Historic Ewell pub to be demolished?

Kingston Guardian: The Organ and Dragon, on London Road in Ewell, closed on Wednesday The Organ and Dragon, on London Road in Ewell, closed on Wednesday

A pub which has been serving the Ewell community since the 18th Century has closed sparking fears it may be demolished or turned into a nightclub.

The Organ and Dragon, a Thai restaurant and English pub on London Road in Ewell, closed its doors for the last time yesterday.

Worried residents have contacted the Epsom Guardian with concerns that it will be turned into a nightclub, new housing or be torn down - fears fanned by the owners' refusal to say what they plan to do with the site.

The manager of the Organ and Dragon confirmed it would be closing in July as its owner had sold the freehold, but did not know of future plans for the site.

He said: "We have no idea what will happen to it - whether it will be turned into a nightclub, a fast food restaurant or a supermarket, we don’t know."

A spokeswoman for pub company Orchid Group, which leased the pub from the owners, Punch Taverns, confirmed that its leasehold had reverted back to the owners - who refused to say what will happen to the popular venue.

The establishment originally started trading as the Organ Inn in the 1780s and was the drinking place of workmen who fitted the Father Willis organ in St Mary’s Church in Ewell. 

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It was re-built in its present form in 1933 and started trading as a Thai restaurant in 1978, when it rebranded as the Organ and Dragon.

What do you think about the Organ and Dragon closing?  Leave a comment below or email Hardeep Matharu on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (13)

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9:16am Fri 20 Jul 12

Angela M says...

I'm hoping it might be taken over by a Burger King - they can be quite sympathetic in their re-use of buildings. The addition of a few extra signs wouldn't be too bad, although there might be increased traffic. I wouldn't put houses there - it's far too noisy on such a busy junction.
I'm hoping it might be taken over by a Burger King - they can be quite sympathetic in their re-use of buildings. The addition of a few extra signs wouldn't be too bad, although there might be increased traffic. I wouldn't put houses there - it's far too noisy on such a busy junction. Angela M

9:55am Fri 20 Jul 12

Bawtrees says...

This was a very popular pub with the locals and had a very friendly atmosphere. I only hope that it can be saved and reopened as a pub by another brewery.
This was a very popular pub with the locals and had a very friendly atmosphere. I only hope that it can be saved and reopened as a pub by another brewery. Bawtrees

10:07am Fri 20 Jul 12

Savetheorgan says...

Hi
I am shocked by this. This pub is always popular, and serves the Stoneleigh community, and I am lead to believe it is also profitable.

Many pubs are closing, because they are under used by the community, however this is certainly not the case for this pub.

This all seems to have stemmed from the council “earmarking” the organ for development.
http://epsom-ewell.l
imehouse.co.uk/porta
l/site_allocations/h
ousing_site_allocati
ons_consultation?poi
ntId=1311349283894&d
o=view

However, no one I know in Stoneleigh was advised of this, and there were no signs outside.

Therefore it does remind me of a scene hitch hikers guide, when earth was destroyed.
"But the plans were on display . . ."
"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
"That's the display department."
"With a torch."
"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look, you found the notice, didn't you?"
"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

Frankly this “earmarking” seems to have given someone the green light to try to make a large profit from removing a valuable asset from the community.
Hi I am shocked by this. This pub is always popular, and serves the Stoneleigh community, and I am lead to believe it is also profitable. Many pubs are closing, because they are under used by the community, however this is certainly not the case for this pub. This all seems to have stemmed from the council “earmarking” the organ for development. http://epsom-ewell.l imehouse.co.uk/porta l/site_allocations/h ousing_site_allocati ons_consultation?poi ntId=1311349283894&d o=view However, no one I know in Stoneleigh was advised of this, and there were no signs outside. Therefore it does remind me of a scene hitch hikers guide, when earth was destroyed. "But the plans were on display . . ." "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a torch." "Ah, well the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice, didn't you?" "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard." Frankly this “earmarking” seems to have given someone the green light to try to make a large profit from removing a valuable asset from the community. Savetheorgan

11:18am Fri 20 Jul 12

fedup58 says...

