Campaign launched to restore historic pub

The Dog Inn
The Dog Inn

One of Longridge’s most historic pubs could be restored to its former glory if resident Mark Smith has his way.

He has started a campaign to save The Dog Inn for the town – and his Facebook appeal has already had more than 700 hits.

No-one wants to see it go. It has been sad enough already to see The Weavers, the Duke William and the White Bull disappear

Mark Smith

Printer Mark, a lifelong Longridge resident, was just seven when he first went to the pub in its heyday to watch his dad and uncle compete on the once-immaculate bowling green.

He said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to wants it to be a pub and keep a major historic part of Longridge at the top of the town.”

The Dog closed in June after five years as the Indian Lounge.

Longridge’s landmark pub The Dog Inn has had a chequered history after its launch in 1913, replacing the adjacent Old Dog Inn dating from the 1830s,

It was one of the most popular regular pubs in the town for years, closing as Victoria’s India in 2009, opening as the Indian Lounge in 2010 before that restaurant closed in June.

Mark Smith - former pupil of St Wilfrid’s and St Cecilia’s schools in Longridge - met his wife Tracy at The Dog 28 years ago.

He decided to set up the Facebook page to focus attention on what could be the pub’s plight, and let people have their say.

He said: “No-one wants to see it go. It has been sad enough already to see The Weavers, the Duke William and the White Bull disappear.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to wants it to be a pub and keep a major historic part of Longridge at the top of the town.”

Facebook comments remember the ‘awesome bonfire parties,’ how ‘the spirit of the place’ is still there despite closed doors, and ‘the need for hospitality.’ where there was now nowhere to eat or drink at the top of Longridge.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans drives past The Dog most mornings and also supports the campaign, others say it would be a shame to lose the pub, not impossible to save it and campaigners ‘should not be afraid of a challenge.’

Photographs of the overgrown garden accompany the Facebook messaging, now styled ‘the official Save the Dog Inn pub page.’

*The Old Dog Inn was once one of three pubs on Market Place - The Dog, The Red Lion and the Swarbrick Arms, with The Spencer’s Arms just round the corner on Dilworth Lane. It was known as a special place for hospitality and the for the annual horse race held on Longridge Guild Day in August. The new Dog Inn became the meeting place for the Independent Order of Oddfellows.