Roundhouse regulars hope to save their Dagenham pub with prayers and a petition

Roundhouse regulars Steve Huckfield, Matt Huckfield, Alan Little, Darra Wright, Mick Cahill, Frank P

Roundhouse regulars Steve Huckfield, Matt Huckfield, Alan Little, Darra Wright, Mick Cahill, Frank Palmer and Peter Sanways, who all signed a petition to save their pub - Credit: Vickie Flores

Dozens of regulars at The Roundhouse have signed a petition to save their pub amid fears it might never re-open when it closes later this month.

The venue will shut its doors on August 29 after Enterprise Inns, the owner, chose not to renew the present tenant’s lease – and offered no guarantees about its future.

But Paul Scott, 39, has started a petition to save his beloved pub.

“A few days after I started it, there were 50 signatures,” he said.

“We think it has a good chance of being rescued.

“All that matters is it’s saved – it doesn’t matter who runs it.”

The petition will be handed in to Enterprise with the hope of persuading the company of its importance to the community.

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Alan Little, 74, has been drinking there 40 years – and will be “completely gutted” by its closure.

“I remember everyone in here being kids,” he said.

“I watched them grow up.

“This is the pub they will never have – they will never have anything like this ever again.”

Billy Clarke, who has been coming to the pub for 20 years, said there is nowhere else to go.

“This is a family pub, this is a proper local,” the 64-year-old said.

“Where are we going to go on Christmas Day? What you have to understand is that the people here are like family to each other.”

Pat Hookway, 58, first came to the pub 44 years ago, and remembers seeing Thin Lizzy perform.

“Do you know people have their wakes here? That’s how important this place is to the community.

“It’s just devastating,” she said.

For Gary Mitchell, 58, the pub’s closure is especially poignant.

“Behind me is a plaque for my dad – he died 18 years ago,” he said.

“He loved this place, and everyone loved him – he would go mad if he saw what was happening now.”

For former bus driver Mick “Dinger” Cahill, 63, The Roundhouse is packed with memories.

“I used to drop people off when they were going to see the bands – and I remember seeing The Temptations play,” he said.

“This truly is the last icon left in Dagenham.

“I’ve prayed for this place.”