The 600 year-old pub and iconic east London venue has won its legal fight against the evil council powers that be which would have seen the much loved Grade II listed George Tavern be prevented from playing live music due to a controversial plan to build a new block of flats. "I am relieved and happy that the Judges have recognised the importance of the historic George Tavern, a local pub, live music venue, film, fashion and art shoot location, and my home," announced Landlady Pauline Forster on The George Tavern's official Facebook page, "I have battled tirelessly over nine years for something I truly love and believe in. And I will continue to do so. May the light shine through and live music live on!"
However, the battle is not yet over as Greg Clark, the secretary of state for communities and local government has already appealed the decision. Nonetheless, "this is a huge victory for the entire live music community in London and for grassroots campaigning," remarked James Ketchell, chief executive of Music Heritage UK, which supported the Save the George Tavern campaign, "It's now time for the developers to do the right thing: realise they should cut their losses and scrap these inappropriate plans." "This judgment shows the courts really are prepared to protect grassroots music venues in London and warns planners not to take a one-size-fits-all approach," adds Barrister Annabel Graham Paul, representing The George, "Pauline Forster has battled tirelessly to save The George Tavern and this is fantastic result for her - and for grassroots music venues further afield, too".
Having racked up support from celebrities including Kate Moss, Florence Welch, Georgia Jagger, Ricky Wilson and Sir Ian McKellen, the nine-year Save the George Tavern, can finally sit back and enjoy this momentous moment. Hip, hip Hooray!
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Jan J Klos, fromThe Photographic Guide to the Pubs of East London