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Future of Warwickshire pub destroyed by fire put under spotlight

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A GRADE-II listed pub that was ravaged by fire last April is now the subject of an enforcement case by Stratford District Council.

The Three Tuns in Alcester High Street has been left empty and surrounded by scaffolding after the fire left the building a gutted wreck.

The Three Tuns in Alcester following the fire last year. Photo: Mark Williamson
The Three Tuns in Alcester following the fire last year. Photo: Mark Williamson

Since the incident on Saturday, 17th April, little protection work has been carried out on the pub and it’s feared it may now be too late for any to be undertaken.

After months of lying derelict and with no sign of any work taking place at the pub, a spokesperson for Stratford District Council said: “I can confirm we do have a live enforcement case on this, so we are unable to comment further at this time.”

The landlord of the building is believed to be from Birmingham – the pub was leased by licensee and businesswoman Mandy Downes who ran the pub with partner Andy Bown.

They were left devastated by the fire and the Alcester community is keen to see them back behind the bar at the Three Tuns, which was named Shakespeare Camra’s pub of the year in 2020.

Cllr Susan Juned, who represents Alcester Town Ward at Stratford District Council, said a way forward needs to be found to save a “much-loved pub which is part of the community”.

She told the Herald: “Without a tin hat on the roof of the pub it has no protection from rain or winter weather. It’s too late to erect a temporary roof now because the damp inside would sweat and cause dry rot.

“We can’t just let it sit there with scaffolding. It’s a historic building in the middle of Alcester that people come to see.”

The cause of the fire last April remains unknown.

A Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “A fire investigation was undertaken, however, due to the very poor structural integrity of the building, investigators were unable to gain safe access within the property.

“Although the investigators did not let this deter them, they identified other sources, such as CCTV, witness interviews, to endeavour and interpret the cause of the fire.

“Ultimately, fire investigators were unable to establish with any certainty the cause of the fire and have recorded the cause as unknown. Insurance companies are now leading on any further investigations into the cause.”

The fire also left Laura Hemming and fiancée Abi Lewis homeless after their flat above the Sue Ryder shop next door suffered major water and smoke damage during the blaze.

However, the incident also brought forward Alcester’s sense of community as fundraising pages were set up for both Mandy and Andy and Laura and Abi.

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