Darwen pubs bucking national trend

PUBS in Darwen are bucking the national trend, according to a councillor.

Despite a decline in the industry across the country, in recent months six pubs and one club in the town have been refurbished. And deputy chairman of Darwen Town Council Trevor Maxfield said it showed how well the town’s pubs were being run.

Blackburn brewery Thwaites-owned The Millstone, The Sunnyhurst and The Anchor have all recently reopened following extensive renovations, costing a combined £160,000. They joined The Swan, The Park and The Victoria, which all had work done to them, as well as Hollins Grove Conservative Club.

Earcroft councillor Trevor Maxfield said it was good to see the town’s pubs thriving. He said: “It would certainly appear that pubs in Darwen are bucking the national trend. All you hear about is that pubs are failing and a lot have closed down, but in Darwen things are looking good.

“When you look at some of our neighbouring towns, the pubs are very quiet, so landlords here must be doing something right. We have lost a few pubs in town over recent years but the ones that remain seem to be doing well.”

The manager of The Sunnyhurst in Tockholes Road, Katie Pilling, said: “As long as you can provide a nice setting and good beer, then people will come into your pub.

“We are lucky that the pub is in such a nice place, so we get a lot of passing trade from walkers and bikers. But we have a core of regulars who appreciate what we have tried to do since taking over here.”

Emma Whittaker, landlady of The Victoria in Sudell Road, said: “Doing up the pub shows people that you care and makes them want to come in.

“I always class this as a meeting pub. People meet up in here and sometimes stay all night and sometimes head into town.

“You have to make sure there is plenty going on. I have Sky for the football and I will give them some sandwiches at times and send round a football card.”

Comments (15)

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2:02am Sat 29 Dec 12

CapitaBackHander says...

Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c
Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c CapitaBackHander

4:06am Sat 29 Dec 12

2 for 5p says...

QUOTE:

You have to make sure there is plenty going on. I have Sky for the football and I will give them some sandwiches at times and send round a football card.”

By you know how to pull the punters in football card. :-)
QUOTE: You have to make sure there is plenty going on. I have Sky for the football and I will give them some sandwiches at times and send round a football card.” By you know how to pull the punters in football card. :-) 2 for 5p

7:14am Sat 29 Dec 12

Excluded again says...

CapitaBackHander wrote:
Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c
On the other hand you have had new pubs opening in Darwen, like the Bridgewater, Bar 39 and Oakenhurst Farm.
[quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c[/p][/quote]On the other hand you have had new pubs opening in Darwen, like the Bridgewater, Bar 39 and Oakenhurst Farm. Excluded again

10:51am Sat 29 Dec 12

djt says...

why am I not surprised that pubs are doing well in Darwen? Shame that the shops are closing down.
why am I not surprised that pubs are doing well in Darwen? Shame that the shops are closing down. djt

11:38am Sat 29 Dec 12

Dai Darwen says...

Excluded again wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote: Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c
On the other hand you have had new pubs opening in Darwen, like the Bridgewater, Bar 39 and Oakenhurst Farm.
Around 1970 there were 19 "pubs" on the main road from boundary to boundary. All of these "pubs" used to be pretty well frequented. Beer then was around 10p per pint, a wage would be around £20 per week.
Today we see 9 "pubs" along the same route. I do not know the price these days.

I am talking the old main road route.

I believe we have lost many more "pubs" than new "pubs" having opened. We have also lost most of our Working Men's Clubs.
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Oh right, so boarded up pubs are bucking the trend? One opposite India Mill, one up the road, in town and Chinese now e.t.c[/p][/quote]On the other hand you have had new pubs opening in Darwen, like the Bridgewater, Bar 39 and Oakenhurst Farm.[/p][/quote]Around 1970 there were 19 "pubs" on the main road from boundary to boundary. All of these "pubs" used to be pretty well frequented. Beer then was around 10p per pint, a wage would be around £20 per week. Today we see 9 "pubs" along the same route. I do not know the price these days. I am talking the old main road route. I believe we have lost many more "pubs" than new "pubs" having opened. We have also lost most of our Working Men's Clubs. Dai Darwen

11:50am Sat 29 Dec 12

Councillor Duncan says...

(former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.
(former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football. Councillor Duncan

1:46pm Sat 29 Dec 12

louderfasterlonger says...

