About the Annie
The Antwerp Arms
You’ll find The Antwerp Arms in an atmosphere-filled conservation area, overlooking Bruce Castle Park, with Tottenham’s only grade-1 listed building, Bruce Castle; and round the corner from Tottenham Cemetery.
Open since 1822, ‘The Annie’ is the oldest working pub in London N17, and a stone’s throw from White Hart Lane stadium, home to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Spurs fans have been regulars ever since 1882 when EL Sprylions, a bible teacher at nearby All Hallows Church, first set up THFC for grammar-school boys attending his classes.
Long-standing and much-loved landlords of The Antwerp Arms include the O’Brien family who owned the pub from 1896 into the 1940s, and Joan and John Walker who welcomed guests from the 60s to the 80s.
A blaze in November 2011 gutted the building, which reopened six months later after a major refurbishment.
In June 2013, the freeholder at the time, Enterprise Inns, put The Antwerp Arms up for sale. They were looking to sell it to the highest bidder, almost certainly for conversion to flats.
Taking advantage of 2011’s Localism Act, the Bruce Castle Village Association (BCVA) applied for the pub to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), meaning we’d have the right to buy if it came on the market.
We didn’t have to wait very long because in 2013 it was bought by a Developer who put it back on the market after three weeks! Under the terms of the ACV this gave us 6 weeks to put in an Expression of Interest, which we did and a further 6 months to put in an offer – which we did, but it was rejected!
However, by this time our Share Offer was increasing and our public profile was high so we applied for an SIB Capital Assets grant. Believe it or not, 3 months later, after rigorous scrutiny we were awarded £285,00 so could increase our purchase offer. This time we were successful following a lengthy period negotiating terms and conditions we took ownership on 21st March 2015.
There were quite a few milestone moments along the way, tears and laughter – hundreds of meetings, lots of independent films, a few arguments and a Choir singing in the Cemetery, but we have come through it smiling!
So raise your glasses to a new future for ‘The Annie’ She is a lovely old Pub that has served our community well for the past 195 years and now it’s our turn to take care of her in her old age.
With Acknowledgements to Chris Lane.
Saving the Annie
Jan 2013 Enterprise Inns puts Antwerp Arms up for sale
July 2013 Public Meeting called by residents to save and bid for AA
Sept 2013 Asset of Community Value awarded to AA
Oct 2013 AA bought by Developer and put back on market
Dec 2013 AAA formed to submit Expression of Interest
Jan 2014 SIB award small grant to set up Cooperative
Mar 2014 Share Issue Launched at Camden Beer Festival
June 2014 AAA submit bid to SIB for capital grant
Oct 2014 £285,000 awarded by SIB to AAA
Nov 2014 AAA Offer accepted by developer
Jan 2015 Pledges drawn down
March 2015 Exchanged contracts
March 2015 Purcahse completed
April 2015 Move in