Gallery: Excitement builds ahead of Darwen Wetherspoon's pub opening

This Is Lancashire: Inside the new JD Wetherspoon pub, The Old Chapel in Darwen Inside the new JD Wetherspoon pub, The Old Chapel in Darwen

THE £1.57million transformation of a former Methodist church into a new Darwen pub can be unveiled for the first time.

JD Wetherspoon is on course to open The Old Chapel in the former Railway Road Methodist Church next Thursday.

The firm has transformed the building, most recently used as a discount supermarket, and brought the forgotten upstairs floor back into use.

Lighting costing £150,000 has been installed which is remote-controlled to enable bulbs to be changed, and features mock candles like those which would have been used in the church, which closed in 1968. And a kitchen has been installed at a cost of £300,000. Manager Michael Johnson, formerly of The Commercial in Accrington, said he was looking forward to opening next week.

He said: “I have worked for 20 Wetherspoon pubs over 10 years with the company and this is certainly the most stunning building.”

Mr Johnson, 31, originally from Liverpool, has been a Wetherspoon’s pub manager for six years, having run the Robert Peel in Bury before moving to Accrington.

He said: “The thing that gets me is that every day you look on Facebook and there are pictures of the pub that people have taken and everyone is really excited.

“I cannot believe the fever it has generated.”

The pub will have door security from Thursday to Sunday and will sell local beers from brewers in the town, including Hopstar.

Simon Huggill, a methodist preacher and Darwen town councillor, said despite the building’s past, the Methodist community had not voiced any concerns about its new use.

He said: “Nobody has said anything to me and, if they did, they should have voiced their concerns at the planning stage.

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“I think it will be fantastic. I am a tee-totaller but life does not stand still.

“It is a beautiful building and I am pleased it is being brought back to its former glory.

“I would certainly be happy to go in as a methodist and enjoy a soft drink.”

For a gallery of pictures of The Old Chapel, visit http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/photos/january_2014/darwen_wetherspoons/

Comments (17)

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5:58am Fri 17 Jan 14

Pommie Art says...

A decent pub in Daren, Now id'e like to see that.?????
A decent pub in Daren, Now id'e like to see that.????? Pommie Art
  • Score: -11

6:20am Fri 17 Jan 14

Excluded again says...

It will join several other decent pubs in the centre of Darwen. Several of them quite new like Bar 39, the Belgrave and the Bridgewater.
It will join several other decent pubs in the centre of Darwen. Several of them quite new like Bar 39, the Belgrave and the Bridgewater. Excluded again
  • Score: 12

8:11am Fri 17 Jan 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

Are all the other pubs exited about it opening
Are all the other pubs exited about it opening 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: -5

9:53am Fri 17 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

Excitement builds? Ah well, it'll make a change from watching the traffic lights change colour!
Excitement builds? Ah well, it'll make a change from watching the traffic lights change colour! Darren1951
  • Score: 0

11:46am Fri 17 Jan 14

Benjamin James says...

First of all... when is it opening LT? Don't advertise something and not give the basic details needed... When the public can go to this.

I walked past it last night and I must say it looks absolutely AMAZING. such a stunning place which wouldn't look out of place in the financial district down in London. The only sad thing is that it's not going to be long before it will be filled to the brim with loud angry less than respectful yobs who usually frequent the bridgewater.

I'd like to think they're sticking to the 21 and over rule they discussed when this was initially being planned. Unfortunately though, I fear this place will either be destroyed and run down by the minority of mindless **** in the area or be preserved but still be full of tracksuit wearing thugs that just want to pump in dance music and free stella on tap.

Don't let it become a night club. It looks too good for that.
First of all... when is it opening LT? Don't advertise something and not give the basic details needed... When the public can go to this. I walked past it last night and I must say it looks absolutely AMAZING. such a stunning place which wouldn't look out of place in the financial district down in London. The only sad thing is that it's not going to be long before it will be filled to the brim with loud angry less than respectful yobs who usually frequent the bridgewater. I'd like to think they're sticking to the 21 and over rule they discussed when this was initially being planned. Unfortunately though, I fear this place will either be destroyed and run down by the minority of mindless **** in the area or be preserved but still be full of tracksuit wearing thugs that just want to pump in dance music and free stella on tap. Don't let it become a night club. It looks too good for that. Benjamin James
  • Score: 14

11:47am Fri 17 Jan 14

Benjamin James says...

I've just seen the opening date. ignore the first line of my last post.
I've just seen the opening date. ignore the first line of my last post. Benjamin James
  • Score: 2

1:29pm Fri 17 Jan 14

darwenTower says...

