Campaigners have spoken of their sadness after work finally started on turning a fire-damaged former Birkdale pub into a new housing development.

Community campaigners, backed by members of the Campaign for Real Ale had launched a last-ditch bid to save the former Blundell Arms pub on Upper Aughton Road, which shut its doors more than three years ago, and turn it into a community hub.

In its heyday, the two-storey pub, bounded by Clarence Road and Everton Road, was seen as a focal point for the local community and its function rooms hosted many weddings, birthdays, christenings and much more