Another of London's most cherished pubs is under threat. Again. An event this weekend will rally support to save the Gladstone Arms, and draw attention to the community role played by such venues.
The pub near Borough tube has long been under the threat of developers, who want to knock the place down and build — no free pints for guessing — luxury apartments.
You may have noticed the Gladstone Arms, even if you've never been in. It's something of a local landmark, thanks to its distinctive mural, visible from Borough High Street.
In an area well-stocked with wonderful pubs, the Glad manages to shine out. It's that rare gig venue that also happens to maintain a cosy drinking space, complete with pub cat (apologies for our shaky photo). We've sank plenty of pints there over the years.
The Glad's future seemed secure, after successful lobbying by local campaign groups and beer organisation CAMRA, with a sympathetic ear from just about every media outlet that got hold of the story. Southwark Council created a new conservation area around the pub, and gave the Glad the status of an Asset of Community Value.
There are ways around such measures, however. The pub's short-term lease runs out in October, when the owners fear the rent will rise by 30% — a figure that would force the pub to close.
A group of campaigners, spearheaded by CAMRA's south-east chapter and accompanied by local MP Neil Coyle, will show solidarity for the local boozer at a gathering on Saturday 20 August, from 5.30pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.