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Petition to bring the Chippenham back to punk glory

Campaigners wanted pub where The Clash played "first gig" listed 

04 August, 2017 — By The Xtra Diary


HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition calling for the Chippenham pub in Maida Vale to be restored to its former punk rock glory.

The pub in Shirland Road, which has existed since the late 19th century, has a long and colourful history. Some claim it was the venue for “the very first gig of The Clash”.

In the 1970s the upstairs became a punk rock venue where Joe Strummer is believed to have played with the 101ers before joining the Clash. The Sex Pistols and many others on the punk scene frequented it.

In the 1950s an alcove at the back of the pub became a place of worship for Irish people. The upstairs bar was once a snooker hall and a backpackers’ hostel. But in 2014, the Chipp closed and campaigners have fought for its return ever since.

The petition, launched this week by Maida Hill Business Improvement District, said: “The Chippenham is the birthplace of punk rock, the precise location of the very first gig of The Clash, the legendary English punk rock band. This pub has earned a rightful place in musical history and is a source of vast community pride. With that historical knowledge, the undersigned hereby petition Historic England to list this Victorian pub as a heritage site and grant all appropriate protections afforded under English law.”

It has now been signed by more than 500 people.

Petitioners called for Westminster and Brent councils and local MPs to support the renovation and restoration of the Chippenham “to a punk rock, reggae and family friendly public house in Maida Hill”.

In 2014, an application was put in to change the building’s use to retail, as the owners claimed it was being run as a shop. Westminster Council allowed it but it closed down soon after. Steel shutters were put up, and campaigners fought for some time for these to be removed. Finally an enforcement notice was issued for them to be taken down.

Labour councillor Tim Roca said: “It is in a frightful state. It is derelict, we called for enforcement action but it has taken so long, we have been bugging the council since last year on enforcement action.”

He added: “We want it restored to being a pub. We are worried about the interior and the fabric of it. It has got a really interesting history to it.” The councillor said he had a browse through the pub’s history at Westminster Archives and discovered plenty of stories.

“There was a landlord in the 1920s who used to have exploding cigars,” he said.

The owners of the pub could not be reached for comment.

Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning and public realm, said: “We have now issued a formal notice under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act on the owners and leaseholders of the Chippenham Hotel as we believe the condition of the pub is adversely affecting the amenity of the area.”

See the petition at: /restore-the-chip

In other pub news, work has finally begun on rebuilding the Carlton Tavern in Carlton Vale (above).

Campaigners did not give up on the pub, which was knocked down by developers CLTX overnight in April 2015 without permission and they were ordered to rebuild it.

Westminster Council cabinet member Daniel Astaire said: “This is a big step in our campaign to undo the damage caused by the illegal demolition of the Carlton Tavern. I hope our campaign sends a clear message to developers across the country that they cannot ride roughshod over the views of local communities.”


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