Right royal battle to save Queen’s Head at Limehouse where the Queen Mum pulled a pint
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Regulars are stepping up their fight to save one of the few remaining cockney boozers in London’s East End which could go up for auction next Thursday.
They have been running a campaign to stop the Queen’s Head in Limehouse—where the late Queen Mother once famously pulled a pint—being sold to developers to be tuned into flats.
Customers got together last year and managed to get the pub in York Square, off the Commercial Road, listed with the local authority as a “community asset” which gives them the right to put in a bid for it before any auction.
But the charity that owns the property put a £600,000 price tag on it—which the regulars haven’t been unable to raise.
“We managed to get an independent brewer interested in the Queen’s Head,” campaign organiser Matt O’Leary told the East London Advertiser.
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“But the asking price kept going up. It started at £500,000 and the brewery made the offer, then agreed to another £40,000 on top, but then found the price going up again to £600,000 which was too much.”
Matt, a bank worker at Canary Wharf, got the pub listed at the Town Hall as a community asset after discovering plans to sell the property.
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Now the Unity Welfare Foundation charity owners, who bought the 125-year leasehold in a Tower Hamlets council sell-off of six East End property assets in 2012, have decided to put it up for auction.
The customers have since heard that a property developer is offering £680,000.
Casia Conway, one of the regulars, said: “We tried putting a community bid together as a going business, but couldn’t manage the asking price.
“All we care about is keeping the Queen’s Head as our local.”
The Queen Mother visited the Queen’s Head in July, 1987, and pulled a pint of bitter and drank most of it, declaring that it “tasted better than champagne”. There are photographs of her visit around the bar. A brass plaque also marks the event.