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Ex-manager of Britain's wonkiest pub speaks out after it burnt to the ground

Ex-manager of Britain's wonkiest pub speaks out after it burnt to the ground

He's opened up about the tragic incident

The ex-manager of Britain's wonkiest pub has spoken out after it burnt to the ground.

Last week on 5 August, fire services were alerted to rising smoke coming from the infamous wonky boozer The Crooked House - a bit like the West Midlands' very own Leaning Tower of Pisa, some might say.

The fire came just a matter of days before the building was sold to a private buyer for 'an alternative use' by independent brewing and pub retailing business, Marston's.

After burning down, the 18th century pub was then demolished by diggers just a day later on 6 August and was followed by an investigation launched by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Police.

In a recent update issued on Wednesday (9 August), Staffordshire police revealed they are suspecting arson.

They said in a statement: "Our investigation into a fire at the Crooked House on Himley Road last Saturday continues as we try to understand the circumstances, which we are now treating as arson.

Ex manager Lee Goodchild has spoken up about The Crooked Pub fire.
Change.org/Paul Turner

"This fire has shocked and upset so many given the, albeit not listed, cultural importance and heritage of the building.

"This is not lost on us and a robust investigation using all available information and forensic opportunities is being carried out."

Since then, the former manager of The Crooked House, Lee Goodchild, has opened up about the situation and has set the record 'absolutely clear'.

In a post issued on The Crooked House's Facebook page on Wednesday (9 August), Lee wrote: "So there seems to be a few people with different thoughts of what's happened.

"But let me make this absolutely clear myself and the team at the Crooked House knew nothing about it being actually sold until the day I was told I could not reopen after the break in."

He also added it was 'not a decision' he made as 'the business owner' but instead 'an order' he had to follow from Marston's.

Lee went on: "All we did since September was try and get The Crooked House back to being open and back on the map.

"We spent tireless hours day after day someday seeing no more than a handful of people in the dark cold wet days through the autumn and winter but continued to do so.

He said it was 'upsetting' to see the iconic building burn down.
Facebook/The Crooked House

"Always seeing the friendly regulars and visitors from all parts of the world."

He added that he and the staff 'wanted nothing more' than to make the 'iconic place' a success, before adding: "Unfortunately other people ie the landlords (Marston's) had other views.

"It is upsetting not only to see an amazing building like The Crooked House be closed burn down and be demolished in a very short time, but to see 10 months of hard work laughter tears and the inevitable financial loss as well as our residential dog walkers and Quack and Quackers the 2 ducks I used to see chasing each other every morning is just not right."

Lee concluded the Facebook post writing: "It's clear in today's world that ££ is way more valued than any heritage or meaningful buildings.

"Again I thank everyone for there support, messages, calls and custom over the time there and hope one day something good comes of all this, Lee."

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Lee Goodchild / The only way is Dudley

Topics: News, UK News, Food And Drink