Jethro Tull star calls closure of Dagenham iconic pub a ‘crying shame’

The Roundhouse pub will close next month

The Roundhouse pub will close next month - Credit: Archant

The lead singer of rock giants Jethro Tull has said he hopes The Roundhouse pub can be saved from closure.

Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull Pic: Martin Webb

Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull Pic: Martin Webb - Credit: Archant

Ian Anderson, who played at the Lodge Avenue venue in 1969, said it would be a “crying shame” if the historic building was demolished or used for any other purpose.

“Buildings of this classic Art Deco-influenced period will never come again,” he said.

“Once gone, gone forever – along with the heritage of serving the community and providing a music venue over the years.”

Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, announced last week that it will be closing the building on August 29 and that no decision has been made about its future.

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Last year, the former Conservative Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller, approved an application by the company to guarantee the building would not be protected from development, fuelling fears it will never reopen as a pub.

The decision to close hit Ken Ansted, the organiser of The Roundhouse nostalgia group, especially hard.

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“It’s very sad it’s closing,” the 61-year-old said. “We booked it for September for the seventh reunion – but now we have to go to Dagenham Trades Hall, which isn’t quite the same.”

He says he can vividly remember “sweat dripping off the ceiling” during a packed Roundhouse performance by Status Quo and mourned the cultural loss to the borough.

“It’s getting really bad nowadays – there just aren’t the same number of venues.

“Live music is not as easy to see as it was when I was young.

“The industry has completely changed – and Simon Cowell has a lot to answer for.”

His sentiments were echoed by Anderson, who looks back on playing The Roundhouse fondly.

“It is an honour to have played there,” he said.

“Let’s hope it can be saved for the benefit of another generation of music fans.”

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