Old Preston music pub looks to pick up the beat again two decades after it shut

A tumbledown old pub could be ready to turn back the clock to the heady days when it was one of Preston's top live music haunts.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 9:30 am

Plans have gone in to refurbish the former Lamb Hotel in Church Street and convert its cellar into a venue for art and music.

The historic old alehouse, which dates back more than 200 years, called "time" in 1999 and was converted into bedsits.

Now the owners, Dr Rachel and Joseph Waqas, want to upgrade the building's 11 flats, include a co-work space on the ground floor and add an art gallery/music venue in the cellar.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The old Lamb Hotel was a top live music venue back in the day.

Read More

Read More
Plans lodged to turn a car showroom in Leyland into a 'much needed' convenience ...

Preston architects Studio John Bridge say the proposed work would "enhance the building experience and its reference to the times when the Lamb was a thriving public house in the live music scene of the 80s and 90s."

For boss John Bridge it is something of a labour of love - his dad Rob used to play at the pub with rock band Touch in the 1990s.

The distinctive building, with its first floor bay window, is Grade II Listed and has a rich history as a pub since the early 1800s.

The Lamb as it looked back in the swinging sixties.

One of the famous Preston North End Invincibles team - goalkeeper James Trainer - was landlord there in 1893/94 and, when he took over the Lamb, he invited fans down to meet him with the Lancashire Cup on display on the bar.

The Lamb was one of four Preston pubs that trainer ran at various times - the Black-a-Moor Head, the Horse Shoe Hotel and the Royal Consort were the others.

Originally called the Holy Lamb, the pub changed its name to the Lamb Hotel in 1874 because it was felt it was inappropriate to call an alehouse holy.

It was the place where the Lancashire Evening Post Sunday Football League was formed in 1967.

And in more recent times it earned a reputation far and wide for its contribution to the music scene and the quality of its live music.

It was especially noted for folk music, attracting bumper audiences for its folk evenings. It also became known as Preston's premier "alternative" live music venue.

It was a regular haunt for names like Bobby Elliott, drummer with the Hollies, ex-Rubettes guitarist Tony Thorpe (with his band Gas Company) and Ian Kirkham who often played with Simply Red.

Comedian Phil Cool was also known to drop in to sing with Bob Johnson and the Bobcats.

It closed down in 1999, but music lovers held a reunion in 2009 to mourn its passing 10 years on.