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Local Pub News (2006) | Print |


  • The Unicorn in Orrell – now re-opened following a major refurbishment with sadly redundant hand-pumps
  • The New Inn in Aspull - closed for refurbishment, lets hope they do not change the standard or range of beers on offer !
  • The Forresters in Billinge – appears to be under new management and not currently doing any cask ale.


  • The Bulls Head in Goose Green held a very successful festival over the Bonfire weekend. The landlord Ben tells us he has already started preliminary planning of his next festival !!!!
  • The Victoria in Aspull – we reported last month that All Gates brewery were rumoured to be interested in purchasing it – the latest news is that the sale is nearing finalisation. Ian and Donna plan to do some significant improvements to the premises so as yet it is not certain whether they are going to open up for Christmas and then start the work or if they undertake their renovations before formally opening the pub.
  • The Strangeways Hotel in Hindley has been refurbished and renamed the Paddock, unfortunately the improvements do not stretch to putting on real ale !
  • The Halfway House in Pemberton is now boarded up.
  • The Berkeley in Wigan recently gained Cask Marque accreditation with virtually top marks in all categories and is only one of 2 outlets in their parent company to have achieved this status. Congratulations to all the team at the Berkeley – recognition which is well deserved !
  • The Miners Lamp in Pemberton – apparently recently under relief management but under new tenancy from 8th November so hopefully cask Thwaites beers will return.
  • The Royal Hotel in Hindley, has been demolished.
  • The Mount in Orrell – reduced beers now on offer – just Green King IPA and one guest from the Hardy & Hanson range.
  • The Balcarres in Haigh – now has 2 handpumps though there was only Crag Rat on offer when we called on our survey trip.
  • The Mechanics in Hindley Green is now featuring cask ale as a direct result of customer demand. We became aware of the fact that it was selling the real stuff after a chat with one of our members (Martyn of the Berkeley) as by pure chance he had been on a course with the landlord. It was the first visit of our recent survey trip and we found it to have been recently sympathetically renovated and offering a choice of Spitfire or Ruddles County. The landlord indicated that real ale has become such a popular seller that he is to get a third handpump very soon.


  • The Griffin in Wigan is still closed.
  • The Unicorn in Billinge is boarded up and rumours have been heard that it is to be made into a trendy eatery.
  • The Wheatsheaf in Appley Bridge re-opened following refurb and now selling Tetleys and Jennings Cumberland.
  • Gems Bar in Wigan. Reports that the Sunday meals are bringing in a lot of custom. Various entertainment on at weekends with the excellent Spider Monkeys on on 21st October.
  • The Bulls Head in Goose Green is going to do a Christmas menu which should be in print early next week – no details known at present but if the meals are anything like the quality of the Sunday lunches then they should be worth having. On Friday 20th they are having a soul party with well known CAMRA member ‘Deano’ as DJ. The landlord is also currently speaking to Archers brewery about the possibility of a beer festival featuring Archers beers in early November – details of exact dates and beers available to be sent when confirmed.
  • The Cross Keys in Stubshaw Cross is a pub we do not mention very often although it has featured in the Wigan GBG selections for 2005, 2006 and 2007, is to hold a mini beer festival 20th – 22nd October. Beers featured are Elgood’s Golden Newt (4.1%), Jennings Cumberland (4%), North Yorkshire Brewery Fools Gold (4.6%), Spring Head Round Heads Gold (4.2%), Tom Woods Old Timber (4.5%), Wychwood Hobgoblin (5%). The festival runs from 12noon to 1am Friday and Saturday and noon till 11:30 pm on Sunday. There will be entertainment with an Irish Folk duo on Friday evening, Karaoke on Saturday evening and 60s music through the day on Sunday. Hot food is available throughout the festival.
  • The Globe in Standish is up for let.
  • The Victoria in Aspull is up for sale – rumour has it that All Gates brewery are interested in purchasing it – watch this space !
  • The Holts Arms in Billinge (aka The Foot) has changed hands and apparently the quality of the beer has taken a significant turn for the better.
  • Swans in King Street, Wigan - This pub has had a name change and is under new ownership. We were told that the handpumps are tucked away at the end of the bar but that when our informant visited Moorhouses Black Cat Mild, Premier bitter, Blonde Witch, and Pride of Pendle were on offer. We have not had the chance to try it out ourselves yet but it is a refreshing change to see cask beer return to King Street (members may recall that the Orange House dabbled with cask when it first opened) … lets hope it encourages more young members to try the real stuff instead of the bland chilled fizz that all the rest of King Street bars specialise in.
  • Rock Ferry Hotel in Lower Ince : Looks set to reopen (for a little while, anyway) as Vivo, an Italian restaurant, although a sign for the pub still hangs over the door.
  • Queen's Arms in Platt Bridge - now closed and boarded up.
  • Strangeways Hotel in Hindley - pub closed for refurbishment but, according to the sandwich board outside, will reopen on Friday 27th October, renamed the Paddock.


