A BLACKPOOL pub made famous for hosting major bowls competitions has had its licence suspended.
Councillors stripped the Waterloo Hotel and Bowling Club on Waterloo Road, South Shore, of its licence for four weeks after hearing the premises had breached a number of health and safety rules.
Fire exits had been blocked and a light was found hanging from a cable at the pub renowned for hosting the Crown Green Championships, first held in 1907.
The hearing was told a boiler had been switched back on despite being condemned as dangerous because of fears it was leaking gas.
Council health and safety officer Jacqueline Harrison said she visited the pub on November 20 last year and had to call out an emergency engineer after discovering a strong smell of gas.
She added: “The engineer carried out some tests and established a gas leak on the boiler so he isolated the appliance and attached a safety warning notice to it.”
But when officers returned a week later, the boiler had been switched back on without permission.
Licensee Michael Rowe said he had invested £40,000 in the premises.
He admitted he had been wrong to turn the boiler back on but said his own engineer had declared it safe.
He said: “I shouldn’t have put it back on but I had it tested by a certified gas engineer. In freezing temperatures, what customers I did have, I was losing.
“I was struggling to survive and I had to get some heating in the place and I was confident enough it was safe and I could switch it back on.
“The Waterloo is a building I love, I have put my heart and soul into the place.”
Coun Norman Hardy, a member of the licensing panel, added: “People say these conditions don’t matter, until the place burns down, then they do matter.
“It beggars belief that having been in the trade so many years, on this occasion you don’t seem to be aware of the conditions which exist.”
Councillors also attached a number of new conditions to the licence.
Mr Rowe has 21 days to appeal the decision and can remain open until the outcome of any challenge.