Why Pigs Ear? Because it’s rhyming slang for Beer.
Thursday 28 – Sunday 30 November
3rd Beer Festival, at Walthamstow Cricket Club, 48a Greenway Avenue,
E17 3QN. Further details awaited.
Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 December
30th Pig’s Ear Beer & Cider Festival, The Round Chapel, 1d Glenarm
Road E5 0LY. Opening times Tue, Wed Thu and Sat midday to 11pm
Friday midday to midnight. Card carrying CAMRA members £2 non
Tuesday 17 December
8pm the First GBG selection meeting, Ye Old Rose and Crown, 55 Hoe
St., E17 4SA
Thursday 19 December
from 8pm Christmas social at Leyton Orient Supporter’s Club’s “Mighty
Oak Brewery night” Oliver Rd., E10
Download a POTY (Pub Of The Year) form.
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East London & City Branch
Parts of this website were updated
14th November 2013. Disclaimer
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Save The Pub
Welcome to the East London & City CAMRA Save The Pub Section.
Here in the capital we have a major threat to our pubs. This threat takes on many forms, from supermarkets and convenience stores,
through betting shops and payday loan firms, to greedy developers wanting to make a quick profit on hastily thrown up blocks of
overpriced flats. In the East London & City area, we have lost around HALF our pubs in the last 30 years. In some postal areas, the
attrition rate is even higher. It is time to stop the rot!
At the 2013 CAMRA national conference, Motion 12 was carried calling upon all branches to appoint a pubs preservation officer with
lead responsibility for mounting or supporting campaigns to save threatened pubs and to secure the adoption of planning policies
supportive of community pubs. Here in East London & City, the pubs preservation officer is James Watson. Contact him at
email@example.com James will be fighting hard on behalf of the branch on two principal campaign aims over the coming
Working with local authorities, the London Assembly, other CAMRA branches and CAMRA HQ to influence and improve planning
law and planning policies so that pubs receive proper legal protection as the vital community institutions that they are;
Working locally in the branch area to actively preserve what pubs we have left by supporting local campaign groups fighting to keep
pubs open and by encouraging and nurturing the re-establishment and re-opening of any closed or disused pubs in our area.
There are a variety of different reasons why half our pubs have vanished over the last 30 years.
Perhaps we had too many? Was there oversupply?
People have different leisure activities today to what they had 30 years ago
The smoking ban
The economic downturn
Cheap supermarket booze
Changing demographics of the population
Tax, business rates, licensing issues
Changes in social attitudes towards drinking at lunchtime or drinking and driving
All these issues (and many more) have played a part. However in London the issue of pub closures is particularly severe despite there
being a huge population and lots of tourist trade providing a solid customer base. The culprit is land prices! From around 2001
onwards, the trend of pubs being bought cheap and turned into lucrative flats or houses by rapacious developers has steadily
increased and continues today. We all know that successful well-managed pubs are sound businesses and make a profit. They cannot
compete with the immediate capital resale value of land with development potential. The ground that these lovely historic buildings
sit on is worth more than the ongoing business of the pub in the eyes of faceless corporate greed. What about the needs of the local
community, the wishes of the neighbours or the loss of the social amenity by London’s pub users? Local authorities ought to be fighting
for these groups. Sadly in many cases they do not. That is where your local CAMRA branch should, can and now will assist.
Our long-serving regional director and former CAMRA national exec member, John Cryne, has recently stepped down from the
regional director role to focus exclusively on being the CAMRA North London pubs preservation officer – that is how important he
considers the role to be! Many CAMRA branches do not have a pubs preservation officer but are being encouraged by HQ to appoint
one urgently. The preservation of the remaining pubs that we have in this country is a top priority for CAMRA and forms one of our
leading campaigns. It is also a top local priority for us here in East London & City CAMRA and one we are taking very seriously.
How can WE help YOU save London’s Pubs?
Firstly, we cannot wave a magic wand and save every pub from closure. If only. Even CAMRA recognise that there are some
circumstances, usually rare, where closure or demolition of a public house is the best solution. However we will always begin from a
standpoint of trying to save any pub building, whether there be an active trading pub business present or not.
If you are concerned about the future of your local, or a pub that you like to use, there are steps we can take to support you and assist
in saving it. As a volunteer organisation we cannot run every single pub campaign in our area as we simply do not have the resources
or time. We can give remote support and assistance to an established campaign or try to start a new campaign that local people and
users of the pub can then continue. Examples of the help we will offer are:
Planning law issues – how to object to planning applications with the local authority
Working with the local authority to guide them in their approach to pub protection through planning tools e.g. Conservation Areas,
Article 4 Directions, Registration as an Asset of Community Value
Help local campaign and community interest groups prepare submissions for registration as an Asset of Community Value (ACV)
under the Localism Act 2011
Use our contacts to help spread the word and provide additional publicity via London Drinker, CAMRA websites, local press, local
blogs, social media etc.
