Curiouser and curiouser. It transpires that when, in May 2011, the Geffrye Museum was given £518,500 of ‘development’ funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – there were no plans to demolish the pub. Quite the contrary – the building was to be retained and integrated within the new scheme. As the museum’s own press release states:
‘A new restaurant will be located either in a new ‘pavilion’ building alongside the reception area or in the former Victorian pub on the corner of Cremer Street, which will be sensitively restored and extended. In either location the restaurant will have street access.’
This is important because it seems unlikely that the HLF would have made this grant if the museum’s plans had involved demolition. The museum has now changed its mind of course – and, ironically (cynically perhaps?), has used the development money to work up a new scheme involving the destruction of the pub. Sounds like a bit of a stitch up. The big question here is was the HLF misled?