This morning, Roger Tichborne, founder of The Save London Music Campaign, wrote an email to Danusia Brzeicka (Danusia.Brzezicka@barnet.gov.uk) the Council officer responsible for putting together the case for listing the Midland Hotel as an assett of communty value. We reproduce the letter below. If you have used the venue please email Danusia ASAP and letr her know why you are supporting the application. Please CC in the Save The Midland Campaign (firstname.lastname@example.org). The listing of the venue offers a degree of protection from developers and is a vital tool in the fight to preserve the pub.
If you know of a Grassroots venue that is under threat, please contact us and we will offer advice and support.
Please would you add my support to the case supporting the application for Community Value for the Midland Hotel in Hendon.
It is absolutely essential that this facility is retained for use by the public. There are many community users of the pub, of which I am just one. I am involved in a Campaign called “Save London Music”. This is a London wide campaign working to save grassroots music venues. The Midland Hotel was the site of our launch party in Feb 2015, and has been regularly used to hold music events since. The Campaign will be having its fourth Birthday party at the venue in February 2019. The Campaign has been recognised by BBC Radio London (especially award winning presenter Robert Elms) as a vital element of preserving Londons music scene and Robert recently read out a statement of support for the campaign on his show. In association with Robert, we have documented all of Londons grassroots venues and organised gigs at the majority of them (https://barneteye.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-big-london-venue-project-in.html )
There is no other similar venue in West Hendon. Over the past two years, there have been regular gigs organised by a whole host of Barnet musicians – some of these are documented in this Facebook thread on the Barnet Music page, used by Barnet Musicians – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1045197652201290/permalink/2035103413210704/
I have also used the venue on several occasions to host The Barnet Eye community awards, which recognises local charities and community campaigners. Organisations such as Colindale Foodbank and Barnet Housing Action have been recognised. (https://barneteye.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-saturday-list-109-barnet-eye-annual.html )
As a venue for wedding parties, funerals and other family events the venue is a vital and sadly unique venue. A good friend of mine recently had the wake for both her brother in law and mother at the venue. As a relatively low cost and community pub, it is an option for many who can’t afford more expensive venues.
Finally, the pub has an important role as a meeting place for local people. I am aware that the argument that developers and owners often make is that pubs are under utilised and part of a dying culture. The Midland has seen a decent turnaround over the last few years especially as a result of the live music offering. There is a huge untapped market for such a venue. This has been demonstrated by the transformation in Colindale of The Chandos Arms from a failing pub on its last legs three years ago to a vibrant, profitable business that won the UK Brewing Awards National Community Pub. The Landlord of the Midland is keen to emulate the success of the Chandos but cannot sensibly make the investment necessary to move the pub forward until such time as the future of the pub is secured. He has made small changes, such as bringing in a well used table tennis table and working with me to provide live music, but cannot sensibly invest in his own sound system and changes necessary without a guarantee of the future.
The fact that the planning application to knock down the Midland attracted over 500 objections demonstrated just how strong the local feeling is to preserve the Midland Hotel. Now please give John and the Team the security they need to take the pub forward and ensure that future generations of residents of West Hendon have a great pub, a grassroots music venue for budding musicians, somewhere to celebrate weddings and mourn the passing of those we love and somewhere to organise community events.
Founder of The Save London Music campaign
—- Don’t forget to make a date in your diary for The Save London Music party and Barnet Eye Community awards at Mill Hill Rugby Club on Fri 14th December at Mill Hill Rugby Club at 8pm. We really hope you can come down and say Hi. Admission is Free.