,strangers welcome.
It can be very busy if the arsenal are on sky.
anonymous - 25 Mar 2007 22:03
A pleasant surprise that the Youngs/Wells merger means Bombardier, which was in good condition. Grilf had Special, which was also fine. Smoky and loud, but service quick at a busy time. Probably as good as you'll get in Camden...
bloodnok - 15 Mar 2007 01:40
shame the main tv has been moved so it is hard to see now. i assume this is a message to a certain element of the clientele...
Still the beer and staff have improved after a terrible period.
Not back to its best yet though.

anonymous - 6 Feb 2007 09:09
This struck me as a fairly pleasant, but run-of-the-mill Youngs pub. Mostly wooden interior, fairly clean, pictures of old-time London on the walls, that sort of thing. The beer was good, not amazing. Atmosphere was a little quiet when I visited on a weekday evening, I suppose that is to be expected. In all, quite pleasant, but there is probably plenty other more interesting places in the area.
Muzthing - 6 Jan 2007 13:00
My first trip after the renovation so it was a bit of a shock - where's the second toilet gone?? Can't help feeling it had a better atmosphere before, tho it's been done quite well and needed more than a lick of paint. Feels more gastro pub now than boozer.
OldRogue - 28 Dec 2006 13:47
Regarding the comment of 29 Nov 2006....

Tut, tut. Naughty, naughty. I suspect this is an aberation. Look forward to a first class local once the new management has settled in. Has potential to be the best PUB in Camden. I'll give it 7 - could well deserve a 10 one day. Let's see...
ianbeer - 22 Dec 2006 03:05
Went here on Saturday for the first time and I've never been treated so horribly in a pub ever. Come the end of the night the barman asked us to drink up which we obiged to until 5 minutes later a female bartender who must have had pms or something spikey stuck in her ariss started being amazingly rude in telling us to go even after we explained we were just waiting for our female friend to come out of the loo. We pointed out the other twenty people in the pub going at the same pace and she let us know that they're friends of the pub and are allowed to take a bit more time.

My group will certainly never going back to this disgraceful pub again.
Normal_seasoned_drinker - 29 Nov 2006 13:26
Good staff make or break a medicre booze, last there in August and not keen to return, how difficult is it to pull a pint and count out change? Not quite even the nasty grubby atmosphere that raving right wing Youngs like to promote, not cosy not nothing really, bye...
TipTopTommy - 23 Oct 2006 19:15
a grotty disappointment, felt like one of those crap pubs you get in Railway stations. Soulless.
TheGP - 17 Sep 2006 11:13
An OK pub with a smattering of britpop memorabilia - does a good pint of mixed
mike2004 - 17 Sep 2006 10:28
Ok boozer i guess. Has some good beers and shows the football and the rugby. It's good for a relaxing pint and quite comfy. The drinkers are slightly older than some of the other pubs around here.
7/10
wocca - 24 Aug 2006 16:00
I'm a regular at the Spread, but in the last couple of weeks it's taken a real turn for the worse. The beer is still usually good, but isn't being served at its best, but the real problem is the staff. Most of the decent bar staff have either left or turned into customers and have been replaced by, um, how can I put this politely? some people who aren't very good. In fact they're useless. Doh!
owenjones - 26 Jul 2006 11:44
Refurbishment has rather spoilt the pub, but it's still a good bet in a deperately poor area for pubs.
P S - You wouldn't want to live round here would you, dreadful area !
JohnBonser - 19 Jul 2006 11:13
One of my favourite pubs in Camden Town. Slightly off the main drag, which is always a good thing. Good mix of people in there, and a nice range of Youngs beers and lagers. The recent refurbishment has taken away some of the atmosphere, but it's still a nice place for a few pints.
Crow_Valley - 5 Jun 2006 22:20
Went there for the Monday night quiz but nothing happened by nine so I left. Atmosphere seemed fine though it did have the look of a refurb. Staff were polite but the beer and prices did not impress.
tinsoldier - 19 May 2006 20:21
Visited 11 Apr 06. Have to agree with the previous reviewer, the refurb has taken away the faded character of this pub. However, it is still a nice place to have a pint of Youngs, we had St George which was in good condition. Service was friendly, and the atmosphere suitably relaxed.


