Crooked House bricks safely locked away

The historic pub just after the fire.

On Saturday, a "padlocking ceremony" took place at the site of the Crooked House pub to ensure that the historic bricks were stored in a safe and secure place, as part of the campaign to rebuild the wonky pub.

The Crooked House was set alight on 5 August and was then demolished less than 48 hours later.

The Save the Crooked House campaign group said it had talked to contractors who agreed to secure the bricks from the building as the group and their supporters campaign for the  pub to be rebuilt and "rise from the ashes".

Paul Turner said about 200 people turned up for the ceremony and to see padlocks put on the containers. One of the keys to the padlocks would be kept by the contractors and the other by the campaign group itself, to ensure their safety. He said campaigners had developed a good relationship with contractors, who had been "fantastic" and cleaned and gathered thousands of bricks

In an update posted on his Facebook page, Dudley North MP Marco Longhi wrote: "As promised, I continue to correspond with relevant stakeholders regarding The Crooked House and below is a summary of the current situation.

"South Staffordshire District Council has informed me that current contractors are planning to be off-site this Friday (September 1). Council officers attended the site to assess materials. hey were pleased to note the number of bricks that had been saved and stored and could clearly see the residual debris that had been set aside and separated for correct disposal.

"The council have an outstanding query with Putnam on some of the debris and hope to have that clarified in the next day or so. The council was also pleased to note that in places there is some semblance of structure left, along with the cellars, which the council is keen to preserve and which the contractors have left 'as is'.

"Putnam have confirmed that once they have finished on site, they no longer have any responsibility for the site, so the council is seeking clarification from the owner and representatives about the measures they will be putting in place to maintain the security of the site.

"From a health and safety perspective, the HSE has responded to me indicating that they are still in the picture. The council will send relevant officers to assess the site too."

Protesters angry at the demolition have camped out at the site to make sure the bricks were not removed. Mr Turner first went to the pub with his parents as a child and afterwards used to cycle from Womborne to Himley to see it. Later he would take friends visiting the area to see the pub where they were impressed by its unique weirdness.

South Staffordshire Council is conducting its own investigation into the demolition. Staffordshire Police have arrested two men arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life over the fire and they have been released under conditional bail.


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