Royal Vauxhall Tavern Gains Listed Status
Huh? WTF? Is that good news you say? Blimey. We're not sure how to deal with this. Hold the front page people; against the general tide of rubbish tidings, there's actually a tiny glimmer of hope for London's besieged clubs. Today it was announced that the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – home to the legendary Horse Meat Disco amongst others – has been granted listed status.
An unsurprisingly chuffed Amy Lamé, co-founder of RVT Future, and host of long-running RVT night Duckie, said:
“The listing is a fantastic milestone for our community and a victory against the odds for our beloved pub. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure the RVT remains a vibrant space of LGBTQ community and culture for generations to come. The RVT now joins New York’s Stonewall Inn, home of the gay liberation movement, in being officially recognised for its contribution to social history. We thank our many, many supporters from across London and further afield.”
The listing hasn't come without controversy. Austrian property developers Immovate bought the pub last year and have been getting increasingly shrill in their assertions that a listing for the building will definitely be a bad thing for everyone. Particularly everyone who fancies knocking the place down to fling up some luxury flats.
Immovate – who's name sounds curiously like a lady hair remover – posted an open letter (which you can read here) outlying their reasons for opposing a listing. Amongst their assertions were claims that the Tavern had lost money for six of it's last ten years – RVT Future, the collective of RVT patrons and friends who have helped push the listing through – pointing out that public records tell a quite different story, with the pub turning a profit in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. They also pointed out that Immovate have continual danced around what they actually plan to do with the venue. The developers have instead proved to be fully fluent in meaningless corporate wonk-speak, talking about 'consultations', and listening to 'views of local communities', all of which has, in recent London history, translated into "we're going to knock the fucker down quicker than you can say council back-hander."
To read more about RVT's victory, and their ongoing fight to protect one of London's iconic night spots, head over to their page.