Make the Half Moon Pub An Asset Of Community Value

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Peter Blair
Make the Half Moon Pub An Asset Of Community Value

The Half Moon pub on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill should:

- Be reopened as a pub;

- Remain as a venue for music and live entertainment under future owners.

I checked on Southwark Council website and the Half Moon Pub in Herne Hill is not currently listed as an Asset of Community Value. In order to have it
classified as such, the application is required to come from an organisation. This would be ideal for Herne Hill Forum to help facilitate - http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/7942/asset_of_communit...

Please read this Guardian article - http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/oct/13/the-death-and-life-of-a-great-british-pub
which strongly suggests that designating a pub as an Asset of Community Value prevents developers from destroying the actual pub, even if their
planning application says that they will retain a bar.

We all want the Half Moon Pub restored as a fulcrum of our community in Herne Hill and a venue for music and entertainment. Please support this campaign and help the Herne Hill Forum to lobby Southwark Council to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value, in order to protect its status as a pub and live music venue under future owners. 

The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 came into force on 21 September 2012. Their purpose is to give community groups a right to nominate property that is believed to further the social interests or social wellbeing of the local community,and gives them time to make a bid to buy the property on the open market if the property owner decides to sell. Only eligible community groups, local parish councils or local neighbourhood planning forums and charities can nominate properties.

Lucy_C
This sounds like a really

This sounds like a really good idea. One which I'd support, and I imagine a lot of other residents would too. You've pretty much written the rationale that's needed for the form in your post. Do those running HH Community Forum have a view?

I wonder what the next steps on this would be. Seems to me that it would be good to build some momentum and local support on this before looking to submit an application. Online petition on change.org? Facebook group? A stall at the market to engage and chat about it?

Peter Blair
Thanks Lucy

I like the idea of petition and stall at the market. I was informed that we need to move fast re ACV application - it does not appear to be something that we need massed signatures on, but it does need to be submitted by the HH Community Forum in order to be considered by Southwark Council. Happy to arrange to meet up with like-minded people who'd like to help mobilise local support and plans to save the Half Moon.

Peter Blair
Save The Half Moon is now on Twitter

Please follow us @savehalfmoonpub

Peter Blair
Half Moon Pub - share your memories & help our ACV bid!

Please join the discussion on this thread, particularly if you have photos and memories of the Half Moon Pub to share. Were you at a gig at the Half Moon? Who did you see? We need to gather as much historical evidence as we can about the Half Moon Pub as a music and entertainment venue, in order to support our bid to have the pub listed by Southwark Council as an Asset of Community Value.

Peter Blair
July, 1980 U2 play the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, London

Chas De Whalley "I'd tried very hard to get U2 signed to CBS in the U.K. before Island got hold of them. But I remained in touch with them afterwards, so I went along to the Half Moon to see them. I remember having a conversation there with Neil Spencer ofNME, telling him that this band was going to be huge." http://www.atu2.com/news/eyewitness-dateline-may-22-1980-september-29-19...

Were you there? Share your memories of legendary bands at The Half Moon in Herne Hill on this thread.

Peter Blair
December 12, 1983 Billy Bragg plays the Half Moon pub

From - Billy Bragg: Still Suitable for Miners:"Billy had played many a London date with Sincere's other white hopes The Opposition, but by December, rather embarrassingly, he started accidentally blowing them offstage. A gig at the Half Moon pub in South London's Herne Hill on 12 December was reviewed in both Sounds and Melody Maker ('Pity [Billy Bragg's] doting followers, who arrived in their buzzing droves, didn't have the decency to stay for the main act. Most of them left before the Oppos played a note').

Peter Blair
What bands have you seen at the Half Moon in Herne Hill?

"I spent many a night in the late seventies / early eighties at the poetically named Half Moon, which was an important part of the new wave, indy post-punk scene. My diaries from those years are filled with names such as The Police, The Young Marble Giants, Holly and the Italians, Siam, The Venigmas, Screen 3, The Belle Stars, The Piranhas, The Alarm, The Europeans, The Gym Slips, The Sinceros, The Comsat Angels, The Godfathers and my favourite two new wave bands at the time; Bim and the Photos, all of whom I saw there."

