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Fire affects both our village pubs
Pictures and progress updates.

Some of the pictures are quite large, they make a few seconds to download -

Fire at The Green Man.

February 2006

The other village pub was hit by fire when a chimney caught light at The Green Man on the other side of the Green opposite the Crown Inn on the evening of the 6th February 2006. HorstedKeynes.Com were there with our camera but unfortunately due to a fault none of our pictures were good enough to reproduce on the web site.

Firefighters from Haywards Heath used their high rescue vehicle to check for hot spots.

Damage was slight meaning that The Green Man was again open for business on the following day.

Fire at The Crown Inn

Please see our News Pages for recent developments

May 2005

According to the latest P&P Magazine planning permission "has been approved" for the rebuilding of The Crown Inn. Let's hope that the owners now "get their fingers out" and get on with removing the village eyesore!

As always. your comments, both pro or anti, would be welcome.

April 2005

In October 2003 we wrote that we hoped the huge scaffolding erection in our village was a temporary solution. We'd have been astounded if we had been told that in early spring 2005 there has been NO PROGRESS! HorstedKeynes.Com have received several emails concerning the lack of news and the worsening eyesore at the heart of our village. We would like to reproduce them here but a computer hard drive fault means that they have been lost, sorry. Correspondents are asked to send their emails again when provided they are short we will be pleased to reproduce them on this page.

In the mean time we think that it's time for at least a report if not immediate action to tidy our village eyesore! Do you agree?

I thought it was about time that we HK villagers started to find out what's really happening with the Crown. It's now been nearly 2 years since the fire and for over a year now we've been subject to this monstrous eyesore in the heart of the village! The plastic sheeting is now starting to tear and flap about in the wind, making the site even more 'unsightly' and how long will it be before a large piece flys down and causes some damage.

Surely the plans etc must have been reviewed and approved by now - is there anyone out there who can give us an accurate update? If you can publicise the concern of the villagers (I assume I'm not the only one who is perplexed as to what's happening) then maybe the issue can be aired and the owners/developers asked to give us the latest information.

David Cotterill

 19 March 2005

Just a quick note to support your page on the HK website complaining of the lack of progress on the Crown Inn. I agree that the site is an eyesore and has been now for nearly two years. It implies that someone is not taking the restoration of the building seriously. Perhaps it's time to publish the names and email addresses of the people involved in the work. Then they might be persuaded to give it more attention than they have thus far.

Best Rgds,


13 months on

September 2004 and the "Leaning Tower of Horsted Keynes" has ivy growing up the scaffolding!

We have just received from a spokesperson for the owners this latest news about the rebuilding of the Crown Inn, where work has appeared to lie dormant for some months.

"To answer your question, the situation is that the owners of the freehold of the pub (my company are the property managers) wanted to take the opportunity while completely rebuilding the pub to make some improvements to the layout (slightly enlarged customer area - new kitchen - changes to the domestic quarters) . As you are no doubt aware the Crown is a listed building and the statutory authorities - particularly the conservation officer have all taken an interest in the plans for re-instatement which all takes time. There is presently a planning application with the council awaiting approval (or otherwise) which embodies these improvements but which hopefully meets the requirements of the conservation officer and the other interested parties . It has been with the council for several weeks and is due to be determined by the end of next week . If the application is approved we will still need to get building regulations approval as well as go out to tender and then of course actually get the re-instatement works completed - several months more at best before a pint is served . If the planning application is refused it will quite literally be back to the drawing board.

I'm not sure if all of this is good news or bad news from your point of view - the key point is that it remains the intention of the owners to see the pub re-opened hopefully with better facilities but still retaining the original features as soon as possible."

No news is good news then!

29th October 2003

A huge crane towers over the village green as workmen install a temporary roof to protect the fabric of the building during reconstruction.
The weather could not have been much worse as rain and high winds threatened to delay this important step.
The scaffolding will be boxed in to completely enclose the work and give the village its own "tower", albeit temporary - let's hope that it doesn't turn into
"The leaning tower of Horsted Keynes"!
5th October 2003
The Crown looking dreadful as workmen have remove the fire damaged timbers along with the rest of the roof! We will keep you updated as rebuilding work progresses through the winter.

pictures of the Crown taken on 27th October 2003 - the day of the Post Office raid.

pictures of the Crown taken on 27th October 2003 - the day of the Post Office raid.

First report 1st. July 2003
Fire seriously damaged the Crown Inn during the afternoon of July 1st. 2003. It is hoped that the pub will be back as one of the centres of village life before too long. As villagers will know The Crown Garage is right beside the pub. Had the lightning struck just a few feet over then the heart of the village might have been torn out. Fortunately the petrol is stored safely. Nobody was hurt.

The morning after; the entire roof has collapsed.

A new outbreak late in the afternoon.
To the right is the Crown Garage where
hundreds of gallons of petrol are stored.
If these had exploded the heart
of the village would have been torn out!

Another view and one of the last views of the Crown Inn
before the scaffolding went up.

Meridian TV broadcast live from the scene (eventually).
Football took precedence so they didn't get their satellite
truck into the village until the following morning when they
had several live reports from the scene.
Had broadband been available in the village
pictures would have been on TV the same evening!

Firemen's ladders at the back of the building where
staff property was removed through the back windows.

At the height of the blaze there were
more than 70 fire-fighters in attendance

One of the seventeen different fire appliances which raced
to the village from all over Sussex..

Emergency water supplies had to be provided.
This is part of the decontamination unit which would  
have been used if petrol had escaped.
Fortunately for us all it is very safely stored  
so this equipment was not needed.

One of the extra water tankers
- all the way from Chichester.
We wouldn't fancy driving that fully laden
down our local rural lanes!

A view from the rear car park.
The fire engine is passing between the pub
(to the right) and the garage (on the left)
where hundreds of gallons of petrol are stored.
Also shown is the actual power pole which was
hit by lightning. This carried across the wires to the right
and straight into the pub.
The bang could be heard half a mile away!

Local roads were closed as far as the Martindale Centre.

The West Sussex Fire Brigade declared a major incident.


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