Festival support for demolished Crooked House

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Festival support for demolished Crooked House

Dudley and South Staffordshire branch is making the demolished Crooked House the symbol of its annual beer festival.

The branch hopes the loss of the 258-year-old “wonky” local will galvanise its efforts to protect pubs across its area.

Branch chairman John Corser said an image of the landmark building would feature on promotional material for the annual Dudley Winter Ales Fayre which is being staged in Dudley Town Hall 23-25 November.

It is also hoped the Crooked House will feature on a special festival beer glass to be sold at the event.

John said: “We hope the Crooked House may act as a symbol for concerted national and local efforts to protect pubs. We want people coming to the festival to think about joining CAMRA and actively help in trying to stop the loss of more of pubs in our area.

“Too many pubs are disappearing and the current cost of living crisis has seen the future of more come under threat. We will be featuring the story of the Crooked House in the festival programme and will also use it to promote the great pubs and breweries that Dudley and South Staffordshire offers.”

If an organisation to campaign for the rebuilding pub is formed the branch may also invite people attending to make a donation to it.

This year’s festival will focus on the real ales of the West Midlands and the branch hopes neighbouring areas will get involved in the organisation this year.

John said: “We are looking to step up our preservation efforts and discussing what action we can take to support efforts to get the Crooked House rebuilt on the original site – ideally – or relocated if that does not prove possible.

“The branch had planned to seek a listing as a community asset for the pub but obviously the fire and demolition that have left it a heap of rubble have prevented that course of action.”

South Staffordshire Council says it will closely monitor work at the Crooked House pub after securing an agreement that debris from building will be kept at the site.

The council said: “Officers spent a considerable time on site and following detailed discussion with the contractors it was agreed that the contractors’ work would cease so that a comprehensive schedule of works could be submitted by them and reviewed by the relevant authorities.

“This is a positive step and the council continues to engage with the site owners, contractor, HSE, police and other partners to ensure the site is made safe from hazardous substances.”

Council leader Roger Lees said: “The council is continuing to work behind the scenes with the relevant organisations and it’s important our focus is on a robust and thorough investigation.

“I would ask that we are given time to do so and I can reassure the public we are doing everything in our power to investigate the matter thoroughly.”

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