Padiham pub to be converted into homes?

LAST ORDERS: The Whalley Range
LAST ORDERS: The Whalley Range

A FORMER historic Padiham pub could be converted into three houses.

The Whalley Range, known locally as “The Top Drum”, has been closed and boarded up for some time and plans have now been submitted to convert the pub into two houses and build a four-bedroom house on the side.

This would involve demolishing the single-storey buildings attached to the pub in Church Street.

The plans will be considered by Burnley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee on Thursday. If passed, the building would actually return to its original use as it was first built as cottages.

There is some uncertainty behind the pub’s Top Drum nickname but it could relate to the brass bands that would rest or practice there after the Whit Walks.

Padiham town councillor Bob Clark said: “The Whalley Range was a super little pub in its heyday, very friendly and very well-run.

“It was a very friendly pub which was frequented by a lot of local characters. It is sad that it hasn’t survived in recent times but many local pubs haven’t.

“I hope it is sympathetically restored if that’s what’s planned. It is much better than being left boarded-up.”

Long-serving Padiham butcher Alan Speak was born in his father Charles’s butcher’s shop in Church Street, close to the Whalley Range, in 1933.

He said: “My father opened the butchers in 1932 and I’m sure the Whalley Range was a pub then. There were some interesting characters who drank there.

“I particularly remember Russell Greenwood, who was an expert in Oriental languages, and worked for the British Embassy in China. There was also a man named John Wood who worked for the Raj in India in the late 1950s I think. They would both regale locals with their stories.

“I think it was known as the Top Drum because there was a pub at the bottom of the street known as the Bottom Drum. I don’t know where the names originated though.”

Applicants say there will be two parking spaces in the side yard accessed from Church Street for the new house and one space for each of the other two properties on land at the back. The plan has been recommended for approval.