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Another 'historic' pub burned down in arson attack


Grumpy Owl

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The arson attack and subsequent demolition of the historic Crooked House pub in Himley near Dudley made national news headlines a few weeks back.

https://thegrumpyowl.co.uk/2023/08/06/a-very-crooked-development/

 

Now yesterday morning, a historic pub in Bilston, Wolverhampton, 'caught fire' early Saturday morning, which West Midlands Fire Service believe was an arson attack.

 

Fire at Bilston pub being treated as arson as work continues to make historic building safe

6PBPKSZWGRBDTESRTOKHEFX4LU.jpg

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Firefighters were called to the Greyhound and Punchbowl in Bilston High Street at around 3.40am after smoke was seen pouring from the Grade Two listed pub.

The building dates back to the 15th century when it started life as a manor house.

West Midlands Fire Service sent crews from Bilston, Willenhall, Tipton and Wolverhampton to tackle the blaze. Police officers were also at the scene to investigate.

Inside the bar and seating area have been left severely damaged, with walls, pillars, tables and the bar all charred, with cables and debris hanging down from the ceiling.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Fire Service confirmed the incident was being treated as arson and crews would remain on scene to investigate and to make the building safe

West Midlands Police officers have also attended, with the area immediately outside the pub cordoned off.

A spokesman for the police confirmed they were treating the incident as arson, saying: "We are investigating after a suspected arson attack at a pub in Bilston.

from: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/bilston/2023/09/30/historic-bilston-pub-damaged-after-fire-breaks-out-overnight/

 

Now while the Crooked House story had a very 'crooked' feel about it, it is not mentioned in this story whether this pub was up for sale or not, so at present there doesn't appear to be any clear motive behind this.

A further story in the E&S reveals that a lot of money was spent recently on a full interior refurbishment, so there is the slight possibility of some kind of insurance job, though what anyone would gain from deliberately setting the place on fire is unknown to me.

The other possibility is that if this property isn't up for sale "on the market", but someone does have their eye on it for 'development' purposes, a 'convenient arson attack' could enable someone to snap it up on the cheap.

 

There's a lot of this going about, many of these stories rarely make it beyond the local news, so please do share any other 'mysterious pub fires' from your own local media here.

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8 minutes ago, Anti Facts Sir said:

My money's on a proposed development opportunity, Grumps....see this has also happened to another "vandal-hit" pub in the same town. The Happy Wanderer.

 

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/bilston/2022/08/04/flats-plan-for-site-of-former-bilston-pub/

 

Not quite the same but in a very similar vein yes.

 

The Greyhound and Punchbowl is a Grade II listed building, which as we all know are difficult to get planning permissions for. And the 'listed' status also increases the property's value.

I'd hazard a guess that someone 'has their eye on' this site for future development purposes, but would rather avoid the expense of paying the market value for the property, as well as having to work with planning permission regulations.

 

In your case above with the Happy Wanderer, what has been allowed to happen is that the pub gets run out of business, then the building sits empty for some time, then a point is reached where locals are demanding it gets bulldozed because it has become an 'eyesore'.

Developers get their way in the end, without any opposition.

 

Another similar case is the Merrivale pub in Langley Green:

 

Fire rips through derelict Oldbury pub The Merrivale

Quote

A FIRE ripped through a derelict pub in Oldbury last night.

The blaze at the Merrivale Pub in Vicarage Road started at around 2.50am.

Four fire engines attended the scene and firefighters used a hydraulic platform to fight the flames.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said an investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.

Plans to convert the derelict pub into a Hindu temple had been lodged with Sandwell Council, but were withdrawn in February.

The pub, which has sat empty for around five years, was described as an 'eyesore' in planning papers.

A report, which was submitted to the council last December, said: “The building was formerly utilised as a public house but has been left vacant and derelict for the past four to five years and is becoming as increasing eye sore for local residents and location for vandalism and other non-socially acceptable behaviour."

from: https://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news/17623243.fire-rips-derelict-oldbury-pub-merrivale/

 

That was in May 2019. To this day (I went by there a few weeks ago) the derelict ruins are still there, though the site is heavily fenced off.

Even I thought to myself "what an eyesore, just knock the god damn thing down and do something with the site".

 

This is the thing, in 2018-2019 locals would have been outraged if the pub was proposed to be knocked down, but give it a few years they are begging for it to happen.

 

Some people like to play the 'long game', while others are far too quick to show their real motive, as we saw with the Crooked House case.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Grumpy Owl said:

'd hazard a guess that someone 'has their eye on' this site for future development purposes, but would rather avoid the expense of paying the market value for the property, as well as having to work with planning permission regulations.

 

Oh, I am not surprised...

 

 

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12 hours ago, Grumpy Owl said:

 

Oh, I am not surprised...

 

 

 

Suspicious. They have the same thing in my area, millions being given away to " regenerate " town centres, just at the time when everyone shops online and does not go to the town centres - what is really going on

There is a run down old rotting row of shops called the arcade in my area, and the local council stated they purchased this arcade for £200 million - I have to call BS on this one. Looking at this old derelict arcade it maybe worth a million at the very most. The council charged the taxpayer £200 million, kept £199 million for themselves, and spent £1 million on the purchase.

Now the council is charging the taxpayer another £200 million for refurbishing the property - unbelievable

This kind of thing happens all the time. Look at the euro fighter which cost you billions, the project failed, but the government kept all the money they charged you. Net profit for the government - whichever way it went, loss for the taxpayer - whichever way it went

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15 hours ago, Grumpy Owl said:

The arson attack and subsequent demolition of the historic Crooked House pub in Himley near Dudley made national news headlines a few weeks back.

https://thegrumpyowl.co.uk/2023/08/06/a-very-crooked-development/

 

Now yesterday morning, a historic pub in Bilston, Wolverhampton, 'caught fire' early Saturday morning, which West Midlands Fire Service believe was an arson attack.

 

Fire at Bilston pub being treated as arson as work continues to make historic building safe

6PBPKSZWGRBDTESRTOKHEFX4LU.jpg

from: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/wolverhampton/bilston/2023/09/30/historic-bilston-pub-damaged-after-fire-breaks-out-overnight/

 

Now while the Crooked House story had a very 'crooked' feel about it, it is not mentioned in this story whether this pub was up for sale or not, so at present there doesn't appear to be any clear motive behind this.

A further story in the E&S reveals that a lot of money was spent recently on a full interior refurbishment, so there is the slight possibility of some kind of insurance job, though what anyone would gain from deliberately setting the place on fire is unknown to me.

The other possibility is that if this property isn't up for sale "on the market", but someone does have their eye on it for 'development' purposes, a 'convenient arson attack' could enable someone to snap it up on the cheap.

 

There's a lot of this going about, many of these stories rarely make it beyond the local news, so please do share any other 'mysterious pub fires' from your own local media here.

 

Programming - Notice the colours of the vehicle parked to the right in the photo - could the same people who started the fire now have come back to inspect the fire. A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime

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