2 for 5p ridesagain wrote:
Are all the other pubs exited about it opening
If it attracts drinkers to the area then yes, I suspect they'll be delighted.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p ridesagain[/bold] wrote: Are all the other pubs exited about it opening[/p][/quote]If it attracts drinkers to the area then yes, I suspect they'll be delighted. darwenTower
  • Score: 6

1:39pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Christine M says...

I didn't think Weatherspoon pubs had music????????
I didn't think Weatherspoon pubs had music???????? Christine M
  • Score: 4

1:49pm Fri 17 Jan 14

juanbbien says...

Good luck I hope people appreciate the effort and money invested and treat it with some respect,as people are always moaning about a lack of investment
Good luck I hope people appreciate the effort and money invested and treat it with some respect,as people are always moaning about a lack of investment juanbbien
  • Score: 8

2:34pm Fri 17 Jan 14

louderfasterlonger says...

Christine M wrote:
I didn't think Weatherspoon pubs had music????????
Some do, and this pub has an entertainments license for recorded music, but not live music.
[quote][p][bold]Christine M[/bold] wrote: I didn't think Weatherspoon pubs had music????????[/p][/quote]Some do, and this pub has an entertainments license for recorded music, but not live music. louderfasterlonger
  • Score: 3

2:49pm Fri 17 Jan 14

leyton says...

if it goes like the ones in burnley jeez .All the bother about now is food if you are not ordering food expect a wait of 20 mins for a drink.
if it goes like the ones in burnley jeez .All the bother about now is food if you are not ordering food expect a wait of 20 mins for a drink. leyton
  • Score: 2

3:10pm Fri 17 Jan 14

shirtbox2003 says...

wont be long before the plebs and morons who frequent darwen centre take over this pub.of course weatherspoons will say its doing well,but they have enough other pubs to cover for it.anyhow good luck,your going to need it.
wont be long before the plebs and morons who frequent darwen centre take over this pub.of course weatherspoons will say its doing well,but they have enough other pubs to cover for it.anyhow good luck,your going to need it. shirtbox2003
  • Score: -5

12:55am Sat 18 Jan 14

fireonthemountain says...

The Millstones used to be an excellent pub .

I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it .

The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was .

Now an absolute hole ,

I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes ,
when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ?

The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for
the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never
manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ?

Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) .

I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons .
He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here .

But he has reservations .

I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September .
Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people
and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here !
Afraid of the "envy" factor .

Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before .



Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen .

You are going to need it .

How sad .
The Millstones used to be an excellent pub . I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it . The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was . Now an absolute hole , I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes , when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ? The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ? Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) . I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons . He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here . But he has reservations . I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September . Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here ! Afraid of the "envy" factor . Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before . Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen . You are going to need it . How sad . fireonthemountain
  • Score: -4

12:41pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Bat E Karen says...

We went past just after 6 last night and it was very busy so it looks as if it's already open.

I think they've made an excellent job of the outside and, judging from the photos, the inside looks lovely as well.

Good luck to them - I hope it stays nice.
We went past just after 6 last night and it was very busy so it looks as if it's already open. I think they've made an excellent job of the outside and, judging from the photos, the inside looks lovely as well. Good luck to them - I hope it stays nice. Bat E Karen
  • Score: 2

1:00pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Darren1951 says...

They're having a pre-opening trial before the "official" opening, which is next Thursday (23/1), for people to have a gander, & to get a bit of customer feedback. I knew it as the Methodist church whenI was a lad and, yes, it's been very tastfeully revamped. I'm not their beggest fan, butI wish them every success, & hope it isn't spoilt by the yobs. They say they'll be selling the local ale, Hopstar, twigs an' all, so it gets my vote!
They're having a pre-opening trial before the "official" opening, which is next Thursday (23/1), for people to have a gander, & to get a bit of customer feedback. I knew it as the Methodist church whenI was a lad and, yes, it's been very tastfeully revamped. I'm not their beggest fan, butI wish them every success, & hope it isn't spoilt by the yobs. They say they'll be selling the local ale, Hopstar, twigs an' all, so it gets my vote! Darren1951
  • Score: 2

1:28pm Sat 18 Jan 14

louderfasterlonger says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
The Millstones used to be an excellent pub .

I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it .

The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was .

Now an absolute hole ,

I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes ,
when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ?

The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for
the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never
manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ?

Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) .

I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons .
He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here .

But he has reservations .

I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September .
Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people
and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here !
Afraid of the "envy" factor .

Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before .



Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen .

You are going to need it .

