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George Barker & The Marquis of Lansdowne

March 31, 2013
by the gentle author

At the recent public meeting to discuss the Geffrye Museums development plans financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Museum Director David Dewing told the audience that he had “no interest in the culture of the Labouring Classes,” justifying the demolition of The Marquis of Lansdowne, which stood upon the corner of Geffrye St since 1839, as a building of “no historic significance.”

Yet the Geffrye Museum was originally created as a museum of furniture, reflecting the industry that once existed in the surrounding streets, and the story of those who manufactured it is as integral to an understanding of the collection as the culture of those who bought it. With this in mind, I went to meet George Barker who was born in The Marquis of Lansdowne in 1931 and whose family ran the pub for three generations, from before 1915 until after World War II, serving “the Labouring Classes” in the shape of the joiners, wood turners, cabinet makers and french polishers of Haggerston.

George Barker in the yard at The Marquis of Lansdowne aged six in 1937

The Marquis of Lansdowne is the only old building left on Cremer St, yet it contains the history of the people who have been here for the last two centuries, their culture, their society and their industry. For George Barker, born in the upper room of the pub in 1931, it was his family home, spanning three generations of Barkers – his grandfather William who came from a village in East Anglia at the end of the nineteenth century, his mother Lilian who ran the pub alone through the war and opened up every day during the Blitz, and lastly himself, the one who got a grammar school education and a Masters degree in Maths and has lived for the last fifty years in a beautiful house in Chorleywood.

No infamous killer took his victim to The Marquis of Lansdowne for her last drink. Charles Dickens did not visit The Marquis of Lansdowne and base a character in one of his novels upon a local eccentric discovered propping up the bar. In fact, the story of The Marquis of Lansdowne is a more important one that either of these, it is that of the working people who lived in the surrounding streets, for whom it was the centre of their community and meeting place for their extended families. In this sense, it is a quintessential East End pub and the history of this place cannot be told without reference to these people.

Haggerston has changed almost beyond recognition in recent decades and, all this time, The Marquis of Lansdowne has remained as the lone sentinel of a lost world. Yet when I met George Barker and he told me the story of his family and the life they led there, he brought that world alive.

“My earliest memory is of being a kid playing on the street, everybody played on the street in those days. A couple of times, I went into the Geffrye Museum and we collected caterpillars in the gardens. They used to have a playground with swings and a place to play football at the back of the museum.

I was born at The Marquis of Lansdowne in February 1931, but my family’s involvement with the pub goes back to the beginning of the century. My grandfather William George Barker told me that the Barker family came from a group of villages near Ipswich, moving to Hoxton at the end of the nineteenth century. He came to London in 1899 and worked as a barman for year in the East End before becoming a policeman for twenty years.

Frederick Daniel Barker, my grandfather’s brother, was licensee of The Marquis of Lansdowne until he died of TB in 1919, when my grandfather took it over from Frederick’s wife Mary Ann. Then, when my grandfather died in the thirties, my father George Stanley Barker took it over until he died in 1937 when my mother Lily ran it. She remarried in 1939 and, as Lilian Edith Trendall, she held the license until 1954 when her husband Frederick Trendall took over after her death. I think they all made a living but it wasn’t a terribly easy life.

We had a side bar and then another one on the corner we called the darts bar, as well as the front bar and the saloon bar. Even then, there were redundant doors which meant that at one time the pub was divided up into more bars. The saloon bar had upholstered bench seats and bar stools, but the other bars just had wooden benches with Victorian marble-topped tables. The curved bar itself was in the centre, spanning all the divisions with a tall central construction for display of spirits and optics, and the beer pumps were in the front bar. I remember, as you came in the side door from Geffrye St, the wall had a large decorative painted panel advertising Charrington’s Beer and there were mirrors at the rear. The pub windows were of etched and cut glass, and above the main door was an illuminated panel with the words ‘Toby Beer.’ It was a Charrington pub and a wagon came with dray horses to deliver once a week from the brewery in Mile End. Further down Cremer St was the Flying Scud, a Truman’s pub, and the Star & Pack, a Whitbread pub.

