1991: The battle of the £2 pint rages

editorial image

A growing population and the growing price of a pint were in the news of an August, 1991, edition of the Burnley Express.

Dubbed the “Battle of the £2 pint”, local pub customers were being urged to back a campaign to stop the threatened £2 pint.

They were being asked to support licensees in their bitter battle against brewery giants who had been imposing large beer and rent increases.

Today, it is rent increases which are most talked about and cited by licensees as the reason behind the swathe of pub closures we have seen in recent years.

And while the price of a pint has generally increased, in most cases to well beyond £2, there are still establishments in Burnley that serve a “sub £2 pint.” In fact, some social commentators now believe this is too cheap and encouraging binge drinking.

But in 1991 the chairman of Burnley Licensed Victuallers’ Association, Mr Pat Kerry, said: “The breweries are going out of their way to keep people out of pubs. They have got the wrong attitude entirely and are slowly killing the trade.”

Meanwhile, Burnley’s population was said to have leapt to over the 94,000 mark.

But that didn’t necessarily mean there had been a big influx of people, rather a long running campaign to put the records straight.

Figures released by the Office of Population and Censuses and Surveys this week put Burnley’s population at 94,000, an increase of around 3,500 on the previous year.

In politics, the Liberal Party was making a comeback in Burnley.

The Liberal Party had not been visibly active for about four years, ever since an internal wrangle led to an independent investigation.

That investigation was carried out following a split in the party ranks over two “rebel” councillors, Mrs Philomena French and Mr David Pound.

The Liberal’s decision meant that sitting MP Peter Pike (left) was due to be opposed by Tory Brenda Binge, Lib Dem Gordon Birtwistle and the Liberal challenger, although in the event no Liberal candidate was put forward in the following year’s General Election.

The hit film of 1991 was undeniably “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves” and its Bryan Adams soundtrack smash “Everything I Do I Do It For You” enjoyed even more success spending a record 16 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK singles chart.