Express & Star

Crooked House calendars and Christmas cards go on sale – and are just as wonky as the famous pub

Crooked House-themed Christmas cards and calendars filled with memories of the famous former Black Country pub have gone on sale.

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Ian Sandall (Save the Crooked House campaign) and Stuart Blaze

Campaigners who want to see the former Himley pub rebuilt have teamed up with a printing company to produce the merchandise – and they are selling out fast.

Stuart Blaze, who runs Wellington-based Blaze Design Print, contacted members of the Save the Crooked House (Let's Get it Re-Built) Facebook group and an appeal was launched asking for people's photographs featuring the iconic 18th century building.

Scores were sent in response and as many as possible were picked for the calendar.

They feature the former pub in all seasons, inside and out, and also include the container where the remaining bricks have been locked away plus the rubble before it was cleared. An extra page has been inserted containing a collage of photos of people's memories.

Written in Black Country dialect, the calendar and cards also appear wonky just like the former pub, which burned down on August 5 and was totally demolished without permission two days later.

Both dates are also marked in the calendar with pictures of a fire and crane.

Mr Blaze, who is originally from Coseley and now lives in Stafford, used to be a regular at the pub and has thrown his weight behind the campaign to see it rebuilt.

He said: "Just seeing the outcry and all the photos that were put on Facebook, it was crying out for something to be done.

"I got in touch with them and we came up with the idea of producing a calendar which was not for profit.

"They launched on Tuesday and we've already sent hundreds of calendars and thousands of cards out."

A total of 800 calendars and 4,000 cards were printed.

From left: Ian Sandall (Save the Crooked House Campaign) Stuart Blaze, Toni Raymond and Paul Turner (Save the Crooked House Campaign)

One of the very first calendars was sent to a woman in Australia, with the first given to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street who has called for the former pub to be rebuilt 'brick by brick'.

"We are really pleased with how they turned out," said Mr Blaze.

"We will hopefully continue to work with the group now.

"I'm well behind the campaign to get it rebuilt. I think if it was rebuilt today it would do amazingly well."

Campaigner Ian Sandall, 49, of Sedgley, said: "Stuart contacted us regarding the calendar idea.

"We put a post on the Facebook page asking people to donate images. We were bombarded with photos.

"We had that many, we had to put an extra page in the calendar.

"They range from family events to people's weddings. There's photos of the interior and in its current state.

"The product is absolutely amazing. The Crooked House was a quirky, unique place like no other.

"To be gone in such a way, it's devastating. We need this iconic building back. It summed up our Black Country heritage."

The calendars and cards will also be on sale at a pop-up shop on the car park of The Dudley Arms, Himley, following the one-minute silence for Remembrance Day at 11am tomorrow.

The calendars cost £5 each, 20 cards cost £10 and a bundle containing a calendar and 10 cards also cost £10.

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Staffordshire Police is treating the fire which started at "Britain's wonkiest pub" as arson.

To date, six people have been arrested in connection with the fire.

South Staffordshire Council is carrying out its own investigations.