Historic pub that survived Blitz stands again after illegal bulldozing

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies

A pub that survived the Blitz only to be knocked down illegally has been rebuilt, brick by brick, exactly how it was before.

The Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, west London, was bulldozed by brazen developers looking to turn the pub into a profit despite community resistance.

The pub, cherished by locals as the only building in the area to survive the intense Nazi bombing in World War Two, was reduced to rubble in 2015.

Polly Robertson witnessed that day and has led the locals’ fightback, forming part of the Rebuild the Carlton Tavern campaign demanding “rebuild, brick by brick.”

“It was terrible, it was the worst day for us in the community,” she told ITV News.

“You couldn’t have even imagined anything like this ever happening. Bulldozers on site, the building was just rubble.”

The site before and after.

Westminster Council heeded their residents’ demands and told the developers – who were trying to convert the space into flats – to replace every single brick.

It was only possible because campaigners and English Heritage had taken pictures and plaster castings of every unique feature just before demolition.

Even the classic tile work spelling out its name had been replicated.

Its proud new owners say the new - but same old - pub stands for a victory for the little people.

The pubs owners are pleased with the 'victory.'

“I was quite upset by the fact this community pub got knocked down after all its history,” Ben Martin said.

“So to get it back, brick by brick and to have it ready to go is a great victory for the local community.”

Original, if slightly damaged, features have been reclaimed and retained, with just 21 days to go until the community can come back to celebrate its return.