ALEX Cain has just become one of the youngest pub landlords in the North West.
But taking over a Wigan hostelry has long been in the 20-year-old’s sights after his late mum predicted it would be his calling.
In the process of fulfilling this dream, Alex has also brought back to life one of the town’s many closed pubs.
The Eckersley Arms in Poolstock shut its doors two years ago, but while many have been reduced to rubble or converted, the former Hawkley Hall High School pupil has been planning this place’s resurrection for some time.
He said: “My mum Karen died in January and she always said I would become a pub landlord. When she first said it I thought it was a joke and I’m not sure why she thought it at all.
“But after working at the Moon Under Water in Wigan for a couple of years I began to realise that it was becoming increasingly likely that her prediction would come true.
“I used to live five minutes from the Eckersley Arms and after it closed I would walk past it and say ‘I am going to have that one day’.
“And so I got some money behind me and opened it up again. It used to be quite gloomy inside but it has been redecorated brightly and the carpets thoroughly cleaned. Some friends of mine are helping me to run it for now but eventually I plan to take on staff.”
Alex knows that he is facing a challenge, given that so many pubs have shut down for a wide variety of reasons, including rising beer prices, supermarkets undercutting them and the smoking ban.
But he said: “The trick is to put a lot of effort in and make sure there is plenty going on. I am very young for a landlord but I think having both youth and experience is an advantage.
“We are getting acts in, there’s karaoke and disco and there’s a Lady Gaga tribute on Sunday.
“The regulars are coming back, we are getting new people coming too and a lot are saying they are glad it has re-opened.”