TIME has been called on many locals across East Lancashire over the years.

In every town and community, where once there was a pub on every street corner, empties have been cleared for the last time.


Real ale lovers have lamented their loss and web sites dedicated to the hundreds of lost inns, which have been demolished, along with the back-to-back houses they served, in redevelopment programmes, or closed because of a lack of trade.

A century and more ago there were hundreds of public houses across East Lancashire and Blackburn, once labelled one of the most drunken towns in the country, was obviously no exception.

And it was proved when Bygones delved into the Telegraph archives and came across a list of licensed houses and beer houses in the town in 1893.

Listed are 495 locals and off licenses across the town, including 13 in Northgate alone, one known as the Dairy Cow Inn - though there may have been even more in earlier times!

And what weird and wonderful names they used to have, too, sometimes taken from the characters who used to frequent them, such as the Spindlemakers' Arms in William Henry Street, or the Carriers Arms in Sharples Street.

They may also have been named in reference to famous people and events, such as the Lord Byron Arms Hotel in Wellesley Street, or the Sebastopol Inn in Friday Street.

Bygones has written of the Who Could A Thowt It in Grimshaw Park and Yutick's Nest in Dickinson Street, previously, but we've now come across the Industrious Bee and the Sweet Willow, both in Bolton Road.

Or, how about Horse Load Inn, also in Bolton Road, the Rose Bud, Fishmongers' Inn and Roast Beef Inn, all in Grimshaw Park?

Then there was the Original Guide Pole House in Haslingden Road, the Standard of Unity in Mincing Lane, the Pet Dog in King Street, the Boys of Harmony in Whalley Banks and the Vegetable Arms in Bank Top.

Add to that list the Nosegay Tavern in Leyland Street,the Pineapple in Johnston Street, the Flowing Jug in Primrose Bank, the Old Arm Chair in Tontine Street and the Face i'th Brow in Accrington Road.

Back in time pubs of old were usually meeting places for the menfolk, with bare wood tables, sawdust floors and beer served from the wood.

A number of breweries are listed as being in business in the last decade of the 19th century, including Thwaites and Dutton's - there was also Beardsworth and Whalley in Little Harwood, the Blackburn Brewery Co in Higher Eanam, Crown Brewery in Canterbury Street, Green and Whalley's Albert Brewery in Cort Street and Victoria Brewery in Adelaide Street.