Blackburn’s Jubilee Hotel seems to be bucking the trend in our town centre for all the wrong reasons. New pubs have recently opened and others have come back from the dead, but the Jubilee seems to be in a state of inactivity.
This Blakey Moor pub has had its ups and downs over the years. I remember it having flagstone floors in the 1970’s, which were often stained with blood from fights which broke out in here. This hostelry was a contender for Blackburn’s roughest pub, though similar things could be said about plenty of others at the time.
Things changed for the better when Tom and Linda Fox took over the pub in the early 1990’s. After spending money refurbishing the place and kicking out anti-social elements, their Jubilee became a great pub. My happiest memory of those days was when Rovers won the Premier League in 1995 and joining many fans celebrating inside and outside the pub, closing both Blakey Moor and Barton St. Tom was a massive Rovers fan and these times were the zenith for his pub and his team.
Tom and Linda left to run the Golden Cup and their former pub has never been able to emulate those happy days. Years of decline followed and a seedy reputation developed. It was closed under a police order in 2008, but re-opened a year later. Attempts have been made since those dark days to make a go of the Jubilee, but this pub seems to have continued on a downward spiral. Now one of Thwaites’ last town centre pubs looks to be closed once again.
This is very sad, yet seems so unnecessary. Very few pubs in Blackburn are in a better location for attracting passing trade. Our college and its University Centre are nearby and have provided this pub with a lot of custom over the years. There has also always been trade from many events across the road at King George’s Hall.
Unfortunately attracting trade to a pub which seems to only open sporadically doesn’t help matters. Nearly every time I have walked past this pub lately it has been closed. On those rare occasions when it was open they never had any real ale on sale, so it might as well have not bothered in my case.
But there is always hope around the corner. With great news about the Adelphi and a new version of Liquid Nightclub both re-opening, perhaps we could see a return of the Jubilee. Anything’s possible in Blackburn these days.