I was too young to go in before the pub got raided & closed, but walking past you could tell it had an edge...

Preston is home to many a fine public house - welcoming and warm locals full of friendly faces and refreshing drinks. But it has also played host to a number of less salubrious establishments over the decades as well…
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When the Lancashire Post recently asked readers for their memories of the dodgiest boozers in the city down the years, we received dozens of nominations and accompanying hair-raising tales, most of which featured a mixture of nostalgia, thinly veiled pride, and mirth.

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“In the ‘80s always the Red Lion wasn’t it?” said Stephen Wells. “I was just too young to go in before it got raided & closed down (1989?) but walked past it many times. Even just walking past you could tell the place had an edge to it. As kids we found the place fascinating…”

Maureen Macuras also mentioned the Red Lion, but sprang to the pub’s defence. “Not the pubs that are rough, it's some of the punters that can make them rough,” she said. “Had some great times in the Red Lion & Bears Paw.”

Barry Hollinshead agreed, saying: “No pubs are rough. Now the punters, that's a whole different question.” Others, however, have plenty more local watering holes to nominate, with Jimmy Stevenson saying: “Bell Vue - some rough guys used to go in there” and Kirsty Bergin adding: “Bears Paw… but it’s an amazing night.”

Lisa Mault said “Legends by name legends by nature. I came out alive lol” while Lea Smith said: “Stanley! Some sights in there” and Steve McBride said: “Balmoral was rough - you could get ‘propositioned’ within seconds of walking in!”

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Casting his mind back, George Eastham said: “I can go back to the early 50s - The White Lion down Syke Hill. The Rag and Bone men would frequent it, guaranteed to be two or three fights every night.”

Safe to say Preston has had its fair share of lively bars and pubs down the years, some of them undoubtedly much-loved in their day and much-missed by folks who revelled in their air of edginess and character. 

Still after some more retro content? Check out these other recent nostalgia picture galleries...

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