On the Geffrye St side of the building was a kitchen which was – in effect – where we all lived, and an office. Above the kitchen was my bedroom, with a window looking onto Geffrye St and the railway arches. On the first floor at the corner was the front room where we didn’t go very often, and the main bedroom – where I was born – was on Cremer St, divided from the front room by a construction of wooden panels, as if it once had been one big room. All the arches were coal depots in those days. It was brought by railway every morning at six thirty and all the coal men would be filling sacks, and bringing their horses and wagons to carry it away. But it never woke me up though, because I got used to it.

In those days, on one side of the pub was a terrace of houses and on the other there were three shops. I remember Mrs Lane who ran the sweet shop next door and Mrs Stanley who had a cats’ meat shop where they sold horsemeat. In the thirties, there was a couple of fellows making springs for prams in the building across the road which became a garage in the nineteen forties. I recall there was a baker’s on the other side of the street too and H.Lee, a big furniture manufacturer, on the corner of the Kingsland Rd.

My mother, Lily, ran The Marquis of Lansdowne singled-handed through World War II. It was heavily bombed in the surrounding streets and, when there were raids, she took shelter in the spirit cellar which had been reinforced with stanchions. She had grown up in the area, and most people knew her and she knew them, and they had been to school together. She was quite an outgoing woman who enjoyed a bit of banter and a lot of chat with the customers. She was the daughter of James Wilson who ran the scrap iron yard opposite across Cremer St under a couple of arches. He started the business there and he had a place in Tottenham, so he left his three sons to run it.

There was a friendly community on our doorstep, she ran the pub and her three brothers ran the scrap iron business across the road, and there was another uncle called Harmsworth who had another two arches where he ran a furniture business – one of my aunts married him. All my uncles and aunts lived within about one hundred yards of each other. They were the Barkers, the Wilsons and the Cheeks. A Barker married a Wilson and then a Wilson married a Cheek and then a Cheek married a Barker. My mother had another three children with my stepfather in the forties, and we all lived together in the Marquis of Lansdowne. There was me and my sister Eileen, plus the twins Maureen and Christine, and their younger brother Freddie.

At the age of eight, I was evacuated during the Blitz, but when I came back it was still quite dangerous so I went to stay with an aunt in Kensal Green. I never lost contact because I cycled over at weekends and moved back at the end of the war when I was thirteen.

In the fifties, the business started to drift away. People didn’t have much money and television came along, so it could be quiet on week nights but it was always busy at weekends, and for celebrations like VE Day and the Coronation we got a special licence and opened from midday until midnight. Even if people had moved away, they came back for Saturday evenings to meet with their relatives and friends. I would be serving behind the bar – probably a little younger than I should have been – and by the age of eighteen I was regularly working there. I always looked after the place when they went in holiday.

My mother died in 1954 and my stepfather took over the pub. I studied for a Masters Degree in Maths at Woolwich Polytechnic and I was away from 1954-56 doing National Service. In 1957, I left The Marquis of Lansdowne forever – I was working for Hawker Aircraft in Langley by then. I only went back occasionally after that, not too often. As people moved out, it started dwindling away and I think my stepfather sold it to a family called Freeland who had been coalmen under the arches and then he moved away too.

If it had been up to me, I probably would have become a publican but I wasn’t going to wait for everyone else to die off first and, because of the war, I went to grammar school and then to university. I haven’t been back to Haggerston since the nineteen sixties.”

George Barker today.

George Barker was born in the bedroom facing onto Cremer St, indicated by the window on the left.

At The Marquis of Lansdowne, 1957. George Barker on right, aged twenty-five, with sister Eileen, centre back. The other three are his half-brothers and sisters from his mother Lilians second marriage to Frederick Trendall. The twin girls are Maureen on the left and Christine on right, with their brother Freddie between them.

George Stanley Barker & Lilian Edith Wilson, married at St Leonards, Shoreditch on 7th September 1929. Lilian ran the pub after the death of her husband in 1937 until she died in 1954.

