Express & Star

The Crooked House has been rebuilt - in a children's book

The Crooked House has been rebuilt in the grounds of Himley Hall following a fundraising event by locals – at least according to a new children's book.

A new children's book takes a light-hearted look at the story of the Crooked House

Glastonbury and Bone in Big Job Broke Out is the latest edition in the Glastonbury Tales series of children's books written by Gordon Fanthom, and illustrated by Tim Vincent.

The books, which tell of the adventures of two cats and their animal friends around the Black Country, are written in local dialect, with a translation guide for those unfamiliar with the lingo.

The fictitious tale about The Siden House is a light-hearted reflection of the real-life drama surrounding the Crooked House pub near Dudley. The Crooked House, dubbed 'Britain's wonkiest pub', was controversially demolished following a severe fire in October, sparking a campaign for it to be rebuilt.

In the latest book, mischievous stray cat Scope Yed Muggins watches stunt riders fly over the pub on motorbikes, and then a van, but gets carried away as he unsuccessfully attempts the feat in a bulldozer.

Saddened by the loss of the building, the community rallies round and raises funds to rebuild the pub on an island in the lake of the 'Big House', 'sah it cor be bust nairn moo'rh'.

The book also takes a humorous look at the number of potholes in the Black Country.

Gordon, a car mechanic from Swindon, near Dudley, said the idea of jumping the pub came from a tale in the 1970s of somebody on a scrambler bike who tried to jump the railway bridge close to the Crooked House after the road had been removed.

He said there was also a serious point in the moral of the tale.

"My idea of rebuilding the Siden House in Himley Hall grounds would be good for both Himley and the Siden pub as a tourist attraction," he said.

"The idea comes from Eilean Donan castle in Scotland, which was blown up by the English in 1711, and rebuilt 200 years after in 1911 – so rebuilding an old pub should be easy."