There has been a pub on the Dressers Arms site since the 1700′s. Taking its name from the stone dressers of Slate Delph Quarry just a quarter of a mile away it started as a one room pub, where the workers would slake their thirst after a hard day’s work.Over the years the pub was sold from brewery to brewery and ended up as a tenanted house of Matthew Brown of Blackburn. In 1969 the pub was put up for auction and was sold to a publican from Leyland for £35000 who extended the building and made it a free house.Since those days the pub has only had four other owners, who have each made their mark by extending and improving the building.
In the early 90′s The Dressers was the first pub to have a Cantonese restaurant on the first floor and this has remained ever since. Always renowned for its quality of beers and food in recent years the pub has gone from strengh to strengh with it’s famous steak deal of two steaks and a bottle of wine for a reasonable price. In fact over 25000 steaks were sold last year.
On Thursday the 24th April at 5:30am disaster struck when a fire ripped through the total pub destroying both the upper and ground floors of the building. Over fifty firefighter spent 18 hours tackling the blaze but the building couldn’t be saved. My wife Trudie and I had to watch as twenty years of hard work literally went up in smoke.
Immediately our insurance were on the scene and confirmed we were insured and they would do everything in their power to get us back up and running in the shortest possible time. The forensic investigation took two weeks to complete and in the end concluded that the fire was an accident. In the meantime a specialist demolition team was assembled and as soon as they were given the all clear to enter the building work started on the big clear up on Wed 14th May. Scaffolding was erected all around the site and massive skips were brought in to hold the tons of burnt debris. A lot of the tables had cast iron bases, these have been saved and will be refurbished and used in the rebuilt pub.
As The Dressers was a very old pub it was in some ways inefficient for modern ways of working and we will take into account during the rebuild to modernise the infrastructure whilst keeping the appearance and charm.
Don’t worry apart from a few tweaks you will hardly notice any difference. This web site will be updated every week to keep you informed of the progress of The Dressers rebuild.
It has now been 14 weeks since the fire and the building is starting to take shape. The first floor is complete with all the internal walls up and thank you to Stan Ainsworth of Blackburn for turning around the roof steel supports in half the normal time. The roof timbers are going in and by the end of this week the building should be watertight, which means the plumber and the electrician can start their first fix. This weekend as you know is Dress Fest with a great line up of bands and artists, starting on Friday evening with an Amy Winehouse tribute aka Caroline Lowe. For all the details go to Facebook or Twitter. More progress reports next week.