Aldershot News & Mail
McDonald’s historic find at Tumbledown
MCDONALD’S, building a new restaurant in Farnborough, will have to amend their plans after a stunning discovery at the site.
A slice of Farnborough’s rich history was recently uncovered on the side of the Tumbledown Dick pub.
Preparatory work on the now-derelict building, which is said to date back to the 17th century, is underway after McDonald’s was granted planning permission in October last year.
But these works have uncovered a well-preserved array of hand-painted lettering, straight onto the pub’s original brickwork, on its northern side.
The sign writing is believed to date from the 19th or early 20th century and advertises the pub’s connection with the Simonds Brewery of Reading.
Councillor Roland Dibbs, cabinet member for environment and service delivery at Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “As soon as we were alerted to the discovery, we acted quickly to speak to the applicants.
“As it would not be possible to remove the sign, we advised we’d like to see the sign writing retained for residents and visitors to admire and as a reflection of the locally listed building’s historic associations.
“We are very pleased that the applicant has agreed to our request and has undertaken to leave the sign visible.”
It means the exterior food chain signage will need to be repositioned, requiring a new or amended planning application.
Contractors will carefully remove tiling on the building’s southern elevation to see if a corresponding sign can be found nearby.
Last year’s decision brought to an end a long campaign by the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick group to protect the historic building, once a popular pub and music venue, from development. It closed in 2008.
Rob Stevens, of the Friends, said members were unhappy at the lack of communication from McDonald’s after promises were made to inform them of anything of historical interest found during demolition work.
He said: “If we had not spotted [the sign] and raised the issue with the authorities, it would surely have vanished soon, notwithstanding the fact that it too, provides considerable proof of the local historic importance this building has.”
McDonald’s hopes to have the new restaurant open by August.