PENSIONER Annie Moran has very fond memories of Darwen’s newest pub – because she got married there.
And the 91-year-old, of Kay Street, was guest of honour, cutting the ribbon as The Old Chapel opened its doors yesterday.
The building, which had most recently been disc-ount store A&M Bargains, was originally Railway Road Methodist Church, which closed in 1969.
Annie, who used to work at Belgrave Mill in the town, married Alec at the church in 1949.
Sadly Alec, who worked for many years at Thomas Knowles’ pipeworks, near Spring Vale, died four years ago.
Son Brian said she had followed the progress of pub chain JD Wetherspoon’s transformation of the old building through the Lancashire Telegraph over the past couple of years.
He said: “She was keen to go down and have a look at the building, and see what they had done to it.
“Mum was very impressed with the transform-ation, having seen it decline over the years since the church closed.
“She was thrilled to see it, had a wonderful day, and will remember the visit for the rest of her days.”
Brian said mother-of-two Annie, who has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, was a regular at the church, and he and his brother were christened there.
JD Wetherspoon finally opened the long-awaited pub after a £1.57million refurbishment, and a total investment of £2.2million.
The church, designed by Manchester architect Edward Bates, opened in 1866.
Now a Grade Two-listed building, it was bought in 1969 by F&AE Lodge, of Huddersfield, for £14,500, and traded as supermarket Lodges until the late 1990s, when it became A&M Bargains.
The discount store finally closed its doors in January 2012.
This left the way open for JD Wetherspoon to press ahead with its plans to open in the town.