cackgsy - 12 Apr 2006 09:42
Not too chuffed with the makeover. It's taken some of the atmosphere from it, especially the bay window area looking on to Parkway. I preferred it slightly care worn. Beer still spot on though.
Shelders - 22 Jan 2006 15:48
I am a Young's lover and had a great pint of Winter Warmer here. Seems to be a nice place attracting a mix of people. A good choice in this area. Lovely girl behind the bar, very friendly too.
anonymous - 30 Dec 2005 13:30
Always my choice when in Camden, like all the different parts. The food was a little disapointing last time I ate there, but that was quite some time ago so it may be better. Well kept ales, and a good place to people spot.
OldRogue - 19 Dec 2005 11:16
Best bet for a traditional style pub in Camden. Good location, nice building and decent beer. Could be cheaper but then again where couldn't? Nice relaxed atmosphere where you can easily get chatting to other drinkers or keep quiet and not be hassled if you just fancy a pint in peace.
Mr.Monkfish - 13 Oct 2005 12:20
What an improvement... was the best pub in Camden before the refurb, now even better, staffare as friendly as ever and the beer is great too, do not bother wandering anywhere else for a pint.
Best spirits selection for miles, and now really female friendly. Can every pub be like this, make sure it is on any visit to Camden.
PGD - 22 Sep 2005 21:31
Lovely spot. Apart from the God-awful outside seating. What genius decided to "trendy-up" the exterior? If it ain't broke . . . Everything else is great though. I'm not a fan of Young's ale in general, but this is about as good at it gets. Plus you get to laugh at the pillocks having a miserable time in the Hogshead opposite. Mugs.
davecamden - 5 Aug 2005 17:35
Nice Young's pub with good beer and attention to beer quality. It is a good place to have a few pints if you're going to see a gig at the Underworld. Can get very packed because it's a great little pub and the word's got round
oiyou - 16 May 2005 21:45
My favourite pub in Camden, quiet and comfortable. I don't think it's as good as the heady 90s, though, when the atmosphere was always terrific and it was run by the inimitable John and Doreen.
dawnage - 3 May 2005 22:54
Favourite pub in Camden (apart from the Edinboro Castle). Good beer, can usually get a seat and close to work - always good signs!
sifr - 5 Apr 2005 20:26
Good selection of beers (it is a Youngs pub afterall).
However the toilet was a disgrace - no seat, no paper, no lock and didn't flush.

Lopper - 5 Apr 2005 15:19
Decent Youngs pub on Parkway just off Camden High St. Fair range of Youngs beers. Usually pretty friendly people, nice relaxed atmosphere. Can seem a bit impersonal sometimes, if that makes any sense.
But usually a good time.
eccentric_man - 4 Feb 2005 15:32
If you want a pleasant but not rocking atmosphere and you like it simple then the Spred Eagle is hard to beat
A - 18 Nov 2004 11:58
Often drop in to watch Graham Coxon from Blur (occasionally dressed in that legendary green wax jacket of his) swapping anecdotes with staff at the bar...HELLO GRAHAM!!!
Adrienne Stalker - 11 Oct 2004 15:34
Typical Youngs pub which means stripped wallpaper, back-packer bar staff and good beer.

Despite that the indenti-kit feel this does have a good London pub feel to it. The backpacker's aren't too surly and wil admit it when a pint is off and the tatty wooden furniture, wooden floors, big windows and care-worn Camden drinkers give this place a good vibe.
MrScott - 20 Sep 2004 10:58
Traditional English style pub in that fully carpeted and claustrophic manner. Hard to get a seat inside when I've been there although in the summer there's outdoor tables great for watching people go by.

