'Hard' Preston pub is finally knocked down

A notorious Preston pub has finally been bulldozed more than 20 years after it called last orders.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 3:45 pm

The Old England Hotel, in Ribbleton Lane, has been knocked down to make way for a Muslim education centre, ending two decades of misery for residents living nearby.

The alehouse, known as a “hard” pub in the years before it closed down in 1999, has been a boarded up eyesore on the busy main road ever since.

Now a team from Riverside Demolition and Reclamation have flattened it ready for work to start on a three-storey schoolroom.

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A demolition crew has flattened the Old England.

Plans passed by the city council show the new building will be almost a carbon copy of the old, to retain much of its Victorian character.

The Old England, next door to Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School, closed its doors 22 years ago after almost 150 years of pulling pints.

It opened around 1853, one of scores of public houses built in Preston in the second half of the 19th century to serve the expanding town with its new terraced streets and textile mills.

Several applications to refurbish and extend it as an education centre have been passed dating back to 2015. But the latest granted demolition after it was said to be in such an “advanced stage of deterioration” inside that knocking it down was the only solution.

The Old England was a boarded-up eyesore for more than 20 years.

“The proposed educational use would reinstate a community facility on the site which would bring social benefits to the area,” says a report by a planning officer.

“The existing building is derelict and does not anymore contribute positively to the amenity of the area.”

Only one objection was lodged, citing the impact the traffic generated would have.

In better days . . . the Old England decorated for the 1952 Preston Guild.