DEMOLITION work has been completed on the first of two pubs in the shadow of the former Thwaites brewery in Blackburn.

The Veteran, at the corner of Salford and Vicar Street which had not traded for more than 10 years, has been pulled down as part of the anticipated wider redevelopment of the historic site.

In recent years, the building was home to the Bootstrap book shop and the Lancashire Healing Centre, which would eventually relocate to premises in King William Street and Church Street respectively.

Contractors have already begun work on disassembling the second of the old hostelries to go ­— Uncle Tom’s Cabin, off Barbara Castle Way.

Roof slates have been removed while the removal of large brewing tanks is carried out just yards away, which will see the ring road temporarily closed on the next two Sundays in August.

Thwaites Estates director John Draper said: “The demolition of The Veteran is the latest stage of our ongoing work at the old brewery and it hasn’t traded as a pub for over 10 years.

“Anyone who has passed the site recently will have noticed lots of activity as we have worked our way round the tower area. This has included using a crane to remove vessels and tanks, which will all be repurposed or recycled.”

Elsewhere The Fleece, on Penny Street, is being preserved, with it expected to be re-marketed as a pub or restaurant.

And the former training centre, once known as Daniel’s bar, is currently home to the Bureau Centre for the Arts, after fire ripped through their former base, the old Church of St John the Evangelist, in April.

Mark Briggs, the Lancashire Telegraph’s real ale expert, said: “The Veteran was a beautiful pub which had a lot of character.

“It’s a real shame it’s been pulled down. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are going to miss the building.

“Inside it was really nice with a nice art deco look inside.

“It was popular too in its day, it had regular Campaign for Real Ale meetings there.

“It’s a sad time for pubs.

“And with the demolition work taking place, Blackburn town centre has lost more than 200 years of brewing history.”

The interior of the iconic tower is slowly being removed and the tower is set to come down when the insides have been removed.

Demolition was delayed slightly after a male and female peregrine falcon made a nest near the top of the tower in April.

Two chicks hatched a short time later and were there for a number of weeks.