A historic Greater Manchester pub has been recognised with CAMRA’s Historic England Conservation Award, having been lovingly restored to its former glory.
The Swan & Railway pub in Wigan was damningly branded as the “worst pub in Wigan” by a punter on TripAdvisor back in 2016 but now, following some extensive repairs by its new landlord, the drinking hole has been given a prestigious award acknowledging its historic importance.
Landlord John Brearley has invested significantly in the property – and now he has been awarded a prestigious award in recognition of the work he has done to improve the historic pub and honour its period features – which range from stunning hand-painted stained glass windows to original Victorian tiling.
Dating back to 1898, the Swan & Railway suffered a serious fire in 1982 but still retains its late-Victorian footprint today. Grade-II listed in 1995, it was closed for a number of years before being taken on by its current landlord in 2018 and extensively refurbished.
Now, it seems that work has paid off handsomely with CAMRA choosing to honour both pub and landlord in one fell swoop at the belated 2021 pub design awards.
Situated opposite Wigan North Western rail station, the Swan & Railway has now had a new roof fitted and been made waterproof but it still retains its impressive original features – which include foliated glazed wall tiles, a mosaic floor that spells out the name “Swan & Railway Hotel”, panelled and stained glass screens and an original settle.
It has also now got some brand new bathrooms, as well as a few new additions to its interior including an impressive new marble top bar counter and all-new soft furnishings.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, owner John spoke of his pride at turning the once ‘rather sad’ building into a ‘smart and welcoming place’ for punters to enjoy once again.
“We have sought to turn the Swan back to how it would have ‘come out of the box’ new in its extravagant Victorian heyday, bustling and lively but with corners to relax in and there for everyone to enjoy as a proper pub,” he said.
“We hope we’ve brought you something special as we’ve sought to turn the pub back to how in would have ‘come out of the box’ new in its extravagant Victorian heyday,” said the pub owners.
“Bustling and lively but with corners to relax in we hope you enjoy it as a proper pub.”
On the drinks front, you’ll find some top-notch real ales here (it’s a CAMRA-awarded pub now, after all) alongside a carefully chosen wine list and a good selection of spirits.
These can be enjoyed in its stunning tiled drinking corridor, alongside some brilliant Pieminister pies from its food menu (this is Wigan, the home of great pies, after all).
You’ll also find some cracking scotch eggs and pork pies on the menu here, plus other pub favourites like sausage rolls, pork scratchings, olives, paninis and flatbreads.
Perfect for whiling away a pleasant afternoon or evening, the Swan also has rooms upstairs for those who’d like to indulge and don’t fancy driving home at the end of the night.
You can find The Swan and Railway pub at 80 Wallgate, Wigan WN1 1BA. To see the full menus and find out more, head over to the pub’s website here.
Andy Burnham wants to help more girls get into football
Andy Burnham has urged schools to do more to encourage young girls to get into football.
The Greater Manchester Mayor was speaking to Sky News‘ Kay Burley on Thursday, 8 December as he discussed the importance of promoting more women in football and sport, in general.
Burnham said that himself, the FA and notable women’s football advocates like former keeper Karen Bardsley are “determined” to make sure the buzz following the Women’s Euros isn’t just a flash in the pan.
With the England men’s team currently trying to replicate the Lionesses‘ success as they prepare for the quarter-final of the 2022 World Cup, he went on to emphasise the lasting memories football can create on a global scale.
The Mayor went on to say that with the help of schools across the UK, they hope to “make sure that the success the Lionesses had in the summer becomes a permanent legacy”, imploring schools, the sporting community and the nation at large “not let those summer memories fade”.
Insisting that he already feels the heroics of Euro 2022 have already had an impact when it comes to inspiring more girls to get into football.
He said that the uptake among “women in football” since the tournament has been “amazing” but warned educators and parents not to “leave it to chance” and provide the support to make “real change”.
Coins with King Charles III’s face on have officially entered circulation today
The Royal Mint has announced that the first coins to bear the effigy of King Charles III have officially entered circulation today.
In what marks the historic transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III on the public’s money, following the passing of the former back in September after 70 years on the throne, the first coins to bear The King’s portrait – are 50 pence pieces, and they will start to appear in circulation in Post Offices around the UK from today.
The coins not only bear The King’s face, but are also said to commemorate the life and legacy of the late monarch.
The reverse of the 50 pence features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield, and in between each shield is an emblem of the home nations – a rose, a thistle, a shamrock, and a leek.
4.9 million 50 pence coins with King Charles III’s face on have been sent to UK Post Offices today.
The coin will first begin being distributing as change when customers make a purchase in store, The Royal Mint explains, before a total of 9.6 million 50ps eventually enter circulation in line with the public demand for them.
“Today marks a new era for UK coinage,” commented Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time. We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.
“The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the Monarch’s effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.”
Also speaking as the coins enter circulation today, Nick Read – Chief Executive Office of the Post Office – said: “It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office that the first coinage featuring King Charles III is being released into circulation via our extensive branch network.
“December is our busiest time of the year so the coin will be entering our network in a phased manner.
“If you don’t receive the new 50p in your change on your first visit to a Post Office, you may well get it in your change in a subsequent visit, so keep a look out for it.”
All approximately 27 billion UK coins with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on will remain legal tender and in active circulation, and will eventually be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for new coins.