How sad .
How sad that you paint such a negative picture of Darwen to people from out of town, I frequent most pubs in Darwen and never encounter any trouble. Usually its nipped in the bud.. granted, it has its problem hotspots and car envy happens all over the country.
We have great live music, a social club, chillout pubs, rave joints, cocktail bars, real-ale pubs, nightclubs, function rooms and traditional pubs all in a half mile radius of the town centre and people flock from out of town... unfortunately you don't seem to get out much or a slightly neurotic to be missing out on the great social life Darwen Town centre has to offer.
Now a massive company have seen Darwen's potential and invested £1.5m. Perhaps their Head of Planning and Operations should have spoken to you before putting his hand in his pocket... at least you can look forward to the pleasure of saying "I told you so".
And I love Greggs Steak Bakes, great for when you are wandering around town without time to have a sit-down meal.
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: The Millstones used to be an excellent pub . I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it . The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was . Now an absolute hole , I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes , when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ? The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ? Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) . I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons . He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here . But he has reservations . I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September . Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here ! Afraid of the "envy" factor . Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before . Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen . You are going to need it . How sad .[/p][/quote]How sad that you paint such a negative picture of Darwen to people from out of town, I frequent most pubs in Darwen and never encounter any trouble. Usually its nipped in the bud.. granted, it has its problem hotspots and car envy happens all over the country. We have great live music, a social club, chillout pubs, rave joints, cocktail bars, real-ale pubs, nightclubs, function rooms and traditional pubs all in a half mile radius of the town centre and people flock from out of town... unfortunately you don't seem to get out much or a slightly neurotic to be missing out on the great social life Darwen Town centre has to offer. Now a massive company have seen Darwen's potential and invested £1.5m. Perhaps their Head of Planning and Operations should have spoken to you before putting his hand in his pocket... at least you can look forward to the pleasure of saying "I told you so". And I love Greggs Steak Bakes, great for when you are wandering around town without time to have a sit-down meal. louderfasterlonger
  • Score: 7

8:27pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Pommie Art says...

louderfasterlonger wrote:
fireonthemountain wrote:
The Millstones used to be an excellent pub .

I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it .

The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was .

Now an absolute hole ,

I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes ,
when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ?

The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for
the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never
manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ?

Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) .

I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons .
He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here .

But he has reservations .

I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September .
Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people
and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here !
Afraid of the "envy" factor .

Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before .



Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen .

You are going to need it .

How sad .
How sad that you paint such a negative picture of Darwen to people from out of town, I frequent most pubs in Darwen and never encounter any trouble. Usually its nipped in the bud.. granted, it has its problem hotspots and car envy happens all over the country.
We have great live music, a social club, chillout pubs, rave joints, cocktail bars, real-ale pubs, nightclubs, function rooms and traditional pubs all in a half mile radius of the town centre and people flock from out of town... unfortunately you don't seem to get out much or a slightly neurotic to be missing out on the great social life Darwen Town centre has to offer.
Now a massive company have seen Darwen's potential and invested £1.5m. Perhaps their Head of Planning and Operations should have spoken to you before putting his hand in his pocket... at least you can look forward to the pleasure of saying "I told you so".
And I love Greggs Steak Bakes, great for when you are wandering around town without time to have a sit-down meal.
Did anybody see that Flying Pig over head.????????
[quote][p][bold]louderfasterlonger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: The Millstones used to be an excellent pub . I wouldn't walk in there if my life depended upon it . The Bridgewater - what a nice place it was . Now an absolute hole , I cannot understand why shirtbox2003 has had 5 minus votes , when he has spoken the truth . Anyone care to explain ? The only good thing about it's location is that it is too far for the plebs and morons to walk from Greggs - uphill ! - they'll never manage to push their prams that distance . What would they do with their devil dogs ? Not after they've had to go to The Job Centre (aka the gimme more benyfitz office) . I have a mate in Blackpool - where there are five Weatherspoons . He assures me that they do not allow vermin (his word) - he is looking forward to visiting here . But he has reservations . I have a mate in Manchester - he came here last September . Decided not to park his car in Darwen . He employs over 200 people and drives a rather tasty Jaguar . Wasn't going to leave it round here ! Afraid of the "envy" factor . Met up with him in "Kings Lynn" . Think I might have mentioned this before . Good luck Weatherspoons in Darwen . You are going to need it . How sad .[/p][/quote]How sad that you paint such a negative picture of Darwen to people from out of town, I frequent most pubs in Darwen and never encounter any trouble. Usually its nipped in the bud.. granted, it has its problem hotspots and car envy happens all over the country. We have great live music, a social club, chillout pubs, rave joints, cocktail bars, real-ale pubs, nightclubs, function rooms and traditional pubs all in a half mile radius of the town centre and people flock from out of town... unfortunately you don't seem to get out much or a slightly neurotic to be missing out on the great social life Darwen Town centre has to offer. Now a massive company have seen Darwen's potential and invested £1.5m. Perhaps their Head of Planning and Operations should have spoken to you before putting his hand in his pocket... at least you can look forward to the pleasure of saying "I told you so". And I love Greggs Steak Bakes, great for when you are wandering around town without time to have a sit-down meal.[/p][/quote]Did anybody see that Flying Pig over head.???????? Pommie Art
  • Score: -4

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