maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
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The Crooked House, in Himley, West Midlands, has attracted fans from the four corners of the world since it became a pub in the 1830s.

lower-tourist-attraction-now-faces-801589051.jpg


And it's all down to its odd structure and crooked bar.

Said to be a favourite of visitors, the building slants to the left and is decorated with crooked doorways and wonky windows.

One side of the pub is a metre lower than the other.

Even the inside is slanted - the pub is complete with an uneven bar where coins appear to roll uphill in a bizarre optical illusion.

The structure, first constructed in 1765 as a farmhouse, stays up as it is propped up by buttresses made of bricks and metal bars.

But the pub's future is uncertain, as customers worry it could shut for good.

It has been put on the market just months after it had a major makeover.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/21655731/uk-wonkiest-pub-coins-optical-illusion-visit/

maximus otter
 
Is the term "Cowboy" used in the UK to denote shoddy or not-standard construction? Here in the US, the home of the Cowboy, unstandard construction is termed by several different terms, depending on the intention of the speaker. Cowboy is not one of them.

Correct. Very often associated with dodgy tradesmen.

It's probably an apocryphal story (I've heard it set in many different places in Yorkshire), but the usage supposedly inspired an Asian plumbing company (or electrical company, or builders, or decorators...depending on the version) to have written on the side of their van:

You've Tried the Cowboys - Now Try the Indians.

I really hope it's true.

Here in the US, the home of the Cowboy, unstandard construction is termed by several different terms, depending on the intention of the speaker. Cowboy is not one of them.

I have come across at least one US alternative during my working life - not at all a nice one. Although it was the basis for a great verbal comeback.
 

The Crooked House: Fire rips through famed 'wonky' pub​



Fire at Crooked House Pub



A famed 18th Century building once known as "Britain's wonkiest pub" has been completely gutted by a fire.
Smoke was reported coming from The Crooked House at Himley, near Dudley, at about 22:00 BST on Saturday.
Pictures from scene showed the property, which drastically subsided in the 19th Century, engulfed by flames.
Last month, it was confirmed the owners, Marston's, had sold the popular Black Country landmark to a private buyer for "an alternative use".
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said no-one was believed to be inside the building at the time and no injuries had been reported.
An investigation has been launched by Staffordshire Police and the fire service to determine the cause of the blaze.
Six fire crews tackled the flames overnight and by Sunday morning the fire was largely extinguished.

Fire at Crooked House Pub



The Crooked House was a popular attraction in the West Midlands for decades after Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries bought it and converted it into a pub in the 1940s.
Visitors flocked to see the distinctive building and witness the illusion of coins and marbles appearing to roll uphill along the bar.
It was built in 1765 as a farmhouse but, due to mining in the area during the early 19th Century, one side of the building began to sink.
In March, Marston's listed it for sale with a guide price of £675,000 but thousands of people signed a petition in the hope of keeping it as a pub.

The Crooked House pub


A petition to save the pub had amassed nearly 4,000 signatures
Watch commander Chris Green, from Tipton fire station, said: "The crews had to roll out 40 lengths of hose from the Himley Road which was the nearest hydrant."
The area around the fire site remains closed from High Arcal Road to Brick Kiln Lane.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-66421163
 
In my old role as an insurance claims investigator, specialising in fraud management, I would be looking at this closely and checking every detail thoroughly before making a decision on whether to pay the claim. It may well be a genuine accident, and unfortunately timed, but there is enough there to justify a degree of healthy scepticism.

Now I am not working in that role, I could say the above, privately between friends, in rather fewer words...
 
Forget insurance job - this is becoming the standard procedure for dodging pesky planning application failures, historic building listing etc.
Without any evidence there's no prosecution, with no prosecution there's no deterrent.
How long has 'arsonist' been a trade in the building industry?
 

The Crooked House: Fire rips through famed 'wonky' pub​



Fire at Crooked House Pub



A famed 18th Century building once known as "Britain's wonkiest pub" has been completely gutted by a fire.
Smoke was reported coming from The Crooked House at Himley, near Dudley, at about 22:00 BST on Saturday.
Pictures from scene showed the property, which drastically subsided in the 19th Century, engulfed by flames.
Last month, it was confirmed the owners, Marston's, had sold the popular Black Country landmark to a private buyer for "an alternative use".
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said no-one was believed to be inside the building at the time and no injuries had been reported.
An investigation has been launched by Staffordshire Police and the fire service to determine the cause of the blaze.
Six fire crews tackled the flames overnight and by Sunday morning the fire was largely extinguished.

