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.
The Fun House – known for many years as 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. Or exactly how much more there is inside its doors.
Manager LeAnn, who is well known for her dedication to the business, has made the jump into being co-owner with business partner Bobby, who previously was known for running the dessert bar with wife Georgia. The couple continue to do so, with Bobby taking on extra responsibilities as new co-owner with LeAnn.
LeAnn, says: “I’m in a bubble with being the co-owner and manager, 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 The Fun House is quite the not-so-hidden gem, considering its size!
A new crazy golf
The Fun House is in a huge former mill.
LeAnn explains: “It’s a huge space – really big! It can feel a bit intimidating as it is 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 I’m working hard to open a crazy golf. We’re dedicated to make sure we’re known as an all-day venue for all ages – we’re not just a skate rink. 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 and new event space downstairs and skating upstairs.”
As well as running the overall business with LeAnn, Bobby runs the dessert bar with his wife Georgia, whilst Tony is operations manager and described by LeAnn as “the heart of the business”. “Tony is the best! He’s currently re-doing the rink with Bobby and is often found on the roof,” adds LeAnn.
Bobby says: “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.
“In a few weeks, Granny’s Kitchen is also moving in from Colne Market, both as a cafe and our new in-house events caterer. 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.
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
LeAnn is proud of how The Fun House partners with local community groups and businesses.
“The Colne Youth Action Group has their HAF programme 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 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.
“It’s built up my confidence to take the leap of faith to become co-owner. I even come in on my days off to check everything is running OK, I can’t help myself!”
The Fun House is open for public roller skating and other activities
During term time:
In the school holidays:
10am till 6pm Tuesday to Thursday
It’s weekly car boot is held every Sunday from 8am.