Hate to tell the residents of Ewell that if it is earmarked for Residential Homes and the words "Social Housing" appear anywhere on the application documents do not even bother opposing the plans as the final words will be "we cannot go against the Bristol Inspectorates" Socila Housing is KING it rough rides over any council tax paying law abiding resident.
Hate to tell the residents of Ewell that if it is earmarked for Residential Homes and the words "Social Housing" appear anywhere on the application documents do not even bother opposing the plans as the final words will be "we cannot go against the Bristol Inspectorates" Socila Housing is KING it rough rides over any council tax paying law abiding resident. fedup58

3:02pm Sat 21 Jul 12

Terry_Burgess says...

Very sad indeed.

We have fond memories of attending the folk club there back in the 70’s. Even saw a young Jasper Carrot perform there.

Still must move with the times. The country is crying out for more late night clubs for kids to get smashed out of their brains in or more high density housing to make the rich richer.

Lucky we have such great local planning departments protecting our interests.
Very sad indeed. We have fond memories of attending the folk club there back in the 70’s. Even saw a young Jasper Carrot perform there. Still must move with the times. The country is crying out for more late night clubs for kids to get smashed out of their brains in or more high density housing to make the rich richer. Lucky we have such great local planning departments protecting our interests. Terry_Burgess

10:22pm Mon 23 Jul 12

Campaign for Morden Tavern says...

"Social Housing" appear anywhere on the application documents do not even bother opposing the plans as the final words will be "we cannot go against the Bristol Inspectorates"

You can and we did! When our local pub was closed we started a fight back. Two years and counting. Planning Application thrown out and Appeal Hearing on the 1st August, come see how its done. We have plans and funds to buy it as a community cooperative if the developer sells it. It just takes time and hard work, ask the folks at The Hope in Carlshalton. They took over their local, now running at record profits. Best of luck, St Helier Pub Group.
"Social Housing" appear anywhere on the application documents do not even bother opposing the plans as the final words will be "we cannot go against the Bristol Inspectorates" You can and we did! When our local pub was closed we started a fight back. Two years and counting. Planning Application thrown out and Appeal Hearing on the 1st August, come see how its done. We have plans and funds to buy it as a community cooperative if the developer sells it. It just takes time and hard work, ask the folks at The Hope in Carlshalton. They took over their local, now running at record profits. Best of luck, St Helier Pub Group. Campaign for Morden Tavern

1:01pm Tue 14 Aug 12

Bluegates says...

I am a local resident and had a letter yesterday advising me it's going to be a KFC - restaurant and take-away. This is a disgrace. Not only the potential litter, smells, congestion on that already busy junction, but also the negative impact on local house prices and such a tragic waste of such a lovely old building. There is a meeting at Bourne Hall on Wednesday 22nd August 4-8pm where you can review plans and raise any objections.
I am a local resident and had a letter yesterday advising me it's going to be a KFC - restaurant and take-away. This is a disgrace. Not only the potential litter, smells, congestion on that already busy junction, but also the negative impact on local house prices and such a tragic waste of such a lovely old building. There is a meeting at Bourne Hall on Wednesday 22nd August 4-8pm where you can review plans and raise any objections. Bluegates

1:12pm Tue 14 Aug 12

Bluegates says...

Note that since the site already has restaurant facilities, they do not need planning permission to convert it. They do however need their development plans approved, which is what we must challenge.
Note that since the site already has restaurant facilities, they do not need planning permission to convert it. They do however need their development plans approved, which is what we must challenge. Bluegates

1:14pm Tue 14 Aug 12

lersy1 says...

Your right this is a disgrace, a tragic waste of a beautiful building.we do not need a KFC on our doorsteps, thank you very much.
Your right this is a disgrace, a tragic waste of a beautiful building.we do not need a KFC on our doorsteps, thank you very much. lersy1

7:03pm Fri 17 Aug 12

elaine jury says...

