Blackburn’s former Jubilee pub has now re-opened as the Lemon Tree.
On April Fool’s Day last year, I asked the question: What next for Blackburn’s Jubilee Pub? This followed its recent closure at the time. Sadly for this pub, not only had it been dying a slow death commercially, structural damage was also blighting the building. So things looked bleak and there seemed little possibility of it ever opening as a pub again in the present difficult economic climate.
But this is Blackburn and things are happening. They are certainly happening on Blakey Moor and an opportunity arose to do something with the Jubilee. This is where James and Katy Quayle stepped in. With their other pub, the Drummer’s Arms, they have turned a derelict jeweller’s into Blackburn town centre’s jewel in the crown. What was stopping them doing something similar with the Jubilee?
A decision was taken to rename the pub. This was down to its intention to sell food and attract students from nearby Blackburn College and its University Centre. Their next job was to sort out building problems and refit and decorate the pub throughout. This included providing catering facilities and turning the Lemon Tree into one of only a handful of Blackburn’s town centre pubs to have food available.
The Lemon Tree opened its doors in December and looks very nice and clean and bright. My only worry was being shocked by these old school desks which act as tables. They brought back nightmare memories of my own school days, back in the 1970’s. I sat at one which looked like my old school desk, but fortunately it was empty when opened. There was no sign of my catapult or pea-shooter inside. Neither was there any sign of the material we used to read under our bedsheets with a torch while listening to the wandering wavelength of Radio Luxembourg.
Another worry which also turned out to be a red herring was the price of real ale in the pub. Rumours about its cask beer being too expensively priced have proved to be totally unfounded. It costs the same for real ale in the Lemon Tree as it does in the Drummer’s Arms.
And so another pub re-opens in Blackburn town centre, continuing the good work being done by a lot of people and organisations. This pub might be aimed at students, but it’s looking like it’s going to be a class act for the rest of us to follow.