I’d been eagerly anticipating my own Amy Winehouse style  “Back to Black”burn trip since the Guide came out (late), signalling a first new Guide entry since well before this blog started.

The closure of the main Thwaites (pronounced “Twits”) brewery this decade and a failure to grasp the craft nettle as robustly as Blackpool, Blackley or Blackedge has seen the town fall off the pub-ticking tourist trail. Darwen positively scoffs up the appropriately named A666 at its big brother.


Another Tandleman post to show you here, this one actually referred to on the official Wikipedia page !

And micros haven’t taken over the centre of town yet (they’re all nearer Burnley), though this building will make a great Brewhouse & Kitchen.


Blackburn seems smaller than you’d expect for a town that’s won the League and inspired “A Day In The Life“, but it’s actually not a great deal bigger than Bootle, which you’d never heard of till I showed you pictures of my breakfast.

Compact, spick and span, and with a wallpaper museum, appropriately a pop-up by the look of it.


I preferred this art piece near an old Matthew Brown pub.


Of course, the mark of a true northern town is a man dressed as a chicken.

See also St Helens

A few signs of independent trade are popping up here and there, including our new micro.

Drummer has to have his own bar

Actually, the Drummer’s Arms is Proper Pub, and as the sign says it’s splendid. Proper seating, beer mats, history and quirky stuff.



There you go my lovely” is what you want to hear, and I’ll forgive the handled jug for the Bank Top Dark as it was cool and chewy (NBSS 3+).

Localish beers

Shoot that poison arrow through my heaeaaarrrt” sang woolly hat man at the bar, a better version than Martin Fry manages these days.

Woolly hat man counts out pennies

Make sure you attempt the stairs to the loo before your sixth pint of the day. And don’t confuse the handbasin for the urinal (or was it the other way round ?).

Don’t look down

Heart of Glass” followed the Eurythmics,  “Woo-oo, oh oh” sang our crooner, seemingly upset by the lack of his favourite lager which I’ve written down as “rgubarn”.

Stuff Paul Bailey would like in his new micro pub

It would take a heart of glass not to be moved by the beauty of the cathedral, the most underrated in England. Sometimes, simplicity is best,


The light shines through


13 thoughts on “A BLACKBURN STAR

    1. Long before that Thwaites was affectionately known locally as Twats.

      My main memory of going round Thwaites Brewery is that the minibus we had gone in was broken into with my backpack amongst the items stolen.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mmmm. Only times I’ve ever been to Blackburn was to watch Tom play against Blackburn, three times I think. There was a decent breakfast stop outside the footy ground, although the youth teams didn’t play their fixtures there.

    Reckon I’d have been heading to Northern Whisper if I was in that part of the world, I don’t think they are too far away. Their take on BBB, ‘Blighty’ is superb, as are their other brews. They have some wooden casks that were refurbed by my mate Alastair at Yorkshire Cooperage.


  2. I love how the Museum of Wallpaper sign leaves the “and cafe” still visible.

    Enjoyed the Martin Fry reference. Did I tell you I saw ABC in concert here in Michigan? They were touring after that first album, and had so few songs to play live they had to play a couple of them twice.


      1. Pretty sure it was after the Lexicon LP was out. Wonder if they actually made any money on that tour, as they brought a string quartet along with them! They sounded really great, as I recall.


      2. Surprised they ran out of songs then, though I reckon the artists I see play shorter gigs these days (45-50 minutes is typical). Same with Matt. There’s more focus on having a stronger support act or two. Still, am jealous.


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