DOWN THE PUB - The Old Pear Tree, Frog Lane

The Old Pear Tree pub in Wigan - landlord David Ryding

The Old Pear Tree pub in Wigan - landlord David Ryding

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ITS branches have been, decidedly, a touch barren in these recent years.

I propped up the bar several time a week in the days of the legendary former landlords Frank and Jean Fielding and very fondly remember a fine Burtonwoods house and a fearsome, all-conquering arrows team with a bulging trophy cabinet.

Now The Old Pear Tree is bearing fruit again with committed Marston’s hosts and successful efforts to return the place to a wet-led pub with a pint to be genuinely proud off.

Current licensee David Ryding had no less than three landlord bosses during his 18-month spell there as a part of the bar staff, before he decided to take the plunge himself in August.

He understands the need for consistency to rebuild a repartee with the locals and is putting in plenty of elbow grease to do just that.

The Old Pear Tree has always come alive on Fridays as cherry and whites work their way towards the DW Stadium on Friday evenings.

And the place fairly bounces to the lore of Latics on home Saturdays.

So David and partner Kat Christie are putting their best efforts into boosting the atmosphere during other times of the week.

This includes karaoke and a fair sprinkling of charity events which have always been enthusiastically and energetically supported in this corner of the town centre.

He is working on getting the aforementioned darts team back to their oche.

But that isn’t going to happen until the current ex-pat outfit is free from current league obligations.

Watch this space from this coming August.

Not forgetting Sky Sports nights on the new flatscreens for key games.

There is no mild – “no call for it” – but an always-available cask bitter (or two) from the Marston’s list along with Marston’s Pedigree and Smooth plus a good pint of Guinness from the much-vaunted ‘surgery’ system.

Lagers are, as ever, popular, with Fosters the pub’s aggregate top seller.

Food is served seven days.

But it has slipped down the menu of popularity as beer comes to the fore again.

Free WiFi is some concession to the cafe culture age, I suppose. Coffees are also available for shoppers who require a caffeine pick me up.

But if you arrived by car, watch the parking because there are yellow lines aplenty and the traffic wardens roam in packs.

David said: “It is picking up again I am glad to say.

“I suppose it is a case of slowly but surely getting there because we are in it for the long term.

“That is what the place has needed, a bit of stability and somebody to put some love back into the place.

“Matchdays are packed and the karaoke is also starting to really pick up.

“There has never been any established entertainment in here for years and that is proving popular.

“I was here for 18 months and I worked with three bosses in that time and that isn’t how it should be.

“We have got three flatscreens with Sky but not BT Sport yet unfortunately ...

“I have tried to work on the brewery on that but they are not playing ball at the moment.

“On Sundays we did get quite a few in who come down to watch the matches and have a pint, so that is an important part of things.

“During the day time we get the 70-year-old chaps in but then at other times the place is full of 20-year-olds.

“The crowd we get in really varies and I like it that way.”