Councillor Duncan wrote:
(former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.
It has taken Thwaites long enough to work out this formula after years of neglect, not only on the infrastructure but looking after the tennants.
A well run pub with motivated staff will allways make money. On the main road route we have much fewer pubs as Dai mentions, but they are well run and (relatively free of trouble). There used to be a number of pubs in Darwen to Avoid Like the Plague if you weren't a regular.
BARU is working well and the prices seem to drop with every refurbishment. And, as you state Steve if you can't get Football in a pub, they usually have a programme of musical entertainment.
[quote][p][bold]Councillor Duncan[/bold] wrote: (former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.[/p][/quote]It has taken Thwaites long enough to work out this formula after years of neglect, not only on the infrastructure but looking after the tennants. A well run pub with motivated staff will allways make money. On the main road route we have much fewer pubs as Dai mentions, but they are well run and (relatively free of trouble). There used to be a number of pubs in Darwen to Avoid Like the Plague if you weren't a regular. BARU is working well and the prices seem to drop with every refurbishment. And, as you state Steve if you can't get Football in a pub, they usually have a programme of musical entertainment. louderfasterlonger

1:56pm Sat 29 Dec 12

Dai Darwen says...

Councillor Duncan wrote:
(former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.
Councillor Duncan backing (former Councillor)
"He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain SEEM to be doing well"

Are the pubs doing well or are they not ?
[quote][p][bold]Councillor Duncan[/bold] wrote: (former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.[/p][/quote]Councillor Duncan backing (former Councillor) "He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain SEEM to be doing well" Are the pubs doing well or are they not ? Dai Darwen

2:44pm Sat 29 Dec 12

2 for 5p says...

OPEN QUESTION:
This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.
OPEN QUESTION: This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should. 2 for 5p

5:26pm Sat 29 Dec 12

Dai Darwen says...

louderfasterlonger wrote:
Councillor Duncan wrote: (former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.
It has taken Thwaites long enough to work out this formula after years of neglect, not only on the infrastructure but looking after the tennants. A well run pub with motivated staff will allways make money. On the main road route we have much fewer pubs as Dai mentions, but they are well run and (relatively free of trouble). There used to be a number of pubs in Darwen to Avoid Like the Plague if you weren't a regular. BARU is working well and the prices seem to drop with every refurbishment. And, as you state Steve if you can't get Football in a pub, they usually have a programme of musical entertainment.
Now that was a good, informative and precise quote.
[quote][p][bold]louderfasterlonger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Councillor Duncan[/bold] wrote: (former Councillor) Cllr Trevor Maxfields comments should be taken against a national trend of pub closures, lack of investment etc. He is absolutely correct in the fact that the pubs that remain seem to be doing well, and several of the pubs in Darwen have had serious money spent on refurbishment - showing the owners are confident for the future. What do people want - plenty of run down pubs or fewer pubs that are decent well furnished places to meet and drink. And one thing Trevor failed to mention (unusual for him!) is that most of the successful pubs put on live music and football.[/p][/quote]It has taken Thwaites long enough to work out this formula after years of neglect, not only on the infrastructure but looking after the tennants. A well run pub with motivated staff will allways make money. On the main road route we have much fewer pubs as Dai mentions, but they are well run and (relatively free of trouble). There used to be a number of pubs in Darwen to Avoid Like the Plague if you weren't a regular. BARU is working well and the prices seem to drop with every refurbishment. And, as you state Steve if you can't get Football in a pub, they usually have a programme of musical entertainment.[/p][/quote]Now that was a good, informative and precise quote. Dai Darwen

4:56pm Mon 31 Dec 12

CapitaBackHander says...

2 for 5p wrote:
OPEN QUESTION:
This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.
That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: OPEN QUESTION: This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.[/p][/quote]That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do? CapitaBackHander

6:28pm Mon 31 Dec 12

2 for 5p says...

CapitaBackHander wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
OPEN QUESTION:
This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.
That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?
Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy.
its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice.
[quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: OPEN QUESTION: This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.[/p][/quote]That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?[/p][/quote]Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy. its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice. 2 for 5p

10:40pm Mon 31 Dec 12

fireonthemountain says...

Errmmm....no offence 2 for 5p but did I read that you think that supermarkets don't use gimmicks to make us buy ?

Surely your name reflects one of their
marketing tactics ? Though needs adjustment for inflation of course .

------------------

Anyway does anyone know of a wabsite that makes social comparisons ? Permit me to be more specific .

I would love to compare , say , Darwen in 1960 to today . Population , employment , number of shops and pubs etc . Crime statistics .
Number of people on benefits . Health .

And then compare with other towns .
Any ideas ?
Errmmm....no offence 2 for 5p but did I read that you think that supermarkets don't use gimmicks to make us buy ? Surely your name reflects one of their marketing tactics ? Though needs adjustment for inflation of course . ------------------ Anyway does anyone know of a wabsite that makes social comparisons ? Permit me to be more specific . I would love to compare , say , Darwen in 1960 to today . Population , employment , number of shops and pubs etc . Crime statistics . Number of people on benefits . Health . And then compare with other towns . Any ideas ? fireonthemountain

1:43pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Throstlefantastic says...