Extract from:  http://roullierwhite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/saturday-shopping-herne-hill...

Peter Blair
Recognise the interior in this 1988 advert?

Leslie Nielson in Red Rock Cider advert 1988. Recognise the interior?

Peter Blair
1988, actor Leslie Nielson outside the Half Moon pub

1988 Actor Leslie Neilson outside the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, where he was filming an advert.

Peter Blair
Listing bands who have played at the Half Moon pub

"The beautiful, grand, Half Moon Pub built in 1896 has remarkable musical credentials, having played host to an impressive list of names over the past 25 years, including Van Morrison, The Police, U2, Paul Young, Geno Washington, The Yardbirds, The late Big Joe Turner, and the south London debut ofCarvin Jones."

Extract from: http://dulwichonview.org.uk/2009/03/27/half-moon-pub/

Peter Blair
Bring back the music - U2 at the Half Moon Herne Hill, July 1980

U2 11 O'Clock Tick Tock UK & Ireland 1980
11-07-1980 Half Moon Club, Herne Hill, London

Set list: includes 11 O’Clock Tick Tock, Out of Control, Boy/Girl, Stories for Boys, encore 11 O’clock Tick Tock 

Read the full review here: http://www.u2theearlydayz.com/11071980-half-moon-club-herne-hill-london....

Peter Blair
Heritage Pubs of London - Half Moon Herne Hill

Half Moon 1896 by architect J. W. Brooker. Exuberant exterior to this pub-cumformer-hotel. The numerous original rooms have been reduced to three but there is still much of the original feel. The counter and bar-back survive as does the panelling in the public bar. But the most exceptional room is a snug on the left with its six back-painted mirrors depicting birds and signed by ‘W. Gibbs & Sons glass decorators’ of Blackfriars (what a pity the snob screens have gone from over the counter). Also etched, cut and coloured glass in other screenwork. Inter-war exterior glass offering the blandishments of ‘luncheons’, ‘billiards’, ‘snooker’, etc. (Page 25)

Extract from: http://www.heritagepubs.org.uk/download/RealHeritagePubsOfLondon.pdf

Peter Blair
Screen 3 - memories of playing at the Half Moon

Half-Moon, Herne Hill, London

 

"We played here a few times. I think Elvis Costello was in the audience at one of them, I’m not sure. My main memory of one of the gigs was losing one of my contact lenses while we were packing up after the gig, and getting everyone still present to crawl around the sticky pub carpet looking for it for ages. I then discovered it up around the back of my eye, much to my relief (and embarrassment). Not the most exciting story I know, but considering there are huge gaps where I can’t remember anything, I’m putting it in anyway…"

Extract from: https://sites.google.com/site/screen3norwich/history-1/history-pt-2

Peter Blair
U2 - memories of U2 gig at the Half Moon in Herne Hill

U2 at the Half Moon in Herne Hill (Uncut)U2 at the Half Moon in Herne Hill (Uncut)

Peter Blair
Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits - lyrics set in Half Moon pub?
This song is not about a club, its about a pub. Possibly but not definitely the Half Moon in Herne Hill, south London which had a big reputation for jazz in the 70s - I used to go there. It's very definitely "way on down south, London town" - and the park "It's raining in" would be Brockwell Park just next door. A lot of the Knopflers' songs have strong south London overtones, including "Single Handed Sailor" which refers to the Cutty Sark clipper in Greenwich, and the Gypsy Moth which used to be moored next to it.

Peter - London, United Kingdom
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1090

Peter Blair
Please follow us on Twitter @savehalfmoonpub

For campaign updates, fascinating history, community comment and much more!

Peter Blair
Jo Brand at the Half Moon Pub today

We met up with Jo Brand outside the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill earlier today. https://twitter.com/savehalfmoonpub/status/663311487184818176

Lucy_C
Brill

Hi Peter!

Where on earth did you find Jo Brand?!

Great to have a Twitter - I've made a start on a Facebook group to catch the widest possible demographic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1224748277542780/

If you use fb do add me and I'll make you a group admin. Might be a good place to get people posting their memories of the Half Moon? 

