Withnail & I fans launch Facebook group to save iconic cottage.
Fans of the cult British film aim to raise £145,000 asking price for Sleddale Hall. Over £9,000 pledged in just two days.
Liverpool, England – 22 January 2009. Over 400 fans of the cult 1987 film, Withnail & I, have joined together on Facebook in an attempt to save the remote Cumbrian farmhouse made famous as “Uncle Monty’s cottage”.
Isolated Sleddale Hall, near Shap, is to be sold at auction by water company United Utilities. It will go under the hammer with Savills (L & P) Ltd on February 16 for a guide price of £145,000.
Sleddale Hall, which has been unoccupied for several decades, sits on the north side of Wet Sleddale valley and is accessible only via a dirt track. It is almost two miles from the nearest public road and a mile from the nearest inhabited house.
Despite its remote surroundings, the cottage – now in a state of considerable disrepair – has been a site of pilgrimage for fans of the film Withnail And I for many years. The film, set in 1969, tells the story of two resting actors leaving their dank London flat for a disastrous holiday in the Lake District.
However, fans of the film are worried that developers will demolish the currently uninhabitable cottage to make way for a modern holiday home.
Within hours of news of the auction being announced, a group was set up on Facebook, the popular social networking site, called “Save Crow Cragg - donate £20 to own a share of the house!” After only three days, over £9,000 has been pledged.
Group founder, Vig Smyth, said: “Sleddale Hall is a piece of movie history and for such an iconic building to be demolished by property developers would be an absolute crime. When I heard that it was to be auctioned off, I knew that I had to act.”
“To be honest, I’ve been absolutely flabbergasted by the response. I set up the group more in desperation than expectation. To have raised £9,000 after just three days is unbelievable. We’ve received messages of support from all over the world. It just goes to show how important Sleddale Hall is to the fans.”
The Facebook group have formed the “Crow Crag Collective”, a trust dedicated to preserving the cottage.
Vig said: “It would be fantastic if we could restore it to its former glory and preserve a little piece of movie history. Perhaps we could have it as a small museum. Whatever is done with it would have to be sensitive to its unique and beautiful surroundings. But what’s most important is that, first and foremost, Sleddale Hall is saved from demolition.
“Save Crow Crag - donate £20 to own a share of the house!” can be found at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4 ... 326&ref=mf
The Crow Crag Collective’s website is http://www.savesleddalehall.com