Save the Royal Oak pub, Leatherhead
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The Royal Oak has a long history dating back over 180 years, the previous pub (now the cottages in Oaks Road) hosting the body of the "Poor Murdered Woman" found dead in Teazle Wood in 1834. The tale became well-known as a Surrey folk song, being recorded in Milford, 20 miles to the south-west, by the Rev. Charles J. Shebbeare in 1897. The existing building, which appears to be under threat of demolition, is believed to date to the late 1850s, coinciding with the arrival of the railways, and was owned for many years by the famous Charrington brewery, in whose 1930s architectural survey it appears. It has been in the hands of Greene King for the last 23 years. It is a fine example of a Victorian wayside inn, and has for a long time been a much-valued community live music venue. That the pub may not have been especially wonderful - or indeed profitable - is of absolutely no relevance whatever to attempts to save and revitalise it. With the right vision and the right management, the Royal Oak absolutely can succeed as an independent free house: it deserves better, after nearly 160 years of serving the people of North Leatherhead, than to be pulled down to make way for flats. Just this week, the similar Garibaldi pub in Redhill reopened after just such a campaign as this achieved complete success! This petition is a rallying cry to the community - get behind this, let's organise a massive campaign and save our pub!
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