A meeting of likemindeds sounds good.

You mentioned that there was a bit of time pressure for submitting an Asset of Community Value application - why is that, and what are the timescales?

Peter Blair
Amazing

Thanks Lucy. Great stuff. You are amazing! Will join the group today.

Peter Blair
Please share our Buzzfeed post - 5 reasons to save the Half Moon
Peter Blair
#TShirtDay Photocall outside the Half Moon Pub 27 Nov at 8am

Dust off your old band t-shirts and wear them with pride. Friday November 27th is #tshirtday. We'll send in our group photo to BBC Radio 6 Music and help get national coverage for our cause. Do this one great thing on your way in to work and feel virtuous for the whole weekend! It's for the greater good of the community that we all live in. #keepmusiclive#savethehalfmoonBBC6 Music #TShirtDay

Peter Blair
The World's Best Ever Gig?

No music experience can ever quite match seeing your favourite singer or band in a small intimate venue. In 2010, Rumer performed on ‘Later With Jools Holland’ and her debut album reached number 3 in the UK charts. In September of that year, she also played at the Half Moon in Herne Hill. One Rumer fan travelled all the way from South Wales to watch her perform. Here is Mary’s story: http://www.buzzfeed.com/savethehalfmoon/the-worlds-best-ever-gig-1z67l

Peter Blair
Breaking Big

There’s a moment in the career of all breaking artists, when you graduate to a venue where your own musical heroes have played … like the Half Moon in Herne Hill. Memories are made of this. http://www.buzzfeed.com/savethehalfmoon/breaking-big-1z67l

alan
Half Moon Pub

I support the pub being designated as a community asset and live music continuing to be played there.

Having said that whether or not it continues as a live music venue is primarily a matter for the owners of the building. An important consideration is safeguarding the building and finding an economically sustainable use for it given that it is a listed building. I have read somewhere that various proposals are being considered including a mixed development of flats and a "boutique" hotel. (Which may be right or may be wrong).

It might be possible to combine residential and hotel use with live music subject to conditions such as limiting the number of live music events and their timing as well as ensuring privacy to the flats and hotel accommodation.

No doubt there would be a demand for the flats and I suspect a hotel would also be popular given what seems to be limited quality hotel accommodation in Herne Hill.

I doubt if a use based solely on live music would be financially viable and thus safeguard the building's future but I could be wrong. If a combination of uses, including live music, can be reconciled that would seem to me to be a possible way forward.

Peter Blair
Half Moon Pub

Hi Alan, we are committed to working towards a sustainable business plan. You are absolutely right in saying the use of the building must be economically viable. It's important to emphasise that we are also about saving a performance space that was used regularly as part of the Herne Hill music and film festivals, hosted stand-up comedy every Friday night, theatre, record fairs and even Rollapaluza cycling! A variety of uses for the performance space is indeed the business model that we are hoping to work with the landlord/lessee on.

alan
Half Moon Pub

I've read on Brixtonbuzz that the Half Moon pub is to open as a pub later in the year and discussions are continuing on a variety of uses including live music.

Well done to Peter Blair and all concerned.

pureedfruit
Half Moon Pub

I do not think Brixtonbuzz is the most objective of sources. A more objective account of what is happenning is in the Evening Standard article. You will note there that the Fullers Pub chain spokesman is careful to avoid the use of the word "music" and this is not suprising given that so many pubs have closed in recent years unable to survive on sales of beer alone even when such sales are boosted by crowds drawn in to watch big screen football or live music. The genre of pubs that have survived,  and even florished, have been gastro pubs, and so it comes as no surpise to find that is exactly what Fullers are planning. Go look at the planning application: the ground floor is divided into 3 areas - a large restaurant of 100+ covers, a smaller pub area of about 80 covers, and an even smaller area which is the entrance to the hotel above. 