Fire at Crooked House Pub



The Crooked House was a popular attraction in the West Midlands for decades after Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries bought it and converted it into a pub in the 1940s.
Visitors flocked to see the distinctive building and witness the illusion of coins and marbles appearing to roll uphill along the bar.
It was built in 1765 as a farmhouse but, due to mining in the area during the early 19th Century, one side of the building began to sink.
In March, Marston's listed it for sale with a guide price of £675,000 but thousands of people signed a petition in the hope of keeping it as a pub.

The Crooked House pub


A petition to save the pub had amassed nearly 4,000 signatures
Watch commander Chris Green, from Tipton fire station, said: "The crews had to roll out 40 lengths of hose from the Himley Road which was the nearest hydrant."
The area around the fire site remains closed from High Arcal Road to Brick Kiln Lane.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-66421163
Well, at least it seems like the had the most appropriate Watch Commander for the job, especially as he runs the-crews from 'Tipped-on' (Tipton) fire station! :bhave:
 
Yet another example of mysterious fire in such circumstances. Given the extent of the destruction I doubt that a definitive cause will be found unless signs of an accelerant or something similar are found. Even then investigators would have to prove "who did it". I came across a few similar cases where criminal prosecution was involved and of those some owners were found to be not guilty but did not pursue an insurance claim, presumably on the basis that the desired effect had been achieved. As discussed in another thread here, maybe the owner should be compelled to reinstate the building as before (presumably without wonkiness).
 
I miss the old days when sketchy property developers would just dress up as ghosts and scare people away. It worked fine unless some meddling kids showed up.
.... and they would chase one who had a dog who'd both spontaneously stop mid chase and pretend to be barbers or something. You couldn't make it up.
 
I'm not suggesting this is what happened in this case, but if something similar were to have happened in Scotland, I think the phrase 'went on fire' would have been used.

I love the fantastically euphemestic phrase 'went on fire'!
 
The Clock Hotel at Welwyn suffered the same fate as the wonkiest pub.
It was empty for some months, pending a refurbishment, but then mysteriously burnt to the ground one night.
Then they built residential blocks there. With grass roofs which are now overgrown but brown and dead because "it seemed like a good idea at the time".
1691406209812.png
 
The Clock Hotel at Welwyn suffered the same fate as the wonkiest pub.
It was empty for some months, pending a refurbishment, but then mysteriously burnt to the ground one night.
Then they built residential blocks there. With grass roofs which are now overgrown but brown and dead because "it seemed like a good idea at the time".
View attachment 68478
Visible from the A1 - I noticed that change from hotel to housing and wondered about it at the time.
 
I think that when buildings have some historical significance, whether they are 'listed' or not, they should have access to a fund that allows for them to maintain the building itself, so that in the case (such as our 'wonkiest pub', and 'The Clock') of something extreme happening that ruins the building rendering it unusable, that 'the fund' steps in to cover the cost of rebuilding in it's original form.
Maybe 'the fund' could be financed by a contribution from all buildings insurance policies along with donations etc.

I mean, I much prefer the look of the original 'Clock' building to that which replaced it.
IMO if the people that buy these places, and want to redevelop them, use the "it just burnt down" method of getting around planning restrictions etc, this method would be rendered obsolete if the building would (by law) just have to be replaced with an exact duplicate.
 
I think that when buildings have some historical significance, whether they are 'listed' or not, they should have access to a fund that allows for them to maintain the building itself, so that in the case (such as our 'wonkiest pub', and 'The Clock') of something extreme happening that ruins the building rendering it unusable, that 'the fund' steps in to cover the cost of rebuilding in it's original form.
Maybe 'the fund' could be financed by a contribution from all buildings insurance policies along with donations etc.

I mean, I much prefer the look of the original 'Clock' building to that which replaced it.
IMO if the people that buy these places, and want to redevelop them, use the "it just burnt down" method of getting around planning restrictions etc, this method would be rendered obsolete if the building would (by law) just have to be replaced with an exact duplicate.
The 'burn it down' method has been around a long time and will probably still be employed by crooked businesses in the future, as long as insurance companies allow it.
I've seen a couple of examples that looked 'iffy' to me.
 
I recall on the Isle of Wight a pub owner in a listed pub wanted to extend a beach-view dining room and his plans were refused. In typical Vectian fashion, he had the bright idea of using a mini-JCB to knock through an internal wall to enlarge the dining room. The (allegedly) non-supporting wall collapsed onto the digger, then the floor of the dining room that overhung the beach collapsed down onto the shingle.
Insurance claim refused, council refusing any further planning permission, and Inspector Plod felt collars and the owner lost everything.
Can't recall the actual pub, but I'll rootle around.
 
The 'burn it down' method has been around a long time and will probably still be employed by crooked businesses in the future, as long as insurance companies allow it.
I've seen a couple of examples that looked 'iffy' to me.

I always thought that the Smirnoff Distillery in Warrington burning down was a bit suss. It didn't take long for houses to be built on the site.
 
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