THE Coach and Horses is a traditional pub I thought had been lost forever when previous owners Robinson’s pulled down the shutters and put this historic boozer up for sale nine months ago.

Thankfully, it was bought and saved by Phillip and Elaine Nelson (who own the nearby Talbot Hotel), Liz Ghidotti and Duncan Wright.

And after an extensive refurbishment, the Church Street hostelry reopened its doors last week.

What a transformation from the last time I visited. I hardly recognised the place.

The first thing I noticed was that the raised wooden floor to the right of the entrance had been removed, revealing an old tiled floor, now restored and looking most impressive.

This area also boasted an attractive stone fireplace and an original window from Massey’s Burnley Brewery. The frosted window with the MMB etching looked superb mounted on the wall.

The bar area has been restored to a high standard, with dark oak furnishings, ornate lighting and open fireplace.

However, it was the bar itself that particularly caught my eye — a light stone brick frontage with a varnished wooden worktop, and an open window behind the handpumps that served the pool and darts room.

Behind the pumps was landlady Pam Cockett, a well-known, friendly face, having run the Cattle Market in Burnley for 11 years.

Pam said: “I had thought of retiring at the Cattle Market but when I got the offer to run this it was an offer I could simply not refuse.”

There were four cask ales on the bar, presently being sold at a special introductory offer of £2 a pint — two from Skipton brewer Copper Dragon, Golden Pippin and Black Gold — Reedley Hallows’ Monkholme Premium and Golden Prospect from the Prospect Brewery in Wigan.

I kept loyal to the town and plumped for Monkholme, a classy golden ale in great nick and served in a barrel glass, at my request. Just the job.

As it was sunny I ventured outside and found the enclosed beer garden had been updated and was looking good.

All in all, one has to say, a first class job has been done in restoring and saving this traditional establishment and no doubt the Church Street area will benefit from the Coach and Horses once more being a popular and attractive landmark.