THE FORMER manager of The Crooked House said staff gave their lives keeping it open – before it was destroyed in a fire.
The manager, who calls himself Lee, revealed how his team spent “tireless hours” keeping the pub running before it was sold last month.
In a post on the pub’s Facebook page, he said it had become clear that “££ is far more valuable than any heritage site or significant building”.
Britain’s quirkiest pub was destroyed in a fire on Saturday night before being leveled by excavators 36 hours later.
Lee said they were considering a “five year plan” to make the pub a success, but claimed Marston’s brewery had “different views”.
He also showed his sadness at the pub in Dudley, Staffordshire, being devastated by the fire.
In the Facebook post, he wrote, “So it seems there are a few people who have a different opinion on what happened.”
“But let me be very clear: I and the team at The Crooked House were unaware that it was actually being sold until I was told I couldn’t reopen after the burglary.”
“Not a decision I made as a business owner, but an order from Marston that I had to follow.”
“Since September we’ve just been trying to get The Crooked House back open and back on the map.
“We put in tireless hours day after day and one day we didn’t see more than a handful of people in the dark, cold and wet days of autumn and winter, but that continued to be the case.”
“We always see friendly regulars and visitors from all parts of the world. We wanted nothing more than to make this iconic place a success, so we considered a five-year plan.”
“Unfortunately, other people, e.g. B. the landlords (Marston), other views. It is disturbing not only to see an amazing building like The Crooked House burn down and be demolished in a very short space of time.”
“But to see 10 months of hard work, tears of laughter and the inevitable financial loss and our dog walkers and quacks and quacks – the two ducks – that I used to see chasing each other in the morning just isn’t right.”
“It is clear that in today’s world ££ has a much higher value than any heritage or significant building.”
“Again, I thank everyone for their support, messages, calls and habits over time there and hope something good comes of this one day.”
South Staffordshire Council said the demolition of the building was “without a permit”.
The pub had been listed as a historic monument just days before it was reduced to rubble.
That would have meant the owners would have needed prior council approval for full demolition.
His lawyers are currently investigating possible violations of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Staffordshire Police also announced last night that they are treating the fire as an arson.