Monday, 20 September 2010


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.


  1. Also join the facebook group and get friends to do the same, 58 members in a day so far.!/group.php?gid=142674799109124

  2. I think there is a meeting of North London CAMRA at the wenlock tonight (Tuesday 21st) and plausibly they'll come up with some ideas.


    Is anyone going?

  3. I've heard it on good authority from a journalist friend that Londonewcastle have no interest in buying the Wenlock.

  4. "honest" - thanks for that. I haven't mentioned Londonewcastle by name since my initial post where I said they were the developers for the other site on Wenlock Rd (source: Hackney Council website), and we wanted to find out whether they were the mysterious "developers" behind the offer currently on the table.

    I called them last week (see earlier post) and several of our readers have emailed them. I never got a call back, but they have emailed a reader to say that the existing plans on Hackney Council's site don't concern the Wenlock Arms (which we can see - the plans date from 2008/09 and exclude the site), but when asked whether they have any intention to buy the pub, they have gone quiet. So - not wanting to add to the rumours flying around and keen to concentrate on what we *do* know - I haven't posted anything about them yet, and I didn't intend to until I had some facts. I'm pursuing this and will give you more news as I have it :)

    If they're not behind the offer, that's fine, and we hope that as a neighbouring business they'll lend their support to the campaign. But someone is behind it - it could well be a third party. We hope our campaign will attract their attention.

  5. Hello all

    Interesting! but i was wondering too if it may be other developers you are interested then.

    but it is odd that they wouldn't be interested in the pub if they are redeveloping the rest of the site round it. hmmm. fingers crossed that it's not a developer!

    i was about to email the two mps i mentioned earlier, but i think i'll wait until we at least know for definite who owns it.