HYNDBURN'S drinkers have suffered a bitter blow with two more pubs closing their doors.
The New Inn on Thomas Street, Oswaldtwistle, is boarded up and no-one is sure what its future holds.
And the historic Rising Bridge pub is being turned into an Indian restaurant called The Spicery, which is set to open in July.
This follows other pub closures in recent years but a spokesman for CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, said the problem was not limited to this area.
He said: "What seems to be happening in Hyndburn is a reflection of a situation that is going on right across the nation. A recent CAMRA survey found that 56 pubs a month are closing.
"The great demand for property sometimes overshadows the community's needs for pub life.
"Pubs can be demolished without planning permission and without any kind of application for a change of use. A pub is different from a restaurant and should be designated differently."
The Rising Bridge is believed to have opened in 1829 and was the centre point of the village.
The "Brig", as it is known, has suffered from having a succession of landlords in recent years.
A traditional local, it was popular with villagers who have now lost both their pub and their church.
There are now no pubs between Haslingden town centre and the Bay Horse at Baxenden.
However, the pub situation is not completely dire.
John Wilson, 51, has taken over at his local, the Thorn Inn, in St James Road, Church, and is eager to make the place desirable again.
He said: "I've always wanted this pub because it is my local.
"In recent years there have been four different managers and I don't plan on leaving. Now that I've got it I am going to keep it.
"We have got all the riff-raff off the premises and have a lot of different things going on. We have been up and running for two weeks now and it's all going well.
"You need to be excited about doing what you are doing because it makes a difference in the pub."