Inevitably, one must follow a morning in Blackburn with an afternoon in Accrington.


My best Accy anecdote comes from their Premiership winning season (one more than Liverpool – FACT) when Mrs RM and I were looking for a B & B the night before their match against Forest (I used to tick League grounds).

This was the days before internet, and probably beforeectricity in Blackburn, so we walked the terraced streets looking for a sign, like you look for “Zimmer Frei” in civilised countries. The one that looked clean enough from the outside was run by a lovely lady, charged £25, and offered H&C in all rooms.  Tim Sherwood (Blackburn’s midfield general) had stayed there, she said.

Would you like a look first ?”

Oh don’t worry”  said I.  “OK” said a more suspicious Mrs RM

A minute later we were scuttling out of there, having seen a room that would have been condemned as unusable by Rigby in Rising Damp.  Goodness knows what Tim Sherwood lived in while at Norwich, but that was Norwich.

The Landlady chased us down the street, but only because Mrs RM had left her pashmina in the room, probably a capital offence in Blackburn.

Anyway, we found quite a modern small hotel in Accrington for £35 and quite liked an undemonstrative town of terraced streets and Thwaites pubs. Possibly this one…

Open the Bosx played Saturdays
Backstreets (not the Springsteen song)

A town most famous for a dead football club then got a decent live one AND a Wetherspoons, confirming its cultural renaissance.

Indoor market

On my first trip for six years it looked spick and span, if a bit quieter than is healthy, and I bought three lamb samosas (decent) in the indoor market to reflate the local economy.

Lovely market hall
Spot the shoppers (they’re all in the Spoons)

You really need to visit Peel Park (the ground and the nearby pub) for the authentic Hyndburn experience, but a pint in the Canine Club will do.

You’ll find at the end of the High Steet, across the road from the Cat Befriending Café r whatever it is.


The big fear with GBG clubs is not so much “Will they let me in given how CAMRA folk have annoyed them with requests for top-ups” as “Will they be open before 7pm

Hard to miss

The Canine Club (oddly lacking in dogs) was open, and friendly, and served a cool foamy pint of OSB Headmaster (NBSS 3.5) along with Tets. It was less than £3 from memory, but you’ll have guessed that.

Good lacings, good social club

Apart from a jukebox playing Buddy’s “It don’t matter anymore” and the lack of a broken coffee machine, you could have been in Spoons.

Most of the chat concerned a “decent burial” that morning, which begged the question of what an indecent one looks like.

More good pubbing in Accy, the last line of defence against craft.



    1. Just shows that every town* has its own appeal. Most people would put Accrington well down the scale of loveliness but it’s well built. And has great countryside all around.

      Haywards Heath was terrible.


    2. Places like the East Lancs towns (with the exception of Blackburn) and many in West Yorkshire often look attractive because of the wealth of stone buildings and the backdrop of hills. But the reality on the ground can be pretty grim…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed. Take Burnley, for instance (Go on, take it). Conversely, they scrub up well and Halifax has been able to reinvent itself as a posh Huddersfield in a decade using those stone buildings.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. You are writing about Lancashire with no mention of pies yet -we have chums from Burnley & Blackburn & they are OBSESSED with the darn things -at any time you an guarantee there will be an “emergency pie ” concealed somewhere

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “bought three lamb samosas (decent) in the indoor market to reflate the local economy” – probably as they had sold out of black pudding or tripe.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “Pie Curmudgeon” could have made your fortune.

        NB 92% of folk in the North-West have heard of Holland’s Pies – more than can name the Prime Minister then !


  2. I laughed at this: “Will they let me in given how CAMRA folk have annoyed them with requests for top-ups”.

    But then I wondered if it wasn’t in reference to a real image some bartenders may have of CAMRA members as customers: that they are likely to be a bit more demanding than the average customer, more likely to return a substandard pint, etc? Do you think many pubs have mixed feelings about CAMRA members, and about the organization in general?


    1. Met several Landlords who told me, unprompted, about CAMRA members upsetting staff by demanding discounts, tasters or complaining about lack of guest beers. Asking for a top-up is fine, of course. See some very boorish behaviour myself. Simon referred in recent post to a Poole club withdrawing admission privilege for CAMRA, which is what I was pointedly commenting on !

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I confess I was being deliberately provocative Paul. It’s your right to ask for a reasonable top up, though I personally frown on those that do as it looks fussy, particularly if that pint was £2,30 in Wigan. But then, Mrs RM is slaving away in Maidenhead today to fund my extravagances.


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