BLACKBURN’S skyline has now changed forever following the demolition of the town’s iconic Thwaites tower.

Work on demolishing the derelict facility began at the start of October but it was only on Tuesday morning when the factory’s iconic tower - which could previously be seen from miles around - was fully knocked down.

Now the town’s skyline has significantly changed, with the 1960s landmark no longer standing tall in the town centre.

Work was originally due to begin on knocking the site down in 2018, but was delayed after a pair of peregrine falcons nested and hatched two chicks close to the tower.

The birds and their hatchlings - which have full legal protection in the UK - fledged their nest in July, meaning work could get started on the demolition project several months behind schedule.

Many have mourned the ‘passing’ of the brewery building, described as ‘part of the fabric of the town’.

Paul Greenwood, 54, from Accrington said: “It’s a sad moment for the town to see such an iconic building go, which I’ve known all my life.

“I’ve never been in it but have always walked past - and it’s something you associate with Blackburn.”

Paul Kenyon, 58, from Little Harwood, said: “They’re taking all the history from Blackburn including the old market, bus station and now a historic brewery.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley has also previously said the council will be working with Thwaites to come up with future options for the site.

He said: “The disappearance of a landmark that has been around since the 1960s will mean the skyline of the town will look very different.”

The demolition of the tower comes after Thwaites ended 211 years of brewing in Blackburn last year, with the brewery moving to its new home at Sykes Holt in Mellor Brook in August 2018. Thwaites' decision to end brewing at its Penny Street base was brought forward after travellers laid siege to the site over the May Bank Holiday weekend last year, causing more than £300,000 worth of damage. It saw office buildings looted, televisions and computer equipment stolen, as well as alcohol and electrical copper wiring.