Smoke-free Tabs take on beer-free icon

Ed writes:

The new owners of the old snooker hall on Lewisham High Street have been holding open days for the public all week. I went last night and it was really interesting - you get a hard hat tour of the building, complete with torch and leaky roof, and there's a display of what they hope to do to it. They say:

"The building dates from 1910 at the height of the Temperance Movement and was listed Grade ll in 2008 ... The new owner, the Tabernacle Church (The Tab), has served in Lewisham for well over 50 years ... The proposals on display are for the renovation of this derelict building with a view to breathing life back into it for it to serve as a church, community centre and conference centre [and cafe by the look of the plans]."

Loads of remodelling work will go on inside, but the outside will remain the same, but smarter. Our guide told us work will start "as soon as we have planning permission". She also said all the money needed ("millions") has been raised.

The next and last open day is this Saturday 18 Jan 12-5pm. The website, due to be live in a week or so I was told, is here: