“Big Table” building needs protecting

I was very sorry to see the Big Table business run by Kim and Steve for so long close in May 2022, after it had been saved by the local community a decade ago when Crossrail wanted to Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).  So as to knock it all down for transformers to supply the energy on the tracks.  Furthermore, l had brought many mattresses from them over the years and my present bed frame was from their business on this unique premises! 

It also has a lot local history as it was originally built by Great Western Railway (GWR) as a coffee Tavern for its workforce. The 1901 coffee house near Westbourne Park tube station is the last remaining purpose-built Temperance Bar built by the Great Western Coffee Tavern Company.  The company ran seven such premises for use by railway workers as an alternative to the pub. 

So it was one of the first original coffee houses in London long before we had multinational coffee chains along all our high streets. And the basement of the tavern was originally known as Carlton Hall and was used as a venue for educational talks and meetings. So ideally it would be great to bring it back to its original use as a coffee house with a venue for meetings and community use as well. 

 

But in the meantime, we need to protect the building and the land immediately around it from any developer who may have other ideas of its use. In this respect the best way forward is either we get  the premises listed locally at least, so acknowledging its history and presence. Or registered it as a community asset at RBKC. It may of course be advisable to pursue both paths simultaneously. 

I am only sorry we did not proceed with listing it sooner particularly after the victory we had against the Crossrail CPO almost 10 years ago. Now the building has survived being demolished by Crossrail and the Westway being built over and under it,  so let us make sure the structure and history of the building survives its next use whatever that maybe.