The Organ Inn has in fact been bought by KFC. However they do not have a K5 license which they need to operate as a takeaway.We need to argue that this is not a suitable location for a takeaway due to volume of traffic it will cause on an already busy junction. The smell is also an enviromental issue to local residents. The noise which will come from youngsters that will use this as a meeting venue is also not acceptable.If you feel like many residents that this is not a suitable location please try to come to Bourne Hall on 22nd August between 4pm and 8pm. Also please write to the council and let the residents association know you are not happy with this proposal. Although they are gutting the building at the moment please do not think this is a lost cause they may not open it as a restaurant if they do not get the license for a takeaway.
The Organ Inn has in fact been bought by KFC. However they do not have a K5 license which they need to operate as a takeaway.We need to argue that this is not a suitable location for a takeaway due to volume of traffic it will cause on an already busy junction. The smell is also an enviromental issue to local residents. The noise which will come from youngsters that will use this as a meeting venue is also not acceptable.If you feel like many residents that this is not a suitable location please try to come to Bourne Hall on 22nd August between 4pm and 8pm. Also please write to the council and let the residents association know you are not happy with this proposal. Although they are gutting the building at the moment please do not think this is a lost cause they may not open it as a restaurant if they do not get the license for a takeaway. elaine jury

7:03pm Fri 17 Aug 12

elaine jury says...

The Organ Inn has in fact been bought by KFC. However they do not have a K5 license which they need to operate as a takeaway.We need to argue that this is not a suitable location for a takeaway due to volume of traffic it will cause on an already busy junction. The smell is also an enviromental issue to local residents. The noise which will come from youngsters that will use this as a meeting venue is also not acceptable.If you feel like many residents that this is not a suitable location please try to come to Bourne Hall on 22nd August between 4pm and 8pm. Also please write to the council and let the residents association know you are not happy with this proposal. Although they are gutting the building at the moment please do not think this is a lost cause they may not open it as a restaurant if they do not get the license for a takeaway.
The Organ Inn has in fact been bought by KFC. However they do not have a K5 license which they need to operate as a takeaway.We need to argue that this is not a suitable location for a takeaway due to volume of traffic it will cause on an already busy junction. The smell is also an enviromental issue to local residents. The noise which will come from youngsters that will use this as a meeting venue is also not acceptable.If you feel like many residents that this is not a suitable location please try to come to Bourne Hall on 22nd August between 4pm and 8pm. Also please write to the council and let the residents association know you are not happy with this proposal. Although they are gutting the building at the moment please do not think this is a lost cause they may not open it as a restaurant if they do not get the license for a takeaway. elaine jury

7:24pm Fri 17 Aug 12

elaine jury says...

Sorry that should have been an A5 license for consumption of food outside of premises.
Sorry that should have been an A5 license for consumption of food outside of premises. elaine jury

8:40pm Fri 17 Aug 12

Bluegates says...

Hi - I've written to our MP and four local counsellors. Only one of the people from the residents association replied, pretty much saying that because of the other take-aways and restaurants in the area, it's unlikely it won't get the permissions it needs. I have no objection to a restaurant or a small take-away like the ones we have today, but the thought of the excess noise, smells, litter and congregation of late night groups of youths (as we already see in the BP station) is unbearable. I am rallying up as many people as I can and will be at the meeting. This has to be stopped.
Hi - I've written to our MP and four local counsellors. Only one of the people from the residents association replied, pretty much saying that because of the other take-aways and restaurants in the area, it's unlikely it won't get the permissions it needs. I have no objection to a restaurant or a small take-away like the ones we have today, but the thought of the excess noise, smells, litter and congregation of late night groups of youths (as we already see in the BP station) is unbearable. I am rallying up as many people as I can and will be at the meeting. This has to be stopped. Bluegates

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