Report boosts battle to save Tumbledown DickBy Tim Harris
January 14, 2013
THE campaign group battling to save an historic Farnborough pub has released a heritage report to underline the building’s worth.
A campaign started in autumn to save the Tumbledown Dick pub in Farnborough Road and a committee – the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick – has formed.
It emerged late last year that the pub, known as the Tumbly, had been linked with a sale to McDonald’s.
The campaign group hope the newly released heritage report will be their strongest weapon in the fight to save the venue.
It follows a report by an independent historic buildings expert, commissioned by Rushmoor Borough Council, which ruled the Tumbledown did not meet the criteria for listed building status.
The campaign group’s report read: “The Tumbledown Dick, hotel, public house and posting house and Hampshire treasure has existed since the 16th century.
"There are surviving records for the manorial courts for the Manor of Farnborough dating back to the 16th century.
"Aside from the paying of rents and coroners’ inquests, the Tumbledown Dick was a place for locals and visitors to celebrate and be entertained, from post-match meals for cricket teams to grand celebrations for royal events.
"From the 20th century into the 21st it was the focal place in Farnborough for musical expression and entertainment.”
The Tumbledown has hosted bands such as Reuben, Hundred Reasons and The Jam, and Fran Beauchamp, of the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick, said: “We felt it necessary to publish our own heritage assessment report findings.
“A huge amount of research has been undertaken in libraries, museums and online. The Farnborough Society requested the Tumbly be added to their proposed list of ‘Buildings of Local Importance’ but for some reason it never made it.”
Ms Beauchamp added: “We hope to obtain listing status after our own application to English Heritage, who are reviewing it. We want people to understand how important the Tumbledown Dick is to what is left in Farnborough.”
The campaigners, with more than 2,500 Facebook supporters, have been critical of the heritage assessment commissioned by the council and carried out by Turley Associates.
Andrew Lloyd, chief executive for the council, underlined how the authority must take a "clear and objective approach".
“I have read the campaign group’s report and it is very interesting,” he said.
“We have been happy to co-operate with the group, we have no hidden agenda. We respect their right to do what they are doing.
"We recognised they are putting a tremendous effort in. The decision is for English Heritage.
"We know the building is in a poor state. What is important is what happens in future – it has to be one that is able to be delivered and sustained.”
Ms Beauchamp added: “We wish to see off McDonald’s and have significant local support.”
The Tumbledown Dick has been empty since 2008, after it was closed following a failed health inspection.