2 for 5p wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
OPEN QUESTION:
This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.
That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?
Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy.
its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice.
I'm not sure the bigger picture has been even researched here.
Does anyone think that Thwaites could afford not to invest in the Anchor or Millstone?
Not sure about the Anchor but everyone knows that untill the refurb the Millstone was all but dead and buried (hence its unfortunate nick name around town as the Tombstone)! That would have been a major embarrassment to Thwaites (being a local brewery) and to the Town itself (another flagship building boarded up) if it were to shut. the Sunnyhurst was again a failing pub and something had to be done or that to would have been condemed to the pub scrap heap.
The Swan was given a light uplift and re opened and the Park is privately owened by a man with a lot of available funds to be able to continue to invest, even in these times of austerity.
The Vic has had a major refurb but this has been privately funded and has been a long time coming.
But in real terms no one has mentioned the management merry go round.
the White Lion, Borough, Craven Heafer, Black Horse all had at least 1 change of Landlord / Tennant and the rumour mill is again a moc with names of places ready to be shut, with The Catholic club amongst that list and the liklihood of Craven recieving its refurb deminish day by day.
The truth be told yes most pubs are doing OK! but on the whole nothing more and the remainder are scraping by and the age old use of sport to draw the punters simply isn't enough anymore and when pubs are paying from £650+ a month to screen sky (for those still not breaking the law) they can only carry on paying if (football) brings back that twicefold in returns.
2013 will see at least two to three more pubs shut or temporarily shut as well as changes of Tennants, but I forsee bleaker times for the pub trade so perhaps rather than sitting in his car and looking at the pubs that have been redecorated Trevor Maxfield actually get off his backside and go to all the pubs in the town and speak to all the Landlords for a more accurate picture of whats happening in Darwen's pub scene.rather than rely on political retoric to convince his voters that everything is ok.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: OPEN QUESTION: This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.[/p][/quote]That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?[/p][/quote]Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy. its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice.[/p][/quote]I'm not sure the bigger picture has been even researched here. Does anyone think that Thwaites could afford not to invest in the Anchor or Millstone? Not sure about the Anchor but everyone knows that untill the refurb the Millstone was all but dead and buried (hence its unfortunate nick name around town as the Tombstone)! That would have been a major embarrassment to Thwaites (being a local brewery) and to the Town itself (another flagship building boarded up) if it were to shut. the Sunnyhurst was again a failing pub and something had to be done or that to would have been condemed to the pub scrap heap. The Swan was given a light uplift and re opened and the Park is privately owened by a man with a lot of available funds to be able to continue to invest, even in these times of austerity. The Vic has had a major refurb but this has been privately funded and has been a long time coming. But in real terms no one has mentioned the management merry go round. the White Lion, Borough, Craven Heafer, Black Horse all had at least 1 change of Landlord / Tennant and the rumour mill is again a moc with names of places ready to be shut, with The Catholic club amongst that list and the liklihood of Craven recieving its refurb deminish day by day. The truth be told yes most pubs are doing OK! but on the whole nothing more and the remainder are scraping by and the age old use of sport to draw the punters simply isn't enough anymore and when pubs are paying from £650+ a month to screen sky (for those still not breaking the law) they can only carry on paying if (football) brings back that twicefold in returns. 2013 will see at least two to three more pubs shut or temporarily shut as well as changes of Tennants, but I forsee bleaker times for the pub trade so perhaps rather than sitting in his car and looking at the pubs that have been redecorated Trevor Maxfield actually get off his backside and go to all the pubs in the town and speak to all the Landlords for a more accurate picture of whats happening in Darwen's pub scene.rather than rely on political retoric to convince his voters that everything is ok. Throstlefantastic

5:27am Fri 4 Jan 13

darwenTower says...

2 for 5p wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
2 for 5p wrote:
OPEN QUESTION:
This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.
That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?
Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy.
its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice.
Far Canal. Even by tuppence's normal standards the above is moronic beyond belief.

a) Supermarket beer is cheaper.
b) Everything in the supermarket has strings attached.
c) Grown ups can decide for themselves.

Maybe tuppence isn't allowed out on his own. I certainly hope that's the case.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: OPEN QUESTION: This is for landlords, what does it feel like when you are encouraging people to kill themselves slowly and put there family's in poverty, so that you can earn a living. Deep down do you feel like a scoundrel, you should.[/p][/quote]That is just a moronic post.... You mean in the same way, all Supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants e.t.c do?[/p][/quote]Supermarkets don't put TV football, sandwiches, football cards , and other little gimicks to make you buy. its quite straight forward with supermarkets its on a shelve with a price next to it, you buy it or you don't your choice.[/p][/quote]Far Canal. Even by tuppence's normal standards the above is moronic beyond belief. a) Supermarket beer is cheaper. b) Everything in the supermarket has strings attached. c) Grown ups can decide for themselves. Maybe tuppence isn't allowed out on his own. I certainly hope that's the case. darwenTower

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