Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Save The Red Lion, Isleworth!

I've just got over losing The Hobgoblin in Staines, a very fine music venue in Staines.

Every Monday, when we can, we go to the Jazz club built around Trevor Tomkins incredible drumming and his contacts in the world of British Modern Jazz. 

It's unique; the best of Modern Jazz in a friendly old fashioned pub.
This is Paul Morgan on Monday night lighting up the bass; 

It's as good as anything you'd see at Ronnie Scott's and you can park outside.

This is Dave Newton on keyboards on the back row - Robyn (who knows a thing or two about Jazz rates  him very highly) while in the foreground is Alan Barnes who was just amazing on Sax - breathy at one moment, screaming at the next. He is really up there.

So anyway, we knew something was wrong when the cats (Ronnie, Roxy and Ginge) disappeared.
It turns out this magnificent pub is for sale and while that wouldn't normally matter too much, it does these days.
Once upon a time no one made too much money running a pub but they made a living. Now, the property prices have risen so much, pubs are worth real money; much more than you could ever make just running it as a pub.
And so they are all bought up and turned into shops or flats or houses and our culture dies.
The Red Lion in Isleworth isn't just about Jazz on Mondays; they have Folk and Blues, there's Rock and even community plays.
They have Pantomimes...for goodness sake.
There are amazing beer festivals.
It's eccentric.
It's the centre of it's community and we love it.
And now we may lose it.....except that a campaign has started to petition the council to declare the pub a 'Community Asset'.
It's important; if that status is granted the pub can be sold but it can only be used as a pub and not converted.
This has an important effect in reducing it's value to the level of a pub and goes towards ensuring it's survival.
I don't have details of the petition but send me your email and I'll sign you up on Mondays when I'm there.
Meanwhile when I have an e-address I'll post it here.
Since I wrote that I have a link and here it is;
Please take a look - this is a worthy cause.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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