It is all very well being nostalgic for things of the past, but things change and sometimes for the better. We used to have a cinema in Herne Hill but that closed and I have to go that extra mile or two to the multi screen Ritzy in Brixton. So be it - it is not the end of the world and there is very much greater choice. And would you believe it: a totally new multi screen cinema has opened in East Dulwich which I would never have expected given the overall decline in cinemas ? Pubs with music are very much on the decline, but music festivals are booming. So are the many ways that one can enjoy personal music also booming, to say nothing of the reducing cost of so enjoying. Maybe some of you will also end up travelling to Brixton to the music venues there. Excuse me if I do not shed a tear.

What is important is that the Half Moon re-opens in a form in which it can continue to be financially successful and thus flourish. Frankly, I think that Fullers know what they are doing, I wish them every success, and hope that their new restaurant will be every bit as good as Restaurant 22, which is now sadly closed.

whatsup
Fullers, by their own

Fullers, by their own admission do not have experience of running any sort of music venue, hence they bid to run a hotel and gastro pub. 

Contrary to what you say about Cinema the visitor numbers have risen over the last few years. People realise that having a live experience, shared with others is a good way to enjoy cultural activities.

Herne Hill has been greatly diminished by the ongoing closure of the Half Moon pub, both as a pub and a key live entertainment venue. You state that there are many venues round London that are closing that used to have live music, this is sadly very true. Invariably they are being turned into residential housing. It is important that the Half Moon is open again but equally important is that it remains first and foremost a live music venue. It was profitable before the flood and can easily be profitable again afterwards. If we keep on closing live music venues then we accelerate the move away from skills, culture, boosting the local economy and having access to a very useful venue. It used to host a wide range of activities, not just live music, there were comedy nights, film events, classical music (herne Hill Music festival), poetry and more. 

Some of the events there were not to my liking as such, everyone has different tastes but I do appreciate the value that it adds to an area and to an up and coming generation of adults who would like to either experience live music or create the live music. Lose them at our peril, we would be much the poorer for it.

pureedfruit
Fullers, do not have experience of running a music venue

Whatsup you post "Fullers, by their own admission do not have experience of running any sort of music venue, hence they bid to run a hotel and gastro pub" and then go on to claim "It is important that the Half Moon is open again but equally important is that it remains first and foremost a live music venue." Where is the sense in that if it does not make commercial sense? Do you really want Fullers and the Half Moon to fail? 

What IS IMPORTANT is that the Half Moon pub continues to be finacially viable. If that turns out to be as a gastro pub then so be it. OK for some the loss of live music there will be a loss but given that many now can, and do, enjoy music in so many other ways, it will be a relatively small loss. No matter how much a small, vocal minority lobbies for recent nostalgia, I anticipate that there will be a far greater majority patronising the new restaurant.

Peter Blair
Fuller's currently offers live music in other London pubs

The Distillers in Hammersmith is owned by Fuller's and operates a pro live music policy, including open mic nights and stand-up comedy. The pub is one of the most successful in the Fuller's estate. We have made this point to Fuller's in a recent meeting. Their 'no experience' argument appears rather disingenuous in this context. Our experience talking to a cross-section of local people since the beginning of November shows widespread support for saving the live music venue.

pureedfruit
Fuller's currently offers live music in other London pubs

So contrary to Whatsup assertion that Fullers have no experience of running a music venue, it would appear that they actually do, so it would seem reasonable to conclude that they know what they are talking about. The fact that they do have one remaining pub offering live music does not in itself make a good business case for opening a new venue as a live music venue, particularly if it is a dying genre,  and if they believe that other genres (e.g. a gastro pub) are likely to bring greater commercial success. Would you invest if it was your money ? 

Peter Blair
Fuller's currently offers live music in other London pubs

Everyone gets the profit maximisation argument. You could, of course, follow that line of argument and say that the Carnegie Library would be more profitable operating as a Wetherspoons. It ultimately comes down to how much value we place on our local cultural amenities. A posh burger and chips, or an Omid Djalili gig? I think you know where I stand on this!

pureedfruit
Pretty pointless analogy

Peter that is a pretty pointless analogy: the Carnegie is a community asset owned by the community through the council and indeed is a local cultural amenity, whilst The Half Moon pub is a commercial asset owned by Dulwich Estates which in the past has been operated as a pub, and which from time to time has offered screenings of football matches and music events to try to drum up a bit of extra business, but they were incidental to the main business. As I am sure you are aware this is pretty much the legal advice Southwark's Planning Committee were given in relation to its designation of an "Asset of Community Value" when they recently approved the Fullers planning application 4 to 1.

