McDon­ald’s his­toric find at Tum­ble­down

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

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.


The re­cently un­cov­ered his­toric brand­ing by Si­monds Brew­ery on the side of the Tum­ble­down Dick in Farn­bor­ough.

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