Earnies: roller skating, dessert bar, party venue, baby group…and soon crazy golf

1 August 2023

If you drive down Dockray Street in Colne, you could be mistaken for thinking that the huge former mill on the corner is just that – an old mill.

But step inside and a whole world is hidden behind the doors providing fun for all the family.

Earnies is first and foremost known as a roller rink. It’s the only one for miles around, with Blackburn and towards Leeds the next nearest ones. People travel from all over to roller skate on the impressively large floor with quirky interior decoration – but there are still many in the local area who do not know that the business is on their doorstep.

Manager LeAnn says: “I’m in an Earnies bubble, but I still can’t believe it when people pop their head round or come to a party and say they’ve not heard about us before. We can take around 110 people at once on our skate rink, or you can hire the entire space exclusively for £200 for two hours. You don’t need to skate either, it works as a brilliant dance floor and we have a DJ booth and can provide catering options.

“Then there’s the equally huge downstairs space. I run a baby and toddler group with soft play and bouncy castle and refreshments on Tuesdays and Fridays for just £4. Downstairs also houses Earnies Dessert Bar – which is also available on Just Eat for delicious sweet treats – Busterz takeaway, pool tables and arcade games, and a weekly car boot sale.”

Throw in the fact that there are units available to rent around the perimeter of the former Farmhouse Biscuits mill and Colne Market location, and Earnies is quite the not-so-hidden gem, considering its size!

How did Earnies end up in Colne?

Earnies is the brainchild of Clare, who was originally looking at a mill on the outskirts of town. However, when she was shown the Dockray Street location, she took a leap of faith.

“It’s a huge space – really big! It was a bit intimidating to begin with as it was a lot of space to fill, but we’ve definitely made amazing progress since opening in 2019. Our parties are booked months in advance and LeAnn has started work to open a crazy golf that will be her very own business, “We’re currently getting it all ready and it’s a few months off being open, but you really could spend a whole day with family or friends here once it’s done”.

“Our Super Sundays are especially popular. We have a DJ Callum who plays games with our customers. Everything is under one roof, with the dessert bar and takeaway, arcade games downstairs and skating and event space upstairs.”

Earnies is something of a family affair. Clare’s brother Bobby runs the dessert bar with his wife Georgia, whilst dad Tony is the maintenance man – he can often be found on the roof! “Tony is the best!” adds LeAnn. Georgia and Bobby are even having their wedding party at Earnies soon.

The business has proven a success for Clare, who’s background is hospitality and isn’t one to be found behind a desk.

“I just love talking to people and I definitely couldn’t have a regular 9-5 office job. The business community is fantastic in Colne and we all support one another. We host the Holidays Activities and Food (HAF) programme to provide food and activities to young people and we also host charity events.

“At the end of the year, Granny’s Kitchen is also moving in whilst Colne Market is transformed and we’ve been chosen to hold the Christmas Markets to ensure poor weather doesn’t put off visitors. That’s definitely a benefit to having all of this space, and we’re accessible, with toilets on both levels,” Clare explains.

Her sister-in-law Georgia adds: “People say Colne is up and coming, but it’s already there. It’s central, it has good public transport, the events are fantastic – look how many came to the Soapbox Challenge.”

A space for the community

Manager LeAnn is proud of how Earnies partners with local community groups and businesses.

“The Colne Youth Action Group has their HAF program some days with us here and we’re hosting some events to raise money for Pendleside Hospice. We want to be a relaxed, safe space for people of all ages to enjoy. I’ve booked live bands to play from August through to the end of the year and we’ve also been booked by Bingo That’s Bonkers.”

LeAnn herself admits that when she originally joined the business in the dessert bar, she wouldn’t even answer the phones. Now, you can find her hosting the baby and toddler groups, managing social media, welcoming customers and hosting parties. She is clearly busy, always on the go to make Earnies the place to be.

“It’s built up my confidence and I feel part of the family. I even come in on my days off to check everything is running OK, I can’t help myself!”

Earnies is open for public roller skating and other activities Tuesdays-Sundays 1.30-6pm during the school holidays. During term time, it is open Thursdays and Fridays 4-7pm and Saturday and Sundays 12pm-6pm.

It’s weekly car boot is held every Sunday from 8am.

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