OSWALDTWISTLE’S historic Gobbin Lamp is being restored to its former glory, council bosses have revealed.

The lantern outside Oswaldtwistle Library has long been the boundary mark where true Oswaldtwistle folk - or Gobbiners - are born.

However it has gradually become rusted, which has left the area in darkness for months.

Now Hyndburn Council has sent the out-of-action lamp for a revamp including steel fabrication repairs and repainting.

Tradition has it that those born ‘above the lamp’ on Union Road are true Gobbiners, while those in the other direction are not, making it a much loved landmark.

The new version has a light activated photo cell to automatically switch the lamp on and off.

The outer lantern, which was badly rusted, has been sent to a steel fabricators, where the rust will be cut out and new steel part made for it.

The lamp will then be repainted and placed back in its exact spot, marking Gobbin terrority for future generations.

Coun Peter Britcliffe said: “People in Oswaldtwistle are very proud of the lamp and this refurbishment is great news for Gobbiners.

"When the lamp is to be restored it will be good to see it in action once more."

Though the term ‘Gobbiners’ is now associated with anyone from Oswaldtwistle, its original meaning is disputed. Some say the Lancashire dialect term refers to coal, or coal workers while others say it refers to someone stupid or unskilled.

One story regarding the lamp explains that poor people used to scavenge for coal, which had fallen from carts. By the time the carts from Town Bent had reached the lamp, all the loose coal was gone, so the practice was denied to those lower down.

Another version is that this part of town is reputed to have been built on the ‘gobbings’, or colliery waste, which had been used as landfill.

The original lamp, a gas lamp, was removed many years ago and a campaign for its return saw two lamps, based on the original style, installed in the early 1970s, although only one of those now remains.

The refurbished lamp is expected to be ready and reinstalled in two weeks.