Wigan pub wins prestigious CAMRA award

Owner John Brearley inside the Swan and RailwayOwner John Brearley inside the Swan and Railway
Owner John Brearley inside the Swan and Railway
The Swan & Railway pub in Wigan has been awarded the Historic England Conservation Award in CAMRA’s prestigious Pub Design Awards.

The Pub Design Awards, held in conjunction with Historic England, celebrate exceptional pubs across the country that have undergone conversion or conservation work, or are newly built.

The Swan & Railway, Wigan is a fine listed building of 1898, situated opposite Wigan North Western rail station at the gateway to the town. It had been closed for some time, and was in poor condition when purchased by John Brearley in 2018.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Working with Monument Design, and liaising closely with Wigan Council’s Conservation Officer, the building has been put into sound, weatherproof condition, with a new roof and external fabric repaired. The interior has been completely restored in all its tiled and wood-panelled glory. New toilets, a marble top to the bar counter and guest accommodation upstairs enhance the visitor experience. From the rather sad building which greeted visitors arriving in Wigan a couple of years ago, it has been transformed into a smart and welcoming place.

Owner of the Swan & Railway, John Brearley, said: “The whole team and I here at The Swan & Railway are thrilled to win this award. It comes as confirmation of our firm belief that there is a place in today’s market for traditional pubs retaining their interior heritage features. 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. Since reopening the Swan has firmly established its place in the heart of Wigan and Wiganers.

“We’d like to thank the local CAMRA branch and particularly Pete Marsh whose support and encouragement have been unstinting; Simon Lee from Monument, our contractors who embraced the concept of a restoration true to its heritage but fit for the modern day; and Ian Rowan the Conservation officer at Wigan council who encouraged us throughout whilst making sure we stayed within the rules!”

This year’s Pub Design Awards come after over a year of restrictions and uncertainty for the pub industry, and mere weeks after the full lifting of restrictions on 19 July. The awards had been delayed from their usual announcement earlier in the year, in order to factor in coronavirus restrictions on pubs and allowing the judging panel to visit the nominated establishments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Winners will be recognised at a virtual event hosted by the awards’ judges at 7pm on 26 August.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers.