Two men have been arrested on suspicion of arson that is linked to the fire that burned down the Crooked House pub.
The pub, located near Dudley, fondly known as “Britain’s wonkiest” inn, spent months on the market before being secured by a private buyer, who was rumoured to have no plans to reopen it as a pub.
Soon afterwards, the historic site set ablaze in early August shortly after it had been sold. Police suspicions arose when, within 48 hours of the fire, the pub was completely demolished by diggers.
Reports via the BBC have stated Staffordshire Police have confirmed that a 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes are now being held in police custody and arrested on suspicion of arson.
Public outcry over the incident has followed the pub fire ever since its blaze and prompt demolition with a group of more than 21,000 people forming on Facebook and campaigners continually rallying to preserve the site calling for the beloved pub to be rebuilt brick-by-brick.
A stand-off between protesters who are angry at the demolition of the historic venue also ensued with many local residents, frustrated at the lack of communication over what would happen to the site.
In a statement, the police admitted that they recognised “the strength of local feeling following the loss of a significant cultural landmark”.
The 18th Century public house was fondly known for its sloping walls and floor due to mining subsidence in the area, however when it was sold by Marston’s to ATE Farms Limited after being put on the market in the spring, there were concerns about its fate
South Staffordshire Council said the foundations and bricks from the pub will stay on site while work to remove hazardous waste is carried out. Local residents have also been reassured that the local authority is conducting its own investigation into the demolition, however Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said in a public meeting last week that he would still “love to see a Crooked House law” put in place to protect other pubs from the same fate. The investigation continues.
This article was originally published by the drinks business and has been shared with permission.