BREWERY bosses were left red faced when their iconic lighted sign was turned into a profanity.

Some of the Thwaites Brewery letters atop the Blackburn building fell into darkness as people left town centre shops and offices last night.

With just the letters H, I and E blacked out, the embarrassing message was broadcast to the entire town.

It comes after news this week that the brewery is to axe up to 60 jobs.

However it is unclear if there was any link between the redundancy announcements and the change to the sign.

The first sightings were made at around 4.40pm. Within 15 minutes the entire sign was blacked out. However by 5.30pm the lights were restored to normal working order.

A spokesman for Thwaites said that on being alerted the brewery turned the lights off and launched an investigation into what had happened.

He said: “When made aware of it, all the lights were immediately switched off. It’s not clear what happened, whether there was a fault or other problem but only a few people have access to that part of the building.”

Twitter went into overdrive on the topic last night.

One Twitter user Luke Gilrane said: “Think Thwaites Brewery might have annoyed one of their employees.”

Another, Matt Bury said: “Thwaites Brewery lay off workers in Blackburn. Here’s their response for all the world to see.”

Another said: “I have been awaiting this moment for years. I am overjoyed."

Samuel Williams tweeted at Thwaites: “Your sign’s a bit unfortunate at the moment!”

And Andy Hicken added: “A superb employment of knackered bulbs.”

Redundancy announcements were made after the firm announced plans to close the majority of its Blackburn brewery.

Bosses at the firm said negotiations with the council and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to build on the site had failed.

The move means large-scale brewing at the town centre site will cease, but Thwaites intends to keep the visitor centre and craft brewery, Crafty Dan, on the current site.