Stop the gentrification of the much loved community owned pub, in Tottenham, aka "ANNIE"
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We can’t describe the amazing feeling of euphoria, when after two years hard slog, the Antwerp Arms Pub in Tottenham, historically became the first community owned pub, in North London. Those of us that had worked so hard on the project were delirious with pride, we felt that our community was the best in London, and Tottenham was the best place to live. Our smiles were stuck on our faces for a whole year, whilst we basked in the glory of our pub, supported the events and enjoyed the most fantastic first birthday party where more than a thousand people had an unforgettable day celebrating the pub's remarkable success.
After just a year of ownership, the management committee and shareholders are proceeding with building works that will drastically change the interior of this quaint, little vintage Tottenham pub, made up of two dinky estate workers cottages knocked together and conjoined by an iconic glass ceiling. The boozer has such a warm cosy environment, it is like being in your own front room, it is comfortably intimate and wherever you sit, it is impossible not to make new friends or chat with old ones.
The community that had lovingly rolled up their sleeves, cleaned, painted, polished, and generously gave their professional services for free, have saved this pub from redevelopment once, and now they are fighting to save it again.
At the end of this football season, the pub will be closed down for the building works to begin. The plans above show a gastropub design that requires a larger kitchen and dining area, the ladies and gents toilets will have to be demolished and the crystal above will be shattered forever and replaced by a flat felt roof. How will you feel when you are eating your meal, and the drinkers from the bar, who may have enjoyed two or three, are struggling to get past your table in order to get down to the bottlenecked corridor that leads to toilets at the far end, and then on the way back, they disturb your meal again? We don't think this layout will be convenient for wheelchair users, and the way the toilets are placed, could potentially make women feel vulnerable with men passing them in a small corridor to use the toilets. We also believe the pub will be dark and that the plans don't work!
Research has proved that when a local pub gets gentrified it has an adverse effect on the local community, many regulars find the price increases suddenly become unaffordable, they often feel uncomfortable in the surroundings and unconnected with the new clientele and air of snobbery, this often leads to isolation and also a loss of social diversity.
Stop the gentrification ruining a great community pub bought by locals and loved and appreciated exactly the way she is!
Several members of the community have approached the committee with ideas they could use the space for, all the ideas were pooh-poohed and yet often the pub is nearly empty, if the committee had focused themselves on making it the community pub they promised us, instead of chasing grants, we may now be enjoying the benefits instead of watching it close down.
HANDS OFF OUR PUB - the charming, vintage little treasure nestled in a quiet Tottenham corner that has been there since the 1820's and concentrate on making it the affordable community pub we were promised.
Please sign and share, we now have a Facebook group called ...
"Hands of our Annie" so please visit us there.
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