Landmark Darwen pub becomes furniture showroom

Nick and Catherine Almond have transformed the former pub

Nick and Catherine Almond have transformed the former pub

First published in Darwen Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A LANDMARK former Darwen pub has been transformed from a derelict building into the new home of a long-running family business.

Catherine and Michael Almond have spent 18 months renovating what used to be The Bowling Green, in Bolton Road, and turning it into a showroom for their firm, Darwen Furniture and Gifts.

Mr Almond, 49, said he first wanted the building 25 years ago.

He said: “Catherine and I were sitting in the pub and at the bottom of the stairs there was a door.

“The landlord opened the door and I saw the huge stained glass window, and I said I wanted to buy it.

“Now I’ve got it, although I don’t think Catherine expected we’d buy the whole building!”

The renovations also include Dolly’s Tea Room, in memory of Michael’s brother David, who died three years ago.

There is a further memorial with the upstairs John Paul Brighty showroom, named in tribute to the Fortex dry liner who died earlier this year while renovations were ongoing.

The business has been running for more than 20 years, having originally been started by Michael’s dad, Keith.

Catherine, 46, said: “Without our customers, none of this would be possible. I would like to thank them for helping us to get where we are now.

“When we saw it was on the market we kept watching it, and it was sold. I approached the man who bought it and he said I could have it for what he had paid.”

The pair have tried to maintain the character and a lot of original features from the historic building.

One feature is a set of shackles, used when the pub was a halfway house for policemen transporting criminals.

The new premises have created four jobs, taking the total number of staff employed to 10.

The shop and cafe are now fully open for business.

Comments (4)

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4:34pm Mon 10 Sep 12

happycyclist says...

Good to see someone making good use of a grand old pub.
Good to see someone making good use of a grand old pub. happycyclist
  • Score: 3

6:11pm Mon 10 Sep 12

RUinsane says...

I hope it does really well for you both. Just seems a bit out of the way. It really is a lovely building though, I wouldn't have minded it myself.
Good luck with your venture.
RU.
I hope it does really well for you both. Just seems a bit out of the way. It really is a lovely building though, I wouldn't have minded it myself. Good luck with your venture. RU. RUinsane
  • Score: 2

6:32pm Mon 10 Sep 12

t1eck says...

We moved to Germany just over 3 years ago and bought quite a lot of good quality furniture from 'The Furniture Warehouse' to take with us. Best wishes in the extended venture xx
We moved to Germany just over 3 years ago and bought quite a lot of good quality furniture from 'The Furniture Warehouse' to take with us. Best wishes in the extended venture xx t1eck
  • Score: 4

7:20pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Hovis1945 says...

All the best with this Michael and Catherine, we will be up for look round and a brew asap.
All the best with this Michael and Catherine, we will be up for look round and a brew asap. Hovis1945
  • Score: 5

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