Ex-policeman William George Barker who ran The Marquis of Lansdowne from 1919 – photographed in 191o, with his wife Annie Susannah Oakenfold and son George Stanley Barker, who took over from his father and ran the pub until 1937.

20th December 1911, William George Barker is reprimanded for bring caught in pubs in Shoreditch and Spitalfields while on duty as a policeman – eight years later he became landlord of The Marquis of Lansdowne and spent the rest of his life in a pub. - “Inattention to duty and wasting his time by being off his Division and being in the White Hart Public House, High St, Shoreditch, out of the City from 3:30 to 4:50pm (1 hour & 2o minutes) while on duty on 13th instant. Also, being in the King’s Stores Public House, Widegate St, from 5:05 to 5:40pm (35 minutes) while on duty, same date.”

February 22nd 1919, William George Barker applies to leave the police to take over the running of The Marquis of Lansdowne from his sister-in-law after the death of his brother Frederick Daniel Barker. “I respectfully beg to apply to the Commissioner for permission to resign my appointment as Constable in the City of London Police Force, one month from the above date. My reason for doing so is that my sister-in-law Mrs Mary Ann Barker Licensee of The Marquis of Lansdowne Public House, No 32 Cremer St, Kingsland Rd, is unable to carry on the business in consequence of a nervous breakdown and she wishes me to hold the license and conduct the business on my own responsibility.”

May 9th 1919, Charrington’s, Anchor Brewery, Mile End, seeks a reference for William George Barker from the Commissioner of Police at Snow Hill. Presumably, the incidents of Christmas 1911 were discreetly forgotten.

Dating from the Regency era, The Marquis of Lansdowne is the only old building left on Cremer St.

Geffrye Museum Director David Dewing says he has “no interest in the culture of the Labouring Classes” and believes a modernist concrete box, that will serve as a winter garden extension to his new designer restaurant, is more valuable to the museum than renovating The Marquis of Lansdowne which has stood on the corner of Geffrye St since 1839.

Architect David Chipperfield’s proposed extension to the Geffrye Museum, with the concrete  box replacing The Marquis of Lansdowne in the bottom left corner.

The concrete building on the right is the proposed replacement for The Marquis of Lansdowne.

The same view with The Marquis of Lansdowne restored.

Sketch by Tim Whittaker of The Spitalfields Trust, illustrating his proposal to renovate The Marquis of Lansdowne.

Sign the Petition to save The Marquis of Lansdowne here

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Montage by John Claridge

Photograph of David Dewing © Colin O’Brien

You may also like to read about

Save The Marquis of Lansdowne

The Haggerston Nobody Knows

Maurice Franklin, Wood Turner

38 Responses leave one →
  1. Libby Hall permalink
    March 31, 2013

    This is quite unbelievable! It is astonishing and appalling that a director of the Geffrye Museum could say he has “no interest in the culture of the labouring classes”. I have always understood that the Geffrye Museum was about the history of the making of furniture in the immediate neighbourhood. I thought that was why the almshouses were saved and made into a museum. I thought the museum was about furniture. Who does the director think made that furniture if not ‘the labouring classes’? The same labouring classes who would have drunk in the Marquis of Lansdowne.

    (I wonder if it was David Dewing who was responsible for changing the sweet cosy East End 50s living room – that always looked so specially wonderful in its Christmas decorations – to the ‘tasteful’ designer room that is there today.)

  2. Patty permalink
    March 31, 2013

    What a crying shame, shame on the Lottery Board for providing monies to destroy a neighbourhood landmark, shame on the museum who have only their own agenda in place, forgetting their own history within their own neighbourhood! I signed your petition, I hope to God someone can see the error of removing the only whisper of the past. Patty/BC

  3. Greg Tingey permalink
    March 31, 2013

    This needs the biggest publicity possible.
    The arrogant disdain from the man in supposed charge of the Geffreye should be shouted from the rooftops.

