Campaign to save the All Inn One pub



@ChrisBeach My tone was intended to be lighthearted, I should have added an emoji.

In all seriousness, though, posting without comment suggests endoresment of the source. If you are just posting a link for information, it’s probably a good idea to say so.


Hello Rachael,

I have been contacted by local residents who have already sent in a 50-strong petition and asked for my support.
There are more besides:



There’s more but I don’t want to fill this space!




Hello Thor Nogson,

You have cheered me up as when I was a child I used to love Noggin The Nog!

Are you sure you’re Thor Nogson? You could be Nogbad The Bad. That’s the trouble with anonymous posters!


Cllr Liam Curran
Chair of Sustainable Development Scrutiny Committee


Delighted to be of service :blush:


I don’t doubt it, Liam. It’s just a shame, for the campaign’s sake, that the News Shopper only quoted one response, and not even one that really supported it’s headline of ‘fury’.

If your campaign does succeed, what do you envisage for the future of the pub? I’m wondering, with the ‘Hill’ still empty and the Railway Telegraph struggling to re-establish itself after its refit whether there is an issue with getting people to take on these ventures. It is the provision of a pub that you are concerned with or preserving the building? Or both? As others have pointed out, the current landlords have been exceptional in keeping the place relevant - their regular programme of pop-up kitchens has been very popular indeed. The pub would need landlords with similar vision to keep it going.


Hello Rachel,

Alas, although I am happy to talk to the press, I recall that even when I used to be a reporter on local papers, I was unable to control the sub-editors’ hyperbole. I try not to walk 'round in a fury as it’s very tiring.

On the main point I totally agree - the current landlords are doing a brilliant job and there’s nothing to stop another team doing so in the future. Many things can make it difficult to run a pub - especially the pubcos which screw the licensees into the ground through outrageous contracts/leases. This is happening up and down the country. I would have to know, therefore, the individual circumstances affecting The Hill and The Telegraph.

I do know that I was told back in 2007 that The Greyhound in Sydenham was being closed and would have to go as it was unable to make a profit. After having campaigned for a decade alongside many others and after having had to force the owners to rebuild it after they illegally demolished the pub, it reopened this year and is now thriving and very popular pub.

The Blythe Hill Tavern down the road on the south circular is an incredibly popular pub and keeps winning awards. I cannot find a seat in The Dolphin on most Friday nights. A few years’ ago The Lord Northbrook in Lee was voted SE London’s worst pub by the aformentioned NewsShopper. It was taken over by a new owner who turned it into a thriving pub and sold it on to Fullers for a tidy sum.

To me most pubs that are left in Lewisham are fine landmark, Victoria or Edwardian pubs that are important to our past and our present. I wish to both preserve the building and the opportunity for the public house business to continue.




glad to be of good cheer! Was not being intentionally bad. Just that in passing, the local Dragons’ Friendly Society (which has a portfolio of investments including pubs) wanted to know if your signoff indicates that you represent the SDS Committee in this campaign… if so, fair play, because that’s how it looks.


The rebuilt Greyhound has been a success for Sydenham, as evidenced in this poll:

Such good results do not happen automatically, and often require local campaigning, and fighting very wealthy and powerful interests.

That’s why I want to hear Liam out on this issue. He’s got a good track record.


In this case, they being the “wealthy and powerful interests” of Barry White, owner of Purelake. Worked on one of his sites and he’s widely known as the biggest dickhead in Bromley.


The decent size pub garden is definitely one of the reasons we like the All Inn One so much (alongside the great food and good atmosphere of course!). In the summer you have the option of sitting outside, and the climbing frame was really handy for children to burn some energy while waiting for food to arrive, without bothering anyone else. Every time we’ve been my children have made friends with other kids on the climbing frame.
Most other pubs cram their small gardens with tables so it was nice the All In One had this.


A bit of a treck with kids in tow, but have you ever been to The Fox on the Hill in Herne Hill? Massive pub garden.


I wouldn’t be too quick to cite the Greyhound as a model for this sort of thing as it was a very singular case. If the current success of that pub could be replicated at the All Inn One, I’d be more than happy to see the pub stay, but the circumstances were and are very different.

You could equally refer to the Windmill on Kirkdale, which was protected as a community asset after a similar campaign and then stood empty for years. My point being that each case has to be considered on its own merits and take into account the idiosyncrasies of each site and locale.

That said, the campaign to get the Greyhound rebuilt was fantastic and as a leading voice in that campaign, Liam deserves much credit. I may be a bit biased as the Greyhound does the best Sunday lunch for miles, and it’s just ten minutes walk from my house. :wink:


Not having a pop but were you living in Forest Hill/Sydenham during The Greyhound’s original incarnation? It was widely regarded as a dive patronised by drug dealers and their unpredictable clientele. Its reincarnation’s success has, in my opinion, only been made possible by the drive of gentrification Sydenham has enjoyed over the last ten or so years.


