DOWN THE PUB - Dom delivers a belting village local

Manning the pumps at The Wheatsheaf in Appley Bridge, licensee Dominic Jacques
Manning the pumps at The Wheatsheaf in Appley Bridge, licensee Dominic Jacques

HE had long admired it, gazing over his neighbouring garden fence, as well as enjoyed its hospitality.

When Punch Inns sandwich boards went up outside advising the lease was up for grabs within weeks of his own redundancy from as an after-sales manager within the motor trade, Dom Jacques (pictured) decided it was a sign from the gods.

Five years on and partner Nicola and himself are proud to find they haves helped place The Wheatsheaf right at the bull’s eye of community life in Appley Bridge.

But when a pub means as much to the folk in the village as this place does, it is quite a responsibility to heap on even these admittedly board shoulders.

Particularly as this bunch of regulars tell him, in no uncertain terms, what they want and don’t want from their local.

And, come to think of it, from their beloved pint.

Dom is pleased they are as passionate as they are. And as protective.

There may be plans to reconvene a darts team at what was once one of the most feared oches in the district.

And the Monday evening quiz goes great guns.

But you won’t be finding ear-cringing karaoke any time soon.

Or any attempt to turn the place into a restaurant or a quasi-disco venue.

This is a drinker’s village local with four cask beers and Dom is up early in the morning, every morning, for his cellar work at the ’Sheaf and the two other Lancashire pubs he is licensee of.

He fastidiously cleans through and prepares all the hand-pull pipes himself so that nothing is left to chance.

Dom won’t be telling you that a landlord’s lot is massively hard work, but things need doing on a regular basis and doing well.

In that respect he has found it easy enough to transfer skills from the commercial world elsewhere into making sure he runs a good pub.

And that includes making sure the rows of pint glasses that welcome visitors positively flash and gleam back in anticipation of a good foaming filling.

Top-seller remains a tasty glass of Tetley’s cask.

But there is always, I’m proud to trumpet, a dark beer on, to satisfy a discerning 

Speckled Hen is a popular regular visitor pint, as well.

Pub meals are a no, no.

Although Dom and Nicola do treat the regulars with hot pizzas or pies every Saturday evening to help the ale go down.

Because Dom is frequently reminded that many residents find everything they want in a local inside its confines.

And certainly woe betide any silly modern ideas about changing it.

He said: “We do our best every day...and hopefully the pub does what people want it to do.

“When I was made redundant and the pub became available at the back of our house, I jumped at it.”