    This sort of thing is why people are disdaining opera, for instance – “it’s only for toffs”.
    Excuse me, but culture is for everyone.

  4. Vicky permalink
    March 31, 2013

    This is amazing, to have found George Baker and learn the history of the pub. Thank you.

    I went to last weeks meeting and was appalled by what happened.

    Firstly, it was not a public consultation meeting but one to inform us of what had been decided on our behalf. Plans have now been submitted for approval. It was known that the public would be outraged by the demolition of the pub but this was of no consequence.

    Chipperfields the architects are not to be blamed as they have drawn up plans in accordance with their client’s instructions. As one architect present at the meeting pointed out ‘Chipperfields are an excellent firm and have plenty of experience of incorporating existing historic buildings into new developments’.

    The point was made by David Dewing that ‘all areas of a museum must be accessible by the public including wheelchair users’. The pub has an upstairs floor which would need to be accessible by the public. However, the restored almshouse on the Geffrey Museum site, which is open to the public but not to wheelchair users’, is an exception because it is a heritage building’! I’m baffled at this statement made by the director. Surely, an 1830s Georgian building is part of our heritage, especially being the only historic building in the area, representing the rich heritage of this part of the East End.

    The Marquis of Lansdowne must have a future and plans for a Brutalist replacement must not be approved. We need to act now.

    As well as signing the petition we can submit an objection to the demolition of the Marquis of Lansdowne direct to the Borough of Hackney, entering application number 2013/0053:
    http://apps.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/generalsearch.aspx

  5. Rihard Burke permalink
    March 31, 2013

    If it were not for the ‘labouring classes’ David Dewing would not have a museum. My father, grandfather and great grandfather were all from Spitalfields and I worked in sight of Christ Church. The majority of people in the area were working or labouring class. The very people who provided the necessities and comforts of life. Who does Mr Dewing think provides his needs? Who will demolish the public house and build the replacement’? Surely labourers!

    If it is so important to demolish The Marquis of Lansdowne to build a box, albeit a very upmarket box, the whole museum should be replaced and the exhibits replaced with holographic images.

    It is time to preserve the heritage and history of London, too much has gone already.

  6. March 31, 2013

    I grew up in a pub – my grandparents and parents were publicans – and remember well how pubs were at the centre of the community. Where else could people meet and sit and talk – sing and play music?
    I remember as a wakeful child lying in bed listening to the clink of glasses and bottle, the lively buzz of chatter and above all the singing – not high quality noise I admit ! But people joinging together in ways beyond words to express what otherwise could not be expressed.

    The last contributor was right – these were the people who made the furniture.

    Pubs are disappearing and changing. At best they have now become restaurants. At worst they are being made into flats or demolished. You go to the States and they show you their idea of a ‘real English’ pub. It’s usually an Irish bar.

    I’ve visited and enjoyed the Geffrye Museum – I like to see how people lived – but it lacks life. Visit St Fagans Welsh folk museum and see how they do it – their (labouring classes) miners cottages are fascinating. Restore this pub and sell real ale in it. Find out who the community were once upon a time and trace their descendants – it could be a project for local kids or students. Collect photographs. You can’t magically conjure the community back into it but you could use it for Folk nights and poetry evenings and as a cafe for the Museum.

  7. Ros permalink
    March 31, 2013

    Foolish man, David Dewing! He will surely live to regret his unbelievably stupid and ignorant remark. Like the other commenteers, I believed that the Geffrye Museum was there to celebrate the furniture made by working craftsmen, and the rooms and houses people lived in whether they were rich or poor. The London which has held the affections of so many people over so many years is in danger of disappearing for ever, and we need to fight to maintain and restore its humanity as strongly as we can.

  8. Juliet Wrightson permalink
    March 31, 2013

    I wonder what the present Marquess (the 9th) of Lansdowne thinks of all this? Has anyone asked him? He lives at Bowood House.
    It is hard to believe that David Dewing should say such a stupid thing. How can he hold up his head?

