Sixties singing icon Petula Clark is backing a campaign to save The Queen’s Head pub in Chelsea , as a rally was held in a show of support.
Posting on a Facebook page set up to save the pioneering gay-friendly pub, the Downtown singer said it was “an essential part of Chelsea”.
The post was written on Sunday (September 4), a day after the Tryon Street pub held its farewell party, and a day before protesters gathered in protest at its closure.
The pub is being forced to shut after managers failed to agree on terms of a new lease , and the last pint will be pulled on Wednesday (September 7).
Work will then take place on apartments above the property, with planning regulations stating that a licenced property must remain on the site.
In her online comment, Ms Clark, who has hits with A Sign of the Times and Colour My World and sold more than 69 million records worldwide, said: “This wonderful old pub is an essential part of Chelsea, heart and soul. It would be too sad to see it go.”
Dorinda Montgomery is one of those leading the campaign and behind the Save the Queen’s Head Chelsea Facebook page.
She said: “We met on Monday to drum up support for our cause. We want the pub to come back exactly as it is now. But we’re worried it won’t.
“When we were standing outside we were thinking ‘where are we going to go now?’.
“Our community is getting more and more pressured out of existence. I’ve very sad.”
Ms Montgomery continued: “We don’t need another over-priced bar and restaurant. I live on the Sutton Estate and this pub was serving my community and we don’t think a new pub would serve our community.
'Tearing the heart out of the community'
“It’s heartbreaking that it’s going to close. It means a lot to us. Its a place I can go to and know I will find a friend there. It’s very diverse with gay people and straight people.
"Everywhere else isn’t like that. Everywhere else is bland. Everyone goes there. This is tearing the heart out of the community and I don’t know what we are going to do this Saturday.”
She said pub regulars were now looking to nominate the pub as an asset of community value. She added: “We had a meeting in the pub and we just decided we need to a get an asset of community value. That’s what we’re working on.”
The pub, which is affectionately known as the Old Lady of Tryon Street, said on its website: “The Queens Head was once one of London’s key gay drinking destinations, harking back to the middle of the last century in fact.
“The Queens Head is also known as a haven for local workers, residents and shoppers - a warm, comfortable and friendly place where people from all walks of life can have a welcome drink and a delicious bite to eat; an oasis of calm just seconds away from Chelsea’s famous King’s Road.”