|The Midland Hotel|
West Hendon has changed. First the railway sidings went and the Motorway arrived. Then the Aerodrome shut and Grahame Park Estate arrived, the factories went and the police college went. The Chequers shut and the Midland became a very different pub. Over the last five years, it has, as all good businesses do, reinvented itself. The pub has had regular live music and has evolved into a real hub of the community. There are still cheap rooms for people passing through and many people still jump off the train at Hendon and have a crafty half, but most are city workers rather than coalmen and train drivers.
But as always seems to be the case in London, there are people who care nothing for our culture, heritage or community. Every pub is and "investment opportunity". Why build a community when you can make millions destroying it and replacing it with soulless luxury flats for people who don't want to mix with the locals. The Midland has fallen foul of just such a proposal. A developer has bought the pub and surrounding space and wants to knock it down and turn it into luxury flats.
As we mentioned, The Barnet Eye has a long and enduring relationship with the pub. Whilst my Grandfather worked and drank in the pub, I've used it for many years to stage benefit concerts and the Barnet Eye annual awards party. The guvnor at the pub, John, has always been supportive and welcoming. Now it is the turn of the blog to repay the favour. On Saturday night, we held our tenth birthday party at the pub and made a big push to collect objections to the planning application. We managed to get over 50 new objections from people attending the gig. There are now oer 481. When I first blogged about the plans, there were three.
There are only two days left. It would be great to get 500 objections. Please click here and make sure you click the Object tab. Our heritage is worth preserving. Help us win this battle! Here's a little clip of my band performing at the pub in March.
The song, Espresso Soho is about the corporatisation of Soho. Sadly when I wrote it last year, I didn't envisage that the last venue for Live Music in West Hendon would be under threat.