So hopefully by the end of the year the Half Moon will re-open as a Fullers gastro pub, and as far as I can make out they have not changed their mind about the music angle. Will you now give it a chance to suceed in its new format?

You could turn your campaigning talents to helping the Hootanannay survive, say ? Just an idea.

Lizzy
I for one am full of

I for one am full of admiration for Peter's campaign and in awe of people who give up their free time to attempt to preserve the heritage of Herne Hill.  Pretty soon it will be all Oliver Bonas, White Stuff and Costa coffee.

Peter Blair
Half Moon Pub - what we have achieved to date

Pureedfruit - it's fair to say that we're all looking forward to the reopening of the Half Moon later this year. In advance of the Fuller's planning application which was approved by Southwark Council this week, we met with representatives of the brewery on 3 separate occasions, including in the company of our local MP Helen Hayes.

On opening night, when people are sat drinking in the beautiful snug bar, please remember that this space is still a public bar because we specifically asked Fuller's not to turn it exclusively into a private dining space (their original design). By keeping up the pressure about saving the music venue, we also won a small, but significant, concession from Fuller's to alter their plans to have fixed seating arrangements in the main area of the back room. This alone, retains the possibly of retaining the space for flexible community use, even music and comedy. We have also established the principal with Fuller's that the Half Moon actively supports key community events such as the Herne Hill Music Festival. Not least, by campaigning on the fact that Fuller's offers live music and comedy at the Distillers in Hammersmith, we have established the principal that, in Fuller's own words this week: "The next step is to hire a top class general manager who will work with the local community and continue to engage with the local groups we have already met with."

Finally, I would like to point out that before we started our campaign in November 2015, the pub had sat empty since August 2013, a previous attempt at making the pub an Asset of Community Value had been started then abandoned, and The Dulwich Estate had tried to submit a planning application to turn the entire building except the front bar into residential accommodation. Through the activities of our campaign, not only have we made the pub an Asset of Community Value for the next 5 years, but we have become a rallying point giving local people a voice on the issue of the Half Moon.

We will continue to work with Fuller's over the coming months to help shape the Half Moon's future in the interests of everyone in our community.

Peter Blair
Half Moon Pub

It's worth pointing out that we have already been contacted by a number of people who are interested in bringing music and comedy back to the Half Moon. We shall be putting forward a business case to Fullers shortly. The Half Moon has hosted live music for over 40 years, so this is also about the contribution of the pub to the wider social wellbeing of our local community. The Half Moon is now listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). 7,000 people have signed our change.org petition to save live music. The response from the Mayor's Office states: "The Half Moon has a reputation as a genuine grassroots music venue, where audiences can see the next generation of talent at the start of their careers. As well as recognising the Half Moon’s music heritage, we would urge the management to continue a regular programme of new and cutting edge grassroots music acts."

Here is one of the comments from our change.org petition: "My Nan and Grandad's local - born in the 1890' s. My uncle's local, born in the 1920's. My mum's local, born in the 1930's. And where I hung out listening to music in the 1980's in the same room my grandad and uncles played billiards. My sons born in the 1990's spent time there watching their dad playing drums with bands such as The London Apaches, Stevie Smith, Steve Waller and the Sunday Jams... So many memories - So much history.. My history." Above all, we do believe that we can work cooperatively to find a financial model for the Half Moon that retains its heritage as a live music venue and makes a profit for Fullers. This is all about finding a better way forward. If we lose the Half Moon as a live music and performance venue, then our community will never get this back.

brixton
 I had my first "legal"

 I had my first "legal"  drink in the half moon in 1969, i then spent many happy hours in the 70s and early 80s seeing much good music.  I went back recently and my only thought was that at least the public bar is still there, but it seems when they had the flood it was  "the day the music died":(

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