HUNTINGDONSHIRE District Council has written to the owners of Huntingdon’s oldest pub to demand repairs following an inspection that revealed the deteriorating state of the building.

ROTTING: A dead bird lies on the stairs.

HUNTINGDONSHIRE District Council has written to the owners of Huntingdon’s oldest pub to demand repairs following an inspection that revealed the deteriorating state of the building.

The 17th-century Falcon has also been upgraded to the second-highest risk rating on the council’s Buildings at Risk register after a water tank burst last week and caused yet more damage.

Faye Linnell, the founder of the 450-strong Facebook group seeking to re-open the historic venue, visited the Falcon last week and said what she had seen had left her shocked.

“The bar floor has risen, the carpet has lifted up, the whole place is covered in mould, there are dead birds on the stairs, and there are weeds growing out of the roof.

“The cellar is under inches of water, and it’s like a sewer down there. It was horrendous,” said Mrs Linnell.

A spokesman for Punch Taverns, the owners, said the water tank had caused only “minor dampness”.

Fellow campaigner Sarah Stammler also claimed that the condition of the pub had worsened dramatically in the week between the two visits she had made to the pub, but that it had only made the campaigners more determined.

Mrs Linnell and Ms Stammler are due to meet Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly on Friday, and hope that he will lend his support to their efforts.

“We’re also hoping to speak to microbreweries at the St Neots beer festival this weekend,” said Ms Stammler.

“It’s easy to say that we want to re-open the pub, but now the real work to organise it all has really begun.”

HDC confirmed that letters had been sent to the owners, which contained a specific list of repairs that needed to be made following the recent deterioration.

A spokesman said: “We are trying to work with them to secure the building and its long-term future. The building was put on the Buildings at Risk register, which is graded from one to six, in October 2010 because it was considered to be in a vulnerable state.

“Following the deterioration in recent weeks, it has been upgraded from category five to a category two, reflecting the higher risk of further deterioration.”

A spokesman from Punch said: “Unfortunately, the pub has been affected by a burst water tank and has suffered minor dampness.

“Our facilities team has been in contact with the local council to discuss its concerns and we have offered our reassurance that we are doing all we can to address the necessary repairs,” she added.