AS Thwaites prepare to move their famous Shire horses from their old brewery in Blackburn town centre to their new one in the Ribble Valley, it has recreated a famous 1964 image of their iconic animals.

The original shows dray horses King, Tim, Draylad, Old Dan and Star enjoying buckets of beer before delivering barrels to nearby pubs.

They are helped by Patrick Flood (near left).

The new version features their modern-day equine equivalents Gunner, Wainwright, Ribble and new boy Drummer enjoying a beer with the stable team of head horseman Richard Green assisted by Jonathan Jones and Phil Williams.

Although the horses no long deliver to the hostelries around Blackburn town centre, they are still centre-stage at major occasion at Thwaites pubs, inns and hotels, celebrating investment, community events and other special occasions.

Currently based in Blackburn, the stable team are getting ready to move to their new home at Sykes Holt near Mellor Brook where the finishing touches are being put to a purpose-built stables next to the new brewery.

The stables were handed over the the Shire horse care team on Monday this week (Oct 15).

It will be the first time the brewery, stables and head office have all worked together from a single site.

The move of the stables and its Shires is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Thwaites originally stopped using the 'gentle giant' horses in 1927 but on May Day 1960 , two dray horses were reintroduced to deliver beer to town centre pubs on the brewery's original local route.

Their return, at a time of rising petrol and diesel costs, was a great success and they were given a brand-new bespoke stables block to work from.

The various teams of horses have won a host awards at regional and national show awards and were honoured by the Mayor of Blackburn for their contribution to the town in 1985.