A PUB which formed part of a town centre drinking circuit for decades has suddenly closed.

The Squire, in King William Street, Blackburn, pulled down the shutters this week.

It is not yet known why the pub, formerly known as Molloy's and O'Neill's, has decided to close but the venue confirmed the closure on its Facebook page.

The pub said: “To all our customers, old and new, daily and occasionally, we are extremely sorry and saddened to say we have closed our doors for good.

“It’s been a barrel of laughs; we thank you all for your loyalty and making the shifts fly by! It’s safe to say we will miss you just as much as you will miss us! See you on the other side!”

The long-established pub has been a prominent feature of Blackburn’s nightlife for years.

The pub became The Squire in late 2017 after new management took it on after the old Molloy’s had been put up for sale earlier that year.

Borough regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley described the closure as disappointing.

He said: “It’s obviously always disappointing when a town centre venue closes.

“As a council we’re always conscious to keep on winning the battle get residents back in the town centre for leisure activities.

“But the positives are that across the street from there, a new pub has opened while we’ve had micro pubs open nearby.

“We probably have more venues open now than we have done in the past.

“We’ll see have to see what the owners of the premises do now and how it develops.”

Cllr Hussain Akhtar, who represents the town centre, said he was saddened by the closure and said the town’s nightlife was suffering.

He said: “It’s always sad to see the closure of any pub, hotel and restaurant as they bring in business and jobs. They add to the town’s night-time economy which is suffering.”

Regulars have also taken to the pub’s Facebook page to express their sadness.

Jessica Amy Grime said: “Miss you all already, was my home away from home. Hopefully I’ll still see all the amazing people I met there.”

Tom Smith said: “This is kind of out of the blue. Shame as I had some good nights in there.”

Tam Fraser Doherty added: “Another pub less to drink in in Blackburn. Sad.”

n What memories do you have of the pub over the years? Email bygones@nqnw.co.uk