Iconic Dagenham pub to close next month
PUBLISHED: 09:12 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:54 22 July 2015
Regulars at a historic pub have vowed to fight its closure.
Ken Ansted, who organised a Roundhouse reunion in 2012, said: “Diabolical decision – it was a shrine for rock in the 1970s.”
Lisa Priest, who lived in the pub in 1992, said: “I met my husband there. If it wasn’t for that pub, I wouldn’t have my wonderful family.”
Ted Baker, 90, said: “I’ve been drinking there more than 50 years – but the local population has changed and trade is right down.”
Natalie Thain, whose parents met at the venue in 1975, said: “My mum has passed away and driving past it always makes me smile.”
The Roundhouse in Dagenham will shut on August 29, with owner Enterprise Inns admitting it is “considering options” for the venue as the lease expires.
Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and Queen have all played at the Lodge Avenue pub, but with Enterprise no longer listing it in its portfolio of pubs online, patrons are fearing it could be lost forever.
Paul Scott, 39, said he and many others would find it “devastating” if Enterprise ceased to run the property as a pub.
“Without The Roundhouse, the area would suffer a great deal,” he said. “It’s a central part of the community.”
In 2012 Paul organised a petition that stopped the closure of Barking’s Spotted Dog, in Longbridge Road.
“I would love to do something similar for The Roundhouse, and I know many people would support it,” Paul, of Sandhurst Drive, Barking, said.
The pub, built in 1936, is noted for its architecture, and the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) classes its interior as of “regional importance”.
But Historic England, the government body that determines whether a building should be listed and therefore protected, says The Roundhouse was granted a Certificate of Immunity from February 2014 to February 2019 – meaning it can be developed within that window.
When granting the certificate, Historic England explained its decision: “The connections between The Roundhouse and the famous bands identified as having played there are not strongly sufficient to merit designation.”
Alan Barker, of Camra’s South West Essex branch, said: “It’s a very distinctive pub with a great history, and the building is unique. It will be a great shame to see it close.”
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the pub – then known as the Village Blues Club – was regarded as one of London’s best venues for rock and roll.
It has attracted the likes of Elton John, Eric Clapton, Thin Lizzy and Genesis.