Pubs and bars in Poulton have been warned to ready themselves for an influx of hundreds of travellers attending a funeral in the town today - with many choosing to shut up shop or increase their security.
Between 500 and 700 travellers are expected to attend a funeral service at the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs on Highcross Road today.
A number of licensed premises in the town have chosen to close for the day while others are bringing in extra security staff after a warning from police and council officers.
Lee Cave, chairman of Poulton Pubwatch, said: “Premises have been advised to either place security on the doors to help manage things or close. Because of the influx of people, to manage that safely would be quite difficult so some pubs have decided to close.
“I think it’s a good decision. The decisions are made by individuals and I have sought advice for Pubwatch members from the professionals.”
Landlords have admitted the mass closures are an unprecedented move.
Mr Cave added: “I’ve never known this to happen before, I think it’s quite unusual.”
One landlord, who asked not to be named, said: “On the back of advice from police and council officers regarding a funeral going on, in the interests of safety, security and the reputation of our pub we’re taking the choice to close.
“It’s quite a unique thing but I think it shows the strength of feeling of licensees of Poulton if they’re collectively making this decision.”
Mr Cave said The Elk on Hardhorn Road, The Thatched House on Ball Street, The Highcross on Highcross Road and The Newton Arms on Staining Road, had all confirmed they were to close.
He added that The Old Town Hall in Market Square and Cube on Breck Road, had said they would be bringing in extra security.
Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, said: “One of our officers did advise pubs there is likely to be greater numbers out so from a licensing point of view it would be wise to have more door staff.
“Decisions are up to individuals though.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We are in regular contact with licensees.
“If large numbers of people are expected in an area for an event then we will consult with them over opening hours or safety and security.”