Advise on contacting decision makers and opinion formers – Ward Councillors, Mayor, Assembly Member, MP, Mayor of London (we
have even written to Her Majesty the Queen about pub protection!)
We have extensive contacts in the private sector including breweries and pub operators who are constantly seeking new outlets. We
may be able to save your pub by finding a suitable buyer who is willing to take it on.
Helping you mobilise local support from the immediate and wider community using poster campaigns, rallies, pop-up-pubs, petitions,
door-stepping and leaflet drops
Pointing out flaws in any proposal to convert to residential, demolish or change of use (in some cases unfortunately planning
permission may not be required but we can still lobby local authorities to take action if there is strong community support for the pub)
Object with your campaign to any loss of the pub in our capacity as an established consumer rights organisation
Pub under threat? Need advice? Want to start a campaign but do not know where to begin?
How can YOU help US save London’s Pubs?
Intelligence is key! Many pubs close overnight because nobody takes an interest to highlight their plight. We hear about pubs being
sold under the radar without the local community being aware and then we often get told the day before (sometimes just minutes
before!) demolition begins. By this stage it is too late to save the pub. If you have information on a pub under threat, PLEASE let us
know immediately. Time is of the essence. There is no substitute for drinking in and using your pubs. Regular pub-goers represent our
eyes and ears on the front line. The honest and loyal users of London’s boozers are effectively our spies. Nobody knows better than you
what is going on at your local, apart from perhaps the landlord. Talk to the landlord, talk to the bar staff, talk to the other regulars.
Find out what the status is of your treasured local. Who owns it? Is it freehold or leased? Who is the pub co? Who does the landlord
pay rent to? How long is the lease? Are there any planning applications in your local council paper? Any notices or “For Sale” signs
outside the pub? Spot anything dodgy, report it to us. The sooner we hear the more chance we have of helping to save it. Spread the
word, keep your eyes and ears open and email anything of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be updates on our local pub preservation activities here.
Chesham Arms - Hackney
The ACV going to appeal in December and we are lobbying Hackney Council to enforce against the unauthorised sub-division of the
pub. Still no planning application for change of use. The Save The Chesham Campaign will never give up and are hopeful of making
the owner realise his mistakes very soon. Keep checking for updates at www.savethechesham.org
Waltham Oak - Walthamstow
The mosque application will now be heard at the October planning meeting. CAMRA continue to support the Save the Waltham Oak
group. To get involved visit https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheWalthamOak
Duke of Cambridge - Cambridge Heath
Local campaign with Tower Hamlets to list the pub as an Asset of Community Value. The owner has announced his intention to
demolish the pub and build flats. We will be opposing this.
Old Spotted Dog - Forest GateLocal activists have set up the Old Spotted Dog Trust. This is a charity with wide-reaching aims that
hopes to one day bring the historic Grade II listed pub back into community
Widow’s Son (The Bun House) – Poplar
Good news - the original planning application to build an additional house on the beer garden and extend the flats above upwards has
been TURNED DOWN.
Bad news - the freeholder has carried out works to the Grade II*-listed building without planning permission. He has also sub-divided
the building into separate flats without planning permission. We have complained to the Council about this and are pursuing planning
Marquis of Lansdowne – Hoxton
Our friends at the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust fought a worthy campaign which resulted in the defeat (at least for now) of the
plans by the Geffrey museum to demolish this beautiful Georgian corner pub in a conservation area. The trust is attempting to
purchase the building and reopen it as a pub after some twenty years of closure. We fully support their aims. Follow the progress at
The Penshurst Arms near Victoria Park has been closed for a number of years since the previously landlord mysteriously died on the
premises. The pub has now sold and there are plans to turn it into flats. We have objected to this change of use and we are urging the
Council to insist that the building remains as a pub. We believe the new owners could let the pub out on a tenancy basis.
The famous Camel in Bethnal Green sadly closed very suddenly in August after the leaseholders were unable to negotiate a new lease
with the building owner. A small campaign has formed at https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheCamelPub and we are standing by to
offer support. It is likely that an ACV Application will be forthcoming. Several parties are hopeful of being able to negotiate a lease
with the owner, whose long-term plans are not clear.
The Grove Tavern
This much-loved Walthamstow pub has been closed for almost 4 years now yet no work has started on the premises to convert to flats.
There is much interest in the area in re-establishing the pub and we hope to be able to support an ACV application for the Grove
The Pig & Whistle
We have objected to the plans to convert this modern classic into shops and flats. This part of Walthamstow has lost more than its fair
share of pubs in recent times.
We try to keep our eyes and ears out for pubs under threat but we rely on the locals and regulars to give us early news. That way we
might stand a chance at helping to save the pub. As always, please drop a line to us as soon as you hear any rumours about pubs in our
branch area. Thanks.