Are you a musician ?

Are you a musician ?We have listened to requests and we are in the process of organising a

Live Music Event
as a fund-raiser, at the
Agincourt, Camberley
Sat 2nd Feb 2013

(subject to interest.)

Any interested bands should contact [email protected] – with a link to your band page and demo’s. This will be a fundraiser so we can’t pay anyone I’m afraid but it’s all for the cause as it will be a ticketed event. All proceeds will go to the ‘Save the Tumbledown’ fighting fund.

All types of music will be considered, but we already have some cover bands so original bands would be preferred at this stage.

We’re especially keen on hearing from Farnborough based bands, but if you can crank up a good tune and bring some fans… We’re listenin’ !!!

Friends of the Tumbly release their Press Statement

The following Press Release was sent to the National Press:

30 Nov 2012

The Tumbledown Dick is a pub and music venue in Farnborough, Hants. But not just any old pub.. it is a 300 year old heritage building that dates back to the early 1600’s from the era of horse and carriages and highwaymen when it was a Coaching Inn on the barren road between Portsmouth and London. This building pre-dates nearly all of Farnborough and the town slowly built up around it. This is therefore a treasured site for our town. However just come and see the condition it has been allowed to fall in? With weeds growing from it and shutters across the windows it seems a scandal does it not that the building has never been Listed and is not even on the local Council’s ‘Buildings of Local Importance’ list affording it no protection whatsoever!

‘Friends of the Tumbledown Dick’ was formed in October 2012 following the closure of the pub some years earlier in 2008 to save it from its growing dereliction. It is our aim to make the local community aware of the historical value of this building and we also wish to acquire the building ourselves using the new legislation of the Localism Act as a Community Group to restore it and return it into use as a dedicated music venue, pub and community arts centre. However as a final injustice we have recently discovered that the present owners (a commercial property developers called Bride Hall) have entered into an agreement to sell it to McDonald’s Restaurants, subject to planning, who want to demolish it and build a ‘supersize’ 2-storey drive-thru instead. We already have a major McDonald’s drive-thru and restaurant only a mile up the road from the Tumbledown site called Farnborough Gate and now this one is also set to be extended to a new supersized 2 storey drive-thru. The health impact of having so many take-away and fast food outlets in one town is obvious and is already impacting local health services.

We have started talks with the Council, which on the face of it seemed helpful and encouraging, but having carried out Freedom of Information requests with the Council we have discovered the real extent of the relationships between McDonald’s, Bride Hall and the Council and very cosy it is too. We have seen the full pre-application plans were submitted to the Council in April to show the demolition of the Tumbledown despite our campaign, we were never informed of this.

Bride Hall also own another piece of prime real estate next to the Tumbledown called Firgrove Parade which currently has 5 independent retailers with flats above and parking right outside. This is also being sold off by Bride Hall to Whitbread to build a huge Premier Inn budget hotel with a Beefeater restaurant below, thereby demolishing the independent retailer units. This would take the total number of large hotels in Farnborough to 7, the most recent of which includes a Travellodge and Weatherspoons within spitting distance of Firgrove, which is severely under-occupancy most days of the week. Why the demand for another large hotel (on a key site) we cannot fathom?

Finally Bride Hall’s Chairman Mr Danny Desmond, is on the rich list in this country, reportedly worth £90 million. His sons now run the business however their shares are in trust in Bermuda. As a consequence Bride Hall pay virtually no Corporation Tax in the UK. The main benefactors of both these morally questionable property deals will infact be Bride Hall, non UK tax payers… the people of Farnborough however stand to lose a once grand heritage building, an evening culture and have a skyline of yet more ugly buildings at the gateway to the town that are of little actual benefit to local people, plus many local independent traders will lose their business. How is this in the best interests of our community?

Tumbly makes front page news again

This article is in today’s Farnborough News & Mail.

Our campaign team have carried out an extensive Freedom of Information (FOI) request of Rushmoor Borough Council and have seen the pre-application plans submitted by McDonald’s for a large 2-storey drive-thru with a 12 metre golden arches sign above it… both entrance and exits to be on to the Farnborough Road..

Farnborough doesn’t want or need this !!

Come to our demo on Saturday 1st December 2012 at 1pm and sign our petition. (available online or at the demo)

We cannot stand by and watch McDonald’s and property developers steal our heritage this is a disgrace!!

