News and historical articles about the heritage and history of Farnborough’s favourite heritage pub, The Tumble Down Dick.

Decision from English Heritage

Dear Supporters
We are sad to announce that English Heritage have declined to list the Tumbledown at this stage.

Their grounds for rejecting our application appears to be solely based on information gleaned from the Turley Associates report commissioned by the Council.

We must remain steadfast in our conviction to save this wonderful heritage building. To this end we will be lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Our appeal will be based on substantive grounds with significant evidence that English Heritage have not included in their findings, they appear to have relied solely on the information supplied by Turley Associates, with no on-site visit or archaeological investigations.

The Tumbledown Dick is a significant public house with a wealth of important historical connections that we are hoping will be protected on appeal. It is worth noting that English Heritage rarely list Public Houses due to the huge number of them and will only do so, in very special cases.

In any event, whatever the outcome, Friends of the Tumbledown Dick will be fighting to save this historic building which has been present in Farnborough for centuries. We will be continuing our fight to save the building from demolition or redevelopment by McDonald’s. We have applied to the Council to nominate the building as an Asset of Community Value and we hope to enact our Right to Bid on the building under the terms of the Localism Act. This work will continue irrespective of the English Heritage aspect.

Friends of the Tumbledown Dick

Turley Associates, McDonalds & Rushmoor Borough Council

Turley Associates, who have a long and successful track record working with major companies in redevelopment, were chosen as an “independent assessor” to conduct a Heritage Assessment on the Tumbledown Dick by Rushmoor Borough Council.

It should be noted that Turley Associates have also been used on numerous occasions by McDonalds.

Here is a selection of some of the work Turley have conducted for McDonalds.

  1. Proposed skypole signage at McDonald’s Restaurant, Linkwood Place, Linkwood Industrial Estate, Elgin, Moray, IV30 1HZ
  2. Display of an internally illuminated gantry sign at McDonalds, Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline, Fife
  3. Erection of restaurant with drive through and take-away facilities | 6 Straiton Mains Pentland Retail Park Straiton Loanhead Midlothian
  4. Display of 5 roof signs and 1 wall sign and 4 freestanding signboards all internally illuminated at McDonalds, Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline, Fife
  5. Erection of drive-thru restaurant – amendment of application, Braes Shopping Centre Castlemilk Arcade Glasgow
  6. Display of one internally illuminated sky pole sign, Braes Shopping Centre, Castlemilk Arcade, Glasgow

Friends Of The Tumbledown Dick release their own Heritage Assessment report


Read the FTTD Heritage Assessment Report here.

Further to the commissioning of a Heritage Assessment report by RBC undertaken by

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

Turley Associates, we as a Community group, believe it to be a fundamentally flawed and poorly researched document missing significant evidence of the historical and architectural importance and value of this treasured asset to Farnborough.

It would be a tragedy for Rushmoor Council to allow just this evidence alone to sway opinion on the future of this building once the planning application is submitted by McDonald’s. As you may know, we as a campaign have submitted our own application for listing to English Heritage and we believe the outcome of this should have been awaited, rather than the Council pre-empting this by commissioning their own report, this is very unusual.

In the meantime, as a response to the Turley report, we have felt it necessary to publish our own Heritage Assessment Report findings. Please find attached our report which has been written without the benefit of access to the building, but nonetheless, you will see that a huge amount of research has been undertaken in libraries, museums and online. All this information is in the public domain and we are most surprised that Turley Associates overlooked nearly all of it.

The Tumbledown Dick 1782

The original of this painting (1782) was copied for an article in the The Graphic, Illustrated London News in 1891 and was edited to remove “offensive” material (a man who is probably the driver to the left of the image)

You may be aware that The Farnborough Society requested that the Tumbly be added to their proposed list of ‘Buildings of Local Importance’  but for some reason it never made the final list or any comment whatsoever passed on it, despite the TFS querying this, it being one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough and it being a Hampshire Treasure as stated in Hampshire Treasures Vol 3.

In the event there is any confusion or misunderstanding, let us clarify that Friends of the Tumbledown Dick has been formed as a Community Interest Group in order to enact our right to bid under the Localism Act to save a local treasured building for community use. We hope to obtain listing status of the building following our own application to English Heritage who are reviewing it now. We will also be submitting our report attached to English Heritage. We wish to see off the McDonald’s bid and we have significant local population support for our campaign plus of course considerable press interest. We wish to acquire the building and if we are able to use our ‘right to bid’ we will be granted 6 months leeway to fund raise in order to buy the building, following a new district valuer valuation of the existing bricks and mortar value of the site. Please note, it is our view that McDonald’s are offering to pay significantly more than the value of the site due to what they consider future value of the cinema complex and as they are intending to increase the boundaries of the site to accommodate their drive-thru, neither of which will be part of our future needs and will not be a factor in any new valuation.

Also the BBC have taken an interest in our campaign and have started filming from the last demo we did and will be airing a documentary on Inside Out show in February about our campaign.