Wibbley Wobbley to become scrappy wappy

Farewell to Malcolm Hardee's pub

The floating pub once run by alternative comedy legend Malcolm Hardee is set to be broken up for scrap.

The Wibbley Wobbley has been towed from its moorings in Rotherithe, South London, after being occupied by anarchist pirate squatters as Southwark Council wants to replace it with a floating restaurant.

Hardee, who previously ran Up The Creek in Greenwich, took over the venue, a former Rhine ferry, in around 2001, and started running open-mic comedy nights there.

His father was a Thames tugboat pilot and Hardee had an affinity for the river and docks of south-east Londo.

The comic had been drinking on the Wibbley Wobbley on the night he drowned in 2005, at the age of 55. He fell into the Thames from the after falling from the dinghy he used to ferry himself his home on a houseboat called the Sea Sovereign, moored on Greenland Dock near Surrey Quays.

It was taken over by his son Frank and brother Alex and comedian Chris Luby, who died in 2014.

Earlier this month, Southwark Council lodged an application to remove the boat, which attracted one comment in support, from a nearby resident complaining about noise and parking problems.

The boat has only been moved to the next dock so far, with its squatter still in place.

However the move has caused some sadness among locals fearing for the gentrification of the area. a petition to save the boat last year attracted more than 4,000 signatures, pointing out: 'It's not the prettiest of boats, or a sophisticated/up-market bar, but it has character within itself that tells so many different tales. '

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Published: 11 Dec 2016



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