  • The Griffin in Standishgate, Wigan - has had a sign in the window stating "closed until further notice" for the few weeks.
  • The Derby Arms in Hindley has been spruced up, no news as yet to whether it features cask beer.
  • The former Minstrel in Hindley is now an Italian restaurant with the very original name of ‘La Cava’.
  • The New Inn in Aspull - Jennings Cocker Hoop, Crag Rat were featured recently. Both beers were in very good nick.
  • The Balcarres Arms in Haigh - Wranghams Grand Old Duke. Apparently the pub has been back on cask for two months or so.
  • Gems Bar in Wigan. Some changes to the beers on offer. Now doing lunchtime food 12noon to 2:30pm Monday to Sunday with a special childrens menu of main course and ice cream for £2.95, a Sunday Carvery 1pm to 5pm @£5.95 for 2 courses and free meals for accompanied children under 12 between 1pm and 3pm. To continue the family theme they are launching a monthly family night in the upstairs function room which will feature a childrens entertainer. This will normally be on a Saturday evening but the first family night will be on Friday 6th October. Other entertainment planned are an Irish night on Friday 29th September and the famous Spider Monkeys on Saturday 30th September. Gems is also featuring a Curry night Mondays and Grill night Thursdays both from 7:30 till 10:30. The upstairs function room is also available free for parties (Weddings, Christenings, Divorces or Funerals) of 25 or more.
  • The Bulls Head in Goose Green has now extended the range of food available to serving a range of snacks and meals (from toasties, jackets etc to, pies and mushys, stew and curry with rice) from 12noon to 2pm and 4pm till 7pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all costing under £4. They also have resumed doing their excellent Sunday lunches (£5.95 for 2 course, £7.95 for 3 courses) following the 2 weeks disruption due to our BBQ and another function all accompanied by a range of good beer or Old Rosie Cider.
  • The Crown in Worthington has a new fixed price menu which may well be worth trying out, especially when they have their forthcoming beer festival.


  • The Cumberland Arms in Hindley this pub has a 'For Let' sign from a company called Provence on the exterior, advertising for an enterprising, go-getting pub manager, and appears to be closed at present.
  • Bridie Donnelly's in Lower Ince is the subject of an application has been made to convert into offices.
  • The Old Pear Tree in Wigan. As we say goodbye to Gregg Liptrot (as licensee though we hope this means we see more of him as an active member of the Wigan CAMRA branch !) we hear the incoming landlord aims to keep everything at TOPT just as when Gregg ran it. We can but hope that this commitment extends to the quality and variety of the beer on offer … Clearly the branch will be taking a keen interest on the progress of the pub so watch this space !!!!
  • Gems Bar in Wigan. This outlet has recently changed hands and is now managed by David Gleave, the son of our branch treasurer and a long-standing volunteer at our branch beer festival. Currently David has 3 beers on offer (when we called this was Tetleys, Black Sheep, and Deuchars IPA – all found to be in excellent condition) but has ambitions to add an additional hand-pump and extend the range if sufficient demand can be demonstrated. The pub’s location makes it ideal for anyone doing a town centre crawl taking in the Anvil, Old Pear Tree (hopefully if standards are maintained), Gems, The Royal Oak, and The Bowling Green, also for anyone in town needing liquid refreshment during a shopping expedition or for diners at the nearby Le Frog who having sampled excellent food need to enhance their evening by finishing off with a few pints of decent beer. The branch therefore hopes that whatever excuse you can find you will all pop into Gems when you can and help David get that 4th hand-pump very soon !

JULY 2006

  • The John Bull in Wigan. Whenever this outlet has cask beers available (3 Thwaites’ brews) they are reported to be of excellent quality. Unfortunately they seem to sell so well that the landlord cannot currently keep enough beer to meet demand but we believe he is exploring the possibility of racked stillage which may resolve the problem.
  • The Mount in Orrell. Following refurb and resumption of its traditional name the cask ales on offer are reported as H & H bitter, Olde Trip and Unity all of which passed our informants stringent quality tests !
  • The Wheatsheaf in Appley Bridge. Recently re-opened and currently only doing Tetley bitter which is however served in excellent condition.

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