The level of support since we started this blog has been absolutely amazing. Sorry if we've taken a while to get back to you, but thank you so much from the bottom of my broken heart for taking the time to email us your touching and often hilarious Wenlock stories. You're all smashers.
As with any internet kerfuffle, you get your fair share of rumours in addition to the facts. These are all very juicy and interesting and stuff, but I thought it would be helpful to just state what what we do actually know. Which is this: the owners of the Wenlock Arms intend to sell, and they have received a "very good" offer. We're working on confirming those details that are flying around, and we hope to have some more hard facts after the CAMRA meeting on Tuesday. But for now, that's what we know. And I don't know about you, but I think that's a solid enough basis to campaign.
So what do we want? Well, we're not here to tell the owners not to sell. That's totally their decision and we respect that. What we want is for the Wenlock Arms to stay a pub. There's currently no guarantee that it will, and plenty of suggestion that it won't. And that's not good enough; we want the spirit of the Wenlock we all know and love to live on, because it is AMAZING.
This is an iconic, fiercely loved, award-winning, peerless, crazy, brilliant, inspired pub. It is also a far better use of 26 Wenlock Road than a pile of rubble or a block of steel-clad live/work spaces or whatever.
So this is what we do next, under three convenient headings:
1. NOISE. Tell your friends. Word of mouth, blogs, Twitter, whatever. Just spread the word that the Wenlock is a) amazing and b) in danger.
2. WORDS. Do you live or work in the area? Great! Write to Hackney Council (Hoxton Ward councillors here, planning department here) and Meg Hillier MP expressing your dismay. If you don't live or work in the area I am not supposed to advise you to write to someone else's MP but you're all grown ups so it's up to you.
3. PICTURES. Reader Cakehole (Mr Cakehole?) has marvellously created a Save The Wenlock Flickr group. There is some really good stuff in there already. So please join in - upload your pictures. This will be fun, but please don't think of it as trivial. It's really not - I want to get as much documentary evidence as possible of the Wenlock, and show London what it stands to lose. That means capturing every aspect of the Wenlock, from the original bar and the light fittings to its character and sense of fun and community.
Coming up on the blog later this week
- More news on the planning/sale if we have it - or as much clarity as we can manage about the current situation if not.
- Some highlights of our impressively international messages of support.
- An update on our press coverage and so forth.
- More campaign ideas.
- Some sort of competition with a prize but I haven't decided what it will be about yet.
Don't forget - we're on Twitter at @savewenlockarms.