That’s exactly my point (and yes, I was). The local economic circumstances when the pub reopened compared to when it closed are completely different and it is a success now as much because of good timing as anything else. The campaign to get it rebuilt was not the same as the campaign to get it reopened / retained. The fact is that the illegal demolition did us all a favour because it was rebuilt to a very high standard as a restoration project and the new landlords got a beautiful building in an area with a growing market for what they offer.

Which is why I say the campaign to save the Greyhound cannot be used as a model for saving the AIO.


Thanks Rachel.


There is no such thing as a bad pub only a bad publican. The druggies had been driven out by the time it had closed in 2007 but these things were allowed to deliberately happen by pubcos and owners etc. They run the pub down so that people want to see it go. It is happening now at certain pubs in the area witness The Perry Hill pub formerly The Two Brewers. The owners of the Dutch House on the A20 put in their least able licensee, and put in an application for a McDonalds. They saw that the community campaign was successful so closed the pub and removed the roof tiles on purpose so that the weather would ruin the building. We’re expecting an application before long to say that the building is not fit for operation.

I have to go back to comments I made on an interminable twitter discussion - The Greyhound, The Dolphin, The Lord Northbrook etc - all pubs that were written off at one point only to be revived and turned into a successful pub by the right people.


Glad to see this campaign. Far too many pubs are being closed. Just a shame that nobody cared when the Forest Hill Hotel was closed. Hopefully this one will be saved.


Just to remind, the choice to close this successful pub and sell the freehold was made by the current owners and operators of the All in One. There is no nefarious activity in that regard.

At present, I can’t see an issue if a new hotel has a ground floor pub. The role a campaign could have, or at least one reasonable objective is to ensure the new owners are not simply paying lip service to planning to get their proposals through. Given a choice (though I know no choice is offered) this location seems wholly more appropriate for a hotel and has the opportunity to reinvigorate business on this side of the tracks.


The Forest Hill Society planning committee met this evening at the All Inn One to discuss this application (as well as other development opportunities in the area). There was a lively discussion looking at a number of issues raised around the table as well as referring to discussions we have had here, via email, and in person with local residents.

The outcome is that we will be opposing this application on a number of grounds (much of which has been covered in this thread and the associated thread) and once we have turned this into a formal objection it will be made available on our website.


For me there are so many variables for people’s wants/needs for any change in or new establishment that it would be impossible to say this is what the community want/feel without “misrepresenting” people (whether it be that they are unaware of these things, that they have a need/want for a hotel and have never used the all in one etc.) and this will always be the case.

However, from visiting quite a few establishments in FH and reading the thread here I think there are two objective key things that the pub have that others don’t seem to.

  1. A decent outdoor space, including area for children
  2. The pop-ups in the restaurant (although i guess it could be argued there are pop-ups at the Archie Parker and are many good restaurants around)

I wonder whether any “campaign” or want for new landlords to takeover the pub should focus on these aspects? By my count there are 6 pubs within a 10 minute walking distance which is more than enough I reckon (?!) and although offer varying fayre from cheap booze to fancy cocktails and food or events they are all still at the heart of it drinking establishments. The thing that makes all-in-one different/unique are those things and focusing on them may mean people support objections to the plans more than a relatively non-specific we don’t want another pub closing/I used the drink in here for years which may not resonate for some people who either do not know much about the pub or who see 6 other pubs within a 10 minute walk.

The reason I’m writing this isn’t because I live on “the other side of the tracks” or have personal reasons (like kids or hate hotels!) but it feels a little similar to the Windmill on Kirkdale (someone already mentioned it). I moved in nearby that location during its final weeks and the ongoing campaign to save a “local valuabal asset” (or whatever the official term is). It is now 5 years on and has remained closed/empty since with work fairly recently commencing on flats with two shop/studio units at the bottom (I believe). I could be wrong (and please do correct me) but unlike the all-in-one I don’t think it was very well attended, however it did have one specific thing that made it unique - wheelchair access to the whole pub (it also had a number of pool tables but the two pubs within 5 minute walk both do aswell - foxes and the bricklayers). This never appeared to be a focal point of any campaign I saw and as a result even though new to the area and wanting as much “stuff” nearby as possible I saw two other pubs within a few minutes walk and nothing of any significance (especially as the campaign from my view wasn’t well supported online with many believing that it shouldn’t be “saved”).

Anyways, apologies for bit of a long one but felt so wanted to say my two cents worth :slight_smile: