PLASTERER turned union activist turned TV star Ricky Tomlinson was impressed by the decorative work at Blackburn Town Hall when he visited this week for UNISON’s annual meeting.

The Royle Family star said: “If there’s ever a war, I’m coming here because you can’t find the place. Even the locals don’t know where it is!”

He also commented on the excellent plaster work on the Town Hall ceilings.

The Blackburn branch of the public services trade union invited him to address its annual members’ meeting to promote the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign.

In the early 1970s, Mr Tomlinson was one of six people jailed for their part in the building workers’ strike aimed at improving the dangerous working conditions in the construction industry.

A total of 24 people were convicted for their involvement in the strike. The campaign is calling for the full disclosure of all the files relating to the Shrewsbury Trials of 1973-74 and aims to get the convictions quashed.

Mr Tomlinson turned to acting to make a living after his jail term as he was black-listed from working in the building trade.