  9. March 31, 2013

    With its many displays about the ‘middling classes’ and removal of anything about the lives of the local people who made their comfy chairs this may be the first example of East End gentrification enveloping an entire museum.

    What are the children from nearby schools told on their visits now? That the middle classes are the soul of their nation and the people who dwelt in Shoreditch before them of no interest to the people who now run its museum? That labourers lives are worth less than a really nice table? That a destination restaurant is more worthy of fundraising than telling their story? That one day, if they work hard and dream, they might get even work serving the middlers of today in the expanded museum cafe?

  10. Philippa Stockley permalink
    March 31, 2013

    The gentle author’s piece, above, makes it very clear why everyone who hasn’t should now sign the petition to save the pub.
    Further, at the consultation meeting with director Dewing quoted above, which I attended, I called a vote on who strongly wanted the pub to be retained within the proposed design. All hands went up as one, and Dewing commented: ‘Ah, unanimous.’
    I am now recording this vote publicly here, since we were not aware that any minutes were taken,
    The audience of local people, representing several local amenity groups as well as the general, and local, public,having expressed its wish in this unambiguous way, is now waiting to see modifications to the current design (in which the pub would be demolished) so that the pub will be renovated and retained as an integral, functional, and delightful historic element as part of a reworked design.
    David Chipperfield, the architect, has done a masterpiece of restoration and intelligent reuse at the Neues museum in Berlin, and there is no reason not to apply those sensitive skills here.

  11. Gary permalink
    March 31, 2013

    The answer to this problem is to find a director for the museum who has an understanding and love of history
    Gary

  12. Christine Swan permalink
    March 31, 2013

    This is shocking! As a descendent of Spitalfields silk weavers and Hackney chairmakers, I am passionate about preserving the buildings and places of my proud past. My family were working people and it’s a huge disappointment when I visit the area to find a huge 1970′s slab of concrete where an address to which I am connected once stood. We are beyond that now and appreciate local heritage as a landmark of our collective past. I stand unreservedly with you against the planned demolition. This would be a catastrophic error in my opinion.

    I thoroughly enjoy this blog and have learned so much about the area through reading it. Thank you!

  13. Jane permalink
    March 31, 2013

    The whole ambience and mystique of this area is to do with the ramshackle way it was thrown together exactly because it was less well to do, and to edit out part of the story will create a legacy of lost history and blandness… there are no flowers without mud, the classes coexisted and interacted as an eco system does … What a silly man, still history is littered with silly men

  14. Peter Holford permalink
    March 31, 2013

    No politician’s weasel-words from Mr Dewing. Complete honesty from him – is he naive and ignorant or does he have the arrogance of a man who knows he is going to get what he wants?

    With his attitude to the heritage of a huge section of society now very clear will the elected representatives of the planning committee now do the correct thing and make sure another tragic planning error is not made. Presumably a good proportion of the people who elected them are from the social stratum that Mr Dewing appears to despise or, being charitable, doesn’t hold in any esteem. Or do they honestly prefer another concrete slab to a Georgian building? Let’s hope they have a collective conscience and protect OUR heritage.

  15. Jane permalink
    March 31, 2013

    P.S. I agree with Gary above perhaps you should start another petition to this effect?

  16. Lynn Roffee permalink
    March 31, 2013

    Hopefully public support will show the depth of feeling towards the wish to retain The Marquis. The Director needs to consider his position following the number of tweets about his comments.Poor Judgement!

  17. March 31, 2013

    Thing is though, the Geoffrye Museum is avowedly devoted to the middle class London home through the centuries, and was pretty similar 40 years ago when I first visited. There was never anything much about the local Shoreditch furniture industry and it’s workers. I really don’t get all the shock about Dewing’s comments when he was only stating Museum policy. When opened in 1914 it was a museum aimed at inspiring and educating those involved in the East London furniture trade, but as that industry died the museum changed focus.

    I love the series of middle class living rooms through the centuries, but the Geoffrye needs to expand it’s brief to acknowledge the history of it’s location, and the workers who made the furniture there.

