Pub campaigner: 'Perfectly possible' to rebuild Dudley's Crooked House brick by brick

A pub campaigner has added his voice to calls for the fire-damaged and demolished Crooked House pub to be rebuilt "brick by brick".

The pub in Himley, near Dudley, burnt down in a suspected arson attack and then was swiftly demolished, in actions described by South Staffordshire Council as "not agreed or deemed necessary."

There have been regular protests at the site all month, from local people who never wanted the pub to be sold in the first place.

Greg Mulholland from the Campaign for Pubs joined them on the site and echoed calls from the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, for the pub to be rebuilt "brick by brick."

He said: "We need to see the council taking the toughest action, and that has to be ordering the owners to rebuild it brick by brick.

"The positive news is the foundations are still there, the famous leaning buttresses are still preserved, so it is perfectly possible to do that.

"We now need to see some courage from the council. It's been great to see local MPs, and the mayor, speaking out, we now need to see strong decision-making at local and national level, because the government needs to step in and say we can't have another Crooked House happen."

Mr Mulholland added that the organisation is committed to supporting local campaigners.

"At the Campaign for Pubs we were absolutely heartbroken but also furious when we heard about the extraordinary events at the historic Crooked House," he said.

"As an organisation that believes in pubs, our pub culture, and believes in the importance of keeping our pubs, especially our historic pubs, which are part of our heritage and history, we offered our full support to the amazing campaigners here in Himley calling for the pub to be rebuilt.

"It's absolutely disgraceful what's happened."

"We've been offered the opportunity to add our padlock as well so that it's not just their padlock on there."

Paul Turner, the founder of the Save the Crooked House Campaign, said people are doing everything they can to preserve the remains to keep the option of a rebuild open.

He said: "We're just making sure that the possibility isn't lost and that's why people are down here and the bricks aren't being damaged, making sure that we can still have the option of rebuilding from as much of the original material as possible."

He also revealed that contractors on site have taken the unusual step of allowing campaigners to add their own padlocks to the fences securing the site.

ITV News Central has contacted the government to ask about any plans to reform rules around the sale of pubs, and South Staffordshire Council to see if they have investigated the possibility of rebuilding the venue.

In response the council said:

“South Staffordshire Council provided a statement on 22 August 2023 stating that we are undertaking a thorough and active investigation into the demolition of the former Crooked House, Himley.

"While we are investigating the incident and considering our legal options, we will not be commenting on any element of the ongoing investigation that may potentially prejudice any enforcement action we may pursue.

"Likewise, we are not in a position to comment on any speculation about any future plans for the Crooked House but when there are further updates will provide them in due course.”

ITV News has attempted to contact the owners of the pub.

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