Historic Himley Pub, The Crooked House, Reduced to Ashes in August Fire

Historic Himley Pub, The Crooked House, Reduced to Ashes in August Fire

The Crooked House, an iconic 18th-century pub in Himley, West Midlands, fell victim to a destructive fire on August 5 and was subsequently demolished without proper authorization.

The pub, renowned as ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ due to its distinctive lean caused by 19th-century mining subsidence, was sold to a private buyer just two weeks before the fire.

Calls for Community Asset Status:

In response to the pub’s tragic fate, campaigns have emerged, urging the site to be designated a community asset.

Sir Gavin Williamson, former cabinet minister and Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, has proposed classifying The Crooked House as an Asset of Community Value, providing campaigners with notification rights if the site is listed for sale within the next five years.

This move aligns with the Community Right to Bid, offering potential avenues for rebuilding and preserving the pub’s legacy.

Petition Gains Momentum:

A petition advocating the complete reconstruction of The Crooked House has garnered over 35,000 signatures, reflecting widespread public support for the restoration of this cherished piece of Staffordshire heritage.

The Facebook group “SAVE THE CROOKED HOUSE (LET’S GET IT REBUILT)” has also gained substantial membership, underscoring the community’s determination to see the pub rise again.

Concerns of Suspected Arson Attack:

The fire that ravaged The Crooked House was initially treated as a suspected arson attack, leading to the arrest of two individuals a month later.

Subsequent investigations resulted in a total of six arrests related to the incident, with all suspects released on bail.

The circumstances surrounding the fire have heightened concerns about the preservation of historical landmarks.

MP’s Commitment to Rebuilding:

Sir Gavin Williamson, in his efforts to secure community asset status for The Crooked House, emphasized the importance of providing an opportunity for rebuilding.

The initiative aims to ensure that the tragic loss does not erase this significant piece of Staffordshire heritage, emphasizing a commitment to its restoration.

Previous Calls for Protective Legislation:

The devastating fire prompted Dudley North MP Marco Longhi to advocate for a ‘Crooked House law’ that would safeguard other pubs from facing a similar fate.

The timing of the blaze, just after the building’s sale for ‘alternative use,’ raised concerns about the need for protective measures to prevent the loss of historic establishments.

Conclusion:

The Crooked House’s legacy extends beyond being a renowned pub; it holds historical value with its unique architectural feature and cultural significance.

As campaigns intensify and political figures lend their support, the community-driven efforts to preserve and rebuild this iconic establishment symbolize a collective determination to safeguard Britain’s cultural heritage.

The outcome of these preservation endeavors will shape the fate of ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ and its place in the region’s history.

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