AS the Thwaites Tower starts to come down brick by brick from the top this week, the brewery’s historians have been recalling how it went up in the first place.

With production in full swing at the 212-year-old firm’s new home in Sykes Holt near Ribble Valley’s Mellor Brook, nostalgia for it heyday in Penny Street Blackburn is clearly still strong.

The archivists tell me proudly: “In 1964, old offices on the Thwaites site were demolished to make way for a cask handling unit with cellars and a nine storey tower brewhouse.

“It was the vision of John Yerburgh, the company’s chairman at the time.

“The tower was aluminium clad and two things become iconic - the Thwaites lettering and clock face advertising ‘Time for Thwaites’.

“In the 1960s the Thwaites brewery cost £ 1.2million to build, the new one cost £5.5m.

“The foundation stone was laid in 1964 by Mrs Oscar Yerburgh and underneath it were several items placed in a time capsule for posterity - including a history of the brewery, a local newspaper, and a record that reached Number One by Blackburn group the Four Pennies.

“The time capsule was recently recovered and will be reburied after demolition. The new brewery and brewhouse were completed in 1966.

“Vast numbers of people wanted to see it once it was built and parties came from everywhere, including clubs, schools and women’s and men’s institutes. Thousands had never seen a brewhouse before.”

As well as the time capsule and famous lettering, the stainless steel fermenting vessels inside the tower have been recycled while a new stables has been built for Thwaites famous Shire horses.

Chairman Rick Bailey said: “The brewery served the company and the people of Blackburn well, providing many families with employment and producing the ales for which Thwaites is famous.”