    And the Marquis of Lansdowne needs re-opening as a pub specialising in London craft beers – would be a 100% sure-fire success!

  18. Peggy Yunque permalink
    March 31, 2013

    David Dewing’s remarks are not only deplorable but show a stunning ignorance of the very museum he is in control of.

    Wouldn’t it be clever of Chipperfields to have created a building that INCLUDED this authentic establishment where visitors could get the feel of respite after a long days work?

    The proposed building is so unattractive and cold, a lovely corner pub would almost (but not quite) make it bearable.

    Same on the lot of ya!

  19. Elizabeth cornwell permalink
    March 31, 2013

    I dont live in London,indeed I’m not sure where the Marquis of Landsdowne pub is. But I think it is appalling that an institution can take money & then renege on a committment. I also think that Mr Dewing should stop & think before he says things like that.Ultimately its the small people he so despises that pay his no doubt very good wages.

  20. jeannette permalink
    March 31, 2013

    what a remarkably stupid thing for a museum director to say. he should be replaced as he clearly does not know how to conduct the business of a museum in the east end, much less anywhere else.

  21. March 31, 2013

    Signed the petition and am reblogging your post. I live in Springfield, Mass (US) and we recently had a historic building (a second French Empire Mansion) threatened with demolition by a local hospital — it is the Allis Mansion, which sits on the grounds of Mercy Hospital. The media was contacted, the city council notified, and a petition was created by the local Preservation Trust Society and we managed a stay of demolition for a month, with hopes of attracting a developer who can preserve the building and put it to use. I hope this petition will help the Marquis of Landsdowne avoid the wrecking ball. I’ll forward the link to my preservation community here.

  22. Donald Parsnips permalink
    March 31, 2013

    A spruced up Marquis of Lansdowne pub !
    good idea ! I’d have a drink or two there !

  23. William Osborne permalink
    April 1, 2013

    I live in Vermont in America. I have been to the Geoffrye. Obviously Mr. Dewing hasn’t read about his museum on the internet where everywhere I looked it stated the Geoffrye ” is a museum specializing in the history of the English domestic interior. ” I looked up domestic, “of or pertaining to the home, the household, household affairs, or the family” so the working class were not domestic? Almshouse, I looked that up too, to paraphrase in modern terms “a retirement home for working class people who could no longer earn a living subsidized by rich patrons”. Mr Dewing is obviously not up to the job. I wish I lived near-by. First thing I would do is organize a protests outside of the architect’s office. If they had any sense of history they would have turned it down, or convinced Dewing to incorporate the Pub, but then, if they didn’t do it someone else would, after all money is money and fees are fees. If Mr. Dewing does lose his job, which he should, I recommend coming to America. He could find a nice fit in right wing of the republican party where they think 90% of the working classes are on public welfare.

  24. Sally Sutcliffe, daughter of George Barker permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Thank you so much for compiling such an interesting article. The family are delighted with it and even I have learnt things I didn’t know before.
    I hope that following its publication the ‘powers that be’ will now begin to recognise the potential of the Marquis – a history to be added to, of ordinary people who lived and worked in the area, not just an empty old building.

  25. Roger permalink
    April 1, 2013

    I understand that the museum received a large grant or lottery payment to maintain or refurbish the pub. I think this was public money. Is this not a scandal?

  26. Roger permalink
    April 1, 2013

    The Heritage Lottery Fund gave the museum £518,500 in 2011 for a scheme involving ‘sensitive restoration and extension’ of the pub http://t.co/Yjev78zD

  27. Peter Lorenzo permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Roger – your link does not prove that the grant was predicated upon restoration or preservation of the pub. If the grant had been given on those grounds, the HLF could be within their rights to withdraw and ask for a return of the money. It is very likely the Geffrye has consulted the HLF and the HLF are in agreement.

