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Site of the Blue Anchor

Bowling Greens, War Memorials, and Oddfellows Take me here now

Local Historian Paul Smith talks about the history of the Blue Anchor pub and the surrounding area.

This shop was once the Blue Anchor pub, the first pub in Garstang with its own Bowling Green.

Today, the site of the Bowling Green is partly occupied by Garstang's War Memorial, remebering the lives of those lost during the Great Wars.

On nearby Croston Weind is a residential property which was once used as a meeting hall by the Oddfellows of Garstang. The Oddfellows is a society which evolved out of trade guilds in the late 17th century. It is a not for profit, friendly society offering social activity and support. 


Make sure your volume is on: "Blue Anchor"

Show transcript

This is the location of a pub that was called the George and Dragon. The George and Dragon was rebuilt in 1819 and changed names to the Blue Anchor, and it continued as a public house until 1870 when it finally closed its doors for the last time. The Keppel estate decided to demolish the pub in 1871 and replace it with a row of four cottages. And these in turn, in 1972, were pulled down to make way for the shop that you see now.

Bit by bit the pubs of Garstang began to close, mainly on account of the opening of the mainline railway to the east of Garstang. Traffic died almost overnight, the pubs, which were very well established, nearly a hundred years, slowly began to close one after another, mainly depending on the state of the building, rather than the fact that nobody wanted to take them on. In the case of the Blue Anchor, how it survived till 1870, I think is remarkable because there were other better pubs in Garstang. But the Blue Anchor actually has an important first, really, it was the first pub in Garstang to have a bowling green. Everybody else followed suit. I suppose it was an attempt to help keep it going.

The site of the bowling green's now occupied partly by the war memorial at the back of town. The land is also partly occupied by the Old Oddfellows Hall, which was erected in 1926. The Oddfellows was a group that was formed in different parts of the country. It was self-help and the group would help each other materially and financially in time of hardship and a great, many of the populous in Garstang belonged to the Oddfellow Society. After the Great War of 1914-18, all the Oddfellows who had served in the conflict had their name added to a large, commemorative, memorial and the Oddfellows, they figure quite a lot in , the social landscape of the town, but always as a separate sort of organization if you like.

Garstang's War Memorial

This page is part of Garstang Heritage Trail