First the Cross Keys, now another Chelsea pub has been taken over by squatters.
The Black Bull Members Club on Fulham Road, which used to only open when Chelsea were playing, closed down a couple of months ago. The Evening Standard report that the squatters were co-operating with the landlord, to the point of showing interested parties around, but now the police have been called in and there are claims of aggressive behaviour.
Squatting in residential properties became a criminal offence on 1 September so empty pubs – and let’s face it, there are plenty of them – are now more desirable targets. Two men were convicted earlier this month of living in the flat above the Lamb Inn in Romford, though they insist they were living in the pub, and a raid on the Charlie Butler in Mortlake took place last week. At least squatters in commercial properties can take, er, solace in the revelation they have a sympathiser in Richard Madeley.
Image from Google Street View