PEOPLE power could resurrect a south Warwickshire pub from the ashes.
The Crabmill Pub in Preston Bagot near Henley was devastated by fire last year and has been boarded up ever since.
The pub owners Brunning and Price recently announced that they would not be able to restore the 17th century pub – one of the oldest and best known pubs in Warwickshire – due to the cost of the redevelopment. The company has yet to declare its intentions for the site.
It was at this point that the community leapt into action.
An online petition entitled ‘Save the Crabmill’ was launched and attracted 500 signatures in the first three days.
The petition has gone on to attract hundreds more signatures and due to the strength of feeling among locals in favour of restoring their “community hub, a Community Action Group has been set up.
The group aims to register the Crabmill – a former mill – as an Asset of Community Value. This will enable the group’s members to have a say over the future of the pub.
At the same time, investors who are interested in bringing this historical building back to life will be sought.
Speaking on behalf of the Community Action Group, Adrian Griffiths said: “There was a feeling of huge disappointment in the village when Brunning and Price decided not to rebuild the pub after the catastrophic fire last year. It was a treasured meeting place where locals could socialise and, in addition, a very popular destination for visitors from neighbouring counties and weekenders.”
Katie Davey, the Preston Bagot resident who started the online petition, added: “A significant part of the village’s identity is now at risk. I knew locals were concerned when Brunning and Price decided not to redevelop the pub but I had no idea of the extent of the reach of our campaign supporters.”
The fire, in February last year, caused extensive damage to the building and was believed to have started in the kitchen and utility area of the pub. No one was injured.
To support the ‘Save the Crabmill’ campaign visit https://chng.it/W82cSJDxGg to sign the online petition.