The Tumbledown Dick Poem

Committee member Peta Howell’s father, Neil, wrote the Tumbledown Dick poem, all about our beloved pub in Farnborough.

Come gather round both young and old and listen to my tale.
It’s the story of the Tumbly and what it means today.
It speaks of times of glory, of the town’s historic past,
of what has gone and what remains and should forever last.
And tomorrow let it not be said your head was buried in the sand,
that you were there but did not dare to take the final stand.
To rally to the Tumbly’s cause, to raise your hand, be counted,
to open once again its doors in the campaign that we’ve mounted.
Don’t let them say that you were there, that day in Farnborough town
that blackest day they all conspired to knock the Tumbly down.

So listen to my tale

‘Twas in the days of Bluff King Hal when coaches plied their trade,
They needed resting holes at night, so the Tumbledown was made.
Beneath that green hill far away they raised the Tumbledown
set in the barren heathland that now is Farnborough town.
The coaches raced from London, they were heading for the coast.
The Tumbly gave them refuge and beer from mine host.
But where a coaching route arose you’d soon find highwaymen.
Not Turpin, but Jerry Avershaw and “Galloping” Ferguson.
The Butch and Sundance of their day, with pistol, sword and knife
they plotted in the Tumbly and shared the landlord’s wife.
And when Nancy lit a candle, high up there in the Inn,
they knew the lawmen then had gone, a sign to come on in.

Thus it was for centuries that the Tumbledown survived
and then in eighteen-seventeen modernity arrived.
New stabling for the horses, a piggery, a barn
eight bedrooms and a clubroom and a cottage for the farm.
These changes marked a turning point, they made the Tumbly whole.
The centre of community, embracing its new role.
Dinner for the wedding of Edward, Prince of Wales.
The haunt of Ancient Foresters, in their summertime parades.
Ironic now to think of it as a centre for the law.
Here Manor Courts prevailed and judged the common, rich and poor.
And come Victoria’s jubilees, both gold and diamond too
where do you think was chosen for the festivals’ venue.
The local gentry all came here. They came to celebrate
the reign of Queen Victoria and what made Britain Great.
And officers from Sandhurst held buffet parties here
for young cadets who’d not yet met a destiny to fear.
The army came to Aldershot and two world wars went by.
The Tumbledown a refuge from the trenches and the sky.
For soldiers and for airmen who’d managed to survive,
Who’d gone and fought and now returned, so glad to be alive.

Who knows what stories there were shared, of horror and the grief
But Tumbly’s ales and warming fires, we hope brought some relief.

And so we come to modern times and Dylan comes to mind.
For the times they are a-changing, the hey-day left behind.
OK so it was down-at-heel and had its share of grime
but the Tumbledown had character, an oasis of its time.
An icon for the youngsters, a place where they could go
A hub of modern music where bands could learn to grow.
Bad Manners and Kenelis, the Fins – I could name more
The Jam, Selecter, Reuben and the Megacity Four.
I could give a Hundred Reasons why the Tumbledown should stay
a focus for community where bands can come and play,
where youngsters come in safety to chat and chill and dance
so stand up for the Tumbly, just give it one last chance.

I’ve told the tale, but why the name, why the Tumbledown Dick?
What are its humble origins, I’ll let you take your pick?
There are many Dicks in history and many still abound
but which Dick should be credited, the eponymous Tumbledown?
In this our winter of discontent was it Richard the Third?
Not likely, he was “Crookback”, or that is what I’ve heard.
There’s that guy Turpin, the highwayman, bold but oh so bad
Why name an Inn in Hampshire after such an Essex lad?
And then there was a local boy, Dick Thrupples – I know no more
who in a drunken state one night tumbled to the floor.
But Cromwell is the favoured choice, the one who lost his crown
Richard, Lord Protector, nicknamed Tumbledown.
Before the Tumbly got its name, it had a name more grand
The son of George the Second, the “Duke of Cumberland”,
The butcher of Culloden who slew McDonald’s clan
So now perhaps revenge is sought, vendetta is the plan.

My tale’s now over, the die’s now cast.
I’ve told of glory and the Tumbly’s past.
I call you now to rally round, to raise your hand, to make a stand.
Don’t let them say that you were there, that day in Farnborough town,
that blackest day they all conspired to knock the Tumbly down.

(Neil Howell, 2012)