Search

Historic musical pub formerly run by Fatboy Slim’s uncle faces demolition threat

13:00 19 March 2014

Left to right: Lib Dem council candidates for Childs Hill, Jonathan Davies and Charlotte Henry, with Cllr Jack Cohen outside The Castle. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Left to right: Lib Dem council candidates for Childs Hill, Jonathan Davies and Charlotte Henry, with Cllr Jack Cohen outside The Castle. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A historic pub famed for its live music heritage could be demolished and replaced with flats after the council refused to grant it special protection.

Denis Cook, in The Castle pub shortly before its closure. Picture: Nigel Sutton.Denis Cook, in The Castle pub shortly before its closure. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Barnet Council rejected an application to list The Castle in Finchley Road, Childs Hill, as an asset of community value earlier this month following a campaign to protect the building.

It is now feared the pub and its surrounding land will be snapped up by a developer who would be free to demolish it and put up luxury properties.

Childs Hill councillor Jack Cohen, who spearheaded the campaign to protect The Castle, said: “There’s been a pub on the site since the 1700s. It’s a landmark site because it’s very prominent and well-loved by the locals.

“People came from far and wide to listen to good bands and people used to describe it as iconic. It’s a place where up and coming bands could come out and practice in front of a live audience. It’s the only pub between Golders Green and Swiss Cottage.”

The pub has sat derelict since closing in December 2012 when former landlord Denis Cook, 67, was forced to leave the business after the building’s former owner, Greene King brewery, sold the site to a property developer.

Mr Cook, whose nephew is DJ Norman Cook, known as Fatboy Slim, spent £250,000 renovating the pub after he became landlord in November 2009 and attempted to appeal to wide sections of the community – introducing an all-kosher food menu in 2012.

During his tenure, Mr Cook attracted a host of well-known musicians to play at The Castle including Albert Lee, Georgie Fame, Wilko Johnson and, shortly before the pub’s closure, John Lennon’s first band The Quarrymen.

“I wanted to bring it back to its former glory,” said Mr Cook. “I heard stories of Marc Bolan and Shane MacGowan going there back in the day.

“I’m not proud of the fact I will be the last landlord of The Castle, that was not a part of my CV that I wanted. I was very saddened by the whole situation. I love that building.”

Cllr Cohen said he couldn’t see “any hope” of saving The Castle and slammed Barnet Council for not protecting it.

“I’m beginning to think that the Conservatives in Barnet have written off this part of the borough,” he said. “People down in Childs Hill want a life and don’t want to have to keep fighting for their amenities.”

Cllr Robert Rams, cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, who made the decision to reject The Castle as a community asset, said: “As someone who had visited that pub many times before, I struggled to see the legitimacy of listing it as a community asset.

“It was a run-down pub that had seen better days. It was clear the times I’d been that it wasn’t being used by the community.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

16:22
Teenagers were attacked on Parliament Hill (Pic credit: PA)

Young teenagers at a birthday gathering on Hampstead Heath were stabbed and bottled by a gang of older youths who robbed them of mobile phones and cash.

Yesterday, 16:40
Hugo Duggan, pictured in 2010 during the family's Justice For Jeremiah campaign. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The father of a Golders Green student who died in Germany in 2003 after becoming involved with a far-right cult has finally opened a birthday card sent from his son just before his death.

Yesterday, 15:37
Brookfield Park Surgery will move to Highgate

Two doctors have applied to turn their GP surgery into flats ahead of the practice’s move to Highgate.

Yesterday, 14:14
Ash Court Care Centre in Kentish Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

A Filipino care home nurse who attacked four elderly dementia patients for soiling themselves has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder