Man camping outside Crooked House pub to protect bricks 24/7

He has been using his campervan to vet approaching vehicles at the gate

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A man has become the unofficial security guard for the Crooked House pub in Dudley ruins after camping out at the site 12 days and nights in a row.

Rob Brown, 57, said he has taken up temporary residence at the historic arson-hit ‘wonkiest’ boozer to stop “any actions” that might hinder the rebuild process. He has been using his campervan to vet approaching vehicles at the gate and has now spent 12 days and nights protecting bricks at the site near Dudley.

Rob, who feels strongly that the pub’s history must be saved, says locals have given him hot food, water and even a carvery and that he manages to stay cosy thanks to a memory foam mattress in his van.

Robert Brown, the one man security guard providing 24/7 surveillance over the site of the Crooked House in Himley, Dudley, West Mids. Robert Brown, the one man security guard providing 24/7 surveillance over the site of the Crooked House in Himley, Dudley, West Mids.
Robert Brown, the one man security guard providing 24/7 surveillance over the site of the Crooked House in Himley, Dudley, West Mids.

He has already successfully used his campervan to block cranes and dumper trucks from entering the site after he claimed protestors were kept in the dark about their intentions.

After hearing about the demolition of the Crooked House pub following the fire, Rob said he felt compelled to act.

He added: “I’m trying to save our heritage and get the builders to build the pub where they knocked it down in the first place.

“I’m trying to protect the Black Country’s heritage before it all gets under soil or houses get built on top of it all. I’ve been here about 12 days so far, 12 days and nights.

“I’m essentially acting as a security guard for the night, making sure that no one comes in and removes anything from the pub site. I’ve used my van to block the road occasionally. When the two cranes have come which no one knew about and then dumper trucks that nobody knew about.

Rob made it his mission to protect the remains of the site (Photo - Joseph Walshe / SWNS)Rob made it his mission to protect the remains of the site (Photo - Joseph Walshe / SWNS)
Rob made it his mission to protect the remains of the site (Photo - Joseph Walshe / SWNS)

“Most people that have come here have gone to the fence and they just sit around with us chatting. Most people have been sound. They have a bit of food and a cup of tea.

“My main aim is getting it built back, it should have never been touched.

“I’ve got so many memories in that pub from when I was young, from boy to man and when I was courting.”

Rob says other protestors have been very accommodating and have kept him fed and watered throughout his stay at the site in Dudley.

He added: “It’s been brilliant everyday here. There’s been carvery for dinner today, hot food most times. Bags and bags of food and water, milk and everything. Everything I needed.

“I’ve got a double bed in the back of my van with a memory foam mattress so I’m actually quite comfy.

“There’s a couple who stopped in their car one night with me, but I think it might have got a bit too much for them because they’ve disappeared. It gets dark here but it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t faze me.”

The Crooked House pub in the village of Himley, Dudley. (Photo - Anita Maric / SWNS)The Crooked House pub in the village of Himley, Dudley. (Photo - Anita Maric / SWNS)
The Crooked House pub in the village of Himley, Dudley. (Photo - Anita Maric / SWNS)

Rob, who has five daughters, said he will have to leave the site soon but reckons more people need to head down and support the rebuild of the famous wonky pub.

He added: “I’m going to be leaving very soon as there’s not a lot more that we can do really. The council are here with all of their red tape. It does worry me having to leave it as you can only assume what will happen.

“To be honest we could use with a lot more people down here. Because otherwise it’s just going to be under soil and we can’t have that. It’s too old, it’s got to be kept for the youths to learn what it’s all about. It was a farmhouse first, then it was barns, then the crooked house. There’s so much history there and it’s being touched.”

The Crooked House pub was known as Britain’s wonkiest pub until a fire gutted the building on August 5.

It had been sold to its new owner Carla Taylor in June 25, just weeks before the devastating blaze.

So far a 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes have been arrested on suspicion of arson. They have been released on bail while the probe continues. Protestors flocked to the heritage site after the building was demolished on August 7, with the aim of getting the pub rebuilt.

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