The ales are superb, and the more I think about it, the more I can't think why I haven't been there very often. Note to self: sort it out.
travis - 31 Aug 2004 17:21
I once went here and food was rubbish but wanna go back and check out the weird mirrors! ha!
john - 23 Aug 2004 17:25
Probably the best pub in Camden. The landlady is brilliant, as are all of the staff - the pub has one of the lowest turnovers of barstaff I've ever seen in pub. Very well kept Young's beer. The pub has a fine atmosphere and an outdoor area. I'd give it a ten rating if it wasn't for the average food and the dilapidated toilets.
Owen - 26 May 2004 09:21
The mirror in the men's toilet is a bit warped and can make your forehead/chin look big. Avoid looking in the mirror if you can and be careful of the steep steps that lead down to it. One of the better pubs on Parkway.


Steve - 12 Mar 2004 10:35
Best pub in Camden bar none!!! It deserves a 9/10: Great atmosphere, no intrusive music at all, friendly staff, great beer, good prices.

Okay, only downside is the smelliest toilet in Camden, but hey! :-)
Theo - theogb@theogb.com - 21 Feb 2004 12:31
Friendly, good atmosphere, top staff (NOT rude), ace landlady, good bunch of regulars and quality ales. A local's pub within a stone's throw of everything else you'd need on a night out. Am temmpted to say something derogatory to put people off and keep the numbers down for those days when I can't get a seat infront of the footie, but that wpouldn't be honest or fair. Great pub all round.
chris - 9 Feb 2004 15:52
A friend of mine saw Morrissey in there once. Nice place.
Pauly - 27 Nov 2003 17:44
One of the few pubs in the Camden area where you feel confident ordering cask beer. This is another good Youngs pub, with their usual range of lagers and bitters. Also a full range of Youngs bottled beers including the wonderful Double Chocolate Stout. Not that well laid out but there is a nice bright seating area and the food is good. Attentive and friendly staff, only criticism is the gents toilets (both of them) which could do with some attention.
Millay - 5 Sep 2003 12:13
This pub should be an old mans pub. It is very well decorated but by a middle aged gent in an early nineties regency stripe and paisley borders. You know the type. Some of the bar staff were damn miserable but there were board games such as Mouse Trap and Jenga available to divert your attention from their rudeness. Monopoly, twister or risk were not available.
Doofer - 6 Aug 2003 12:59
A good old mixture of characters pat the painter,dave the train, BT mick, gerry the tipster,colume the sports expert,scotch bill the filosifer,andy the pipe (plumber)good old "tosh" the curried goat king and of course gill the guvna....all a great bunch.....oh and the beers ok too !!!
anon - 5 Jul 2003 15:32
A good old school pub,great regulars, friendly, warm and a great place to be if the weather permits (lots of outside seating)and as for gill (manageress}absolutley lovely, everbody is welcome. prices are steep but you get what you pay for, great food and top lagers and beers.
david - 5 Jul 2003 15:26
A lovely place which will soon make you forget you're in Camden. (Or at least, the nasty touristy Camden that's all around you....)

A bit on the dear side, mind.
Darryl - 20 Jun 2003 00:18
Great pub, a real old style one that hasn't succumbed to modernisation or a theme. Fantastic landlady, decent beer and a large set of regulars. Love it.
Claire - 11 Jun 2003 12:01
Worth a visit for the Double Chocolate stout alone! Usually packed on the weekends so get there earlyish if you want any hope of a seat let alone a table.
Michelle - 1 Apr 2003 22:03
One of very few remaining traditional pubs in Camden - a breath of fresh air from all those "themed" places in the area. I have to say the quality of the beer has always been excellent!
lad_newton - 12 Mar 2003 17:03
The Manager is lovely!! She makes everyone welcome.
JOL - 10 Jan 2003 11:46
A very nice pub just off Camden High Street. Nice atmosphere and not too crowded (and I was there New Years Eve). Good range of beers but not wildly different from other pubs.
Alistair - 6 Jan 2003 15:13

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