  28. Patricia Taylor permalink
    April 1, 2013

    I was unable to attend the meeting but signed the petition and have followed progress online. Reading the comment made by David Dewing made me so angry and so sad that “them and us” attitude is still out there. I have been visiting the Museum since I was 10 years old (am now 74) and over the years have taken friends and visitors to it who have loved it. How happy I would be to take them in the future to a pub, as opposed to a gastro-pub for a pint after visiting the Museum. Shame, shame on those people in control who ignore the WHOLE history of the area. Never has there been so much interest in the past and anything vintage, so the pub restored, not gentrified, would be of huge interest and enjoyment to so many people, from ALL classes. How narrow minded and blinkered are the people allowing this development to go through – for god sake think of it as a money spinner and attraction if you are incapable of seeing it in any other way!!

  29. Robin Boyd permalink
    April 1, 2013

    What a dreadful comment by Mr Dewing. What an irony that a man with so little sense of history should be Director of a Museum. Perhaps his talents would be better employed running a burger bar. He should bow his head in shame and apologise.

  30. Roger permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Peter Lorenzo. Thanks for that – I didn’t realise. It seemed very fishy when I saw it though!

  31. Andrea permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Is “labouring classes” a term British people use openly (perhaps the equivalent of “blue-collar workers” here in N.A.), or is it as utterly disdainful as it sounds?

  32. Libby Hall permalink
    April 2, 2013

    Andrea

    The British straight forward equivalent of ‘blue-collar worker’ is ‘working class’. ‘Labouring classes’ sounds 19th century and, it would seem to me, could only have been used to be as utterly disdainful as it sounds.

  33. Cindy Eve permalink
    April 2, 2013

    How absurd!!! and how pretentious of him to make such a statement. It’s thanks to people with that frame of mind that so much of the wonderful heritage of London and her Boroughs was lost in previous generations. I for one know of many people, myself included who would much rather dine in a ‘heritage’ restaurant/dining area than a horrible modernist concrete block. We have way too much of that already in greater London. Save this building ‘The Marquis of lansdown’ and lets take the man’s head out the clouds. he has obviously lost touch with the origins of having a museum in the first place. I would like to say “what a pratt” but I wont! And anyway, if the museum is funded with Lottery money, then since that was ours …the working class…then we should have a say in how it is spent! I agree with Robin Boyd, how ironic…the Director of a museum saying he has no interest in heritage!!! absurd!

  34. Jane Anderson permalink
    April 3, 2013

    What a golden opportunity to restore the pub and use it to extend the museum. What a shame if yet another historic building just disappears. There are plenty of cutting edge new designs in the city.

  35. April 3, 2013

    Honestly i would walk straight passed that box! However that lovely old interesting restore, I would would stop and look and wonder… Preposterous!

  36. Robert permalink
    April 3, 2013

    I think the pub should stay, simply as the oldest building on the street. Looking at the two pictures of the Museums proposal and the the Pub, I d say the the pub wins. It makes less of a dramatic impact on the surrounding area – as its always been there. Changing it, with the Museum extension…would stick out as wrong – like a rotting thumb.

    I also think that the museum should build their extension on one or two of the grass areas within the grounds of the museum (they would never consider doing that, which is why the pub should stay) – or knock down one of its extensions – as this would be cheaper and easy on the eye? Leave the pub alone!

    Its quite easy to knock down something that has stood for years then spend more time and energy sourcing/rebuilding it again sometime in the future, when you realise later on, what a real gem it was…

    Lastly, I cant see how building the new extension is going to “raise” things when we already have a modern station, and a new modern award winning restaurant opening up.. and the museum already has a modern extension, fact that they need yet another one, is testament to the museums building capacity short sightedness I repeat, rather than have extensions of different ages and types (really, there should be a limit!) all over the place perhaps the Museum itself should be knocked down altogether and replaced with a bright new ultra modern one.. LEAVE THE PUB ALONE.

  37. April 5, 2013

    Yes save our heritage !

  38. Marco permalink
    April 10, 2013

    I imagine costs are involved here. Why is it that renovating always seems to be much more expensive than demolition and rebuilding? Anyway, for a museum director to make the sort of comment he made is a serious mistake and I for one think he should resign, or at least be severely reprimanded …

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