The Crooked House fire: Thousands join campaign to save ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ following blaze
The iconic Crooked House Pub in Himley, Dudley - dubbed ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ - was damaged in a fire over the weekend
and live on Freeview channel 276
A petition has been launched to save an iconic pub which has been severely damaged in a fire over the weekend - following its sale last month.
The Crooked House, in Himley, Dudley, had stopped serving after 192 years of trading in the West Midlands. The lopsided West Midlands landmark was dubbed ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ and was a much loved far and wide.
The venue attracted visitors from across the world due to its unique leaning effect caused by mining in the area which causes several illusions outside - and inside, with bartenders amazing customers with the tricks of coins and marbles being able to seemingly roll uphill along the bar.
Local residents had been devastated by the property’s sale, and over 3,000 people had signed a petition on Change.org to prevent their local boozer closing. Now thousands more haver signed the petition to save it.
The fire was not the first time The Crooked House has been damaged. Prior to its sale burglars vandalised it in July. Latest pictures captured on Saturday (August 5) show the Grade II listed building constructed in 1765 engulfed in a towering inferno. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and West Midlands Fire Service say they were called to the property at around 10pm on Saturday (August 5), with six crews in attendance.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said that crews from Dudley, Brierley Hill, Tipton, Kinver, Chase Terrace and Cannock attended the scene.
Petitions to save The Crooked House folliwing the fire
The petitioner, Paul Turner, said: “Tragically, the Crooked House was destroyed by fire last night. I am sure that the fire service investigators will do their job and the police will become involved, if there is suspicion about somebody having an agenda but I don’t feel it is helpful, right now, to speculate.
“The job of saving The Crooked House just became a lot bigger, but it is still possible. As can be seen by the photograph, the shell of the building is still standing and, although engineers would need to confirm this, it appears to be possible to rebuild it. Therefore I believe that the petition should continue with the aim of restoring this piece of history. Let’s not give up.”
The Black Country Living Museum said: “Last night’s fire at The Crooked House, Himley, is obviously devastating news, after the recent sale seemed to offer a future for the building, albeit with a new use. Unfortunately, the Museum was not in a position to save, let alone relocate, the building.
Police appeal for information on The Crooked House fire
Staffordshire Police have appealed for information after a fire at the derelict building in Himley. No one was believed to be inside the building and no one has been reported injured.
Staffordshire Police said: “We are now working with fire investigators to establish the cause of the fire. Fire investigators are inspecting the scene this morning and officers are making local enquiries to secure any information that might help the investigation.”
Anyone who may have any information that could help with the investigation are asked to get in touch. You can contact the police through Live Chat on Staffordshire Police website or call 101 quoting incident number 761 of 5 August. Alternatively, to guarantee anonymity, contact Crimestoppers at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.
‘A lot of questions surrounding The Crooked House fire’
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street also commented on the tragedy yesterday (Sunday, August 6). He said: “A lot of questions surrounding the Crooked House fire that need answering, and I’m sure the authorities will get to the truth. Today all we can say is what a tragedy, and I sincerely hope this iconic Black Country landmark can be restored and preserved.”
History of the Crooked House
The building was constructed in 1765 as a farmhouse but became a pub in the 1830s with people flocking to see how one side is 4ft (1.2m) lower than the other.
Turner wrote in his petition that the pub began “sinking on one side due to mining in the area. Around 1830, it became a public house and was called The Siden House, ‘siden’ meaning ‘crooked’ in the local Black Country dialect. It was later renamed the Glynne Arms, after the local landowner, Sir Stephen Glynne, on whose land it stood.”
It was condemned as unsafe in the 1940s and was scheduled for demolition until Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries purchased the pub and rescued it by making the structure safe using buttresses and girders to retain its lopsided appearance. It then became known as The Crooked House and has been a tourist attraction ever since. However, the latest owner has reportedly sold it to a private buyer.
How do I sign the petition to save The Crooked House?
This morning (Monday, August 7) more than 8,000 people had signed Paul Turner’s petition to save The Crooked House. The petition is hosted on Change.org with a goal set at 10,000 signatures. If you would like to add your support you can sign the petition here: Petition to save The Crooked House