Down The Pub with Richard Bean

Richard Bean
Richard Bean

HE has long admired the place ... even enjoyed the odd drop of its Black Stuff as a customer.

Now Irish Eyes are smiling on one of Wigan’s best loved community pubs.

Landlord Mike McNamara at The Hawk, Hawkley Hall, Wigan

Landlord Mike McNamara at The Hawk, Hawkley Hall, Wigan

And new landlord, since March, Mike McNamara, couldn’t be happier with the welcome.

A mainstay at Ashton’s famous Brian Boru Club – born in 1889 making it one of the oldest ex-pat Emerald Isle flavoured clubs in this entire country – he will run The Hawk in Hawkley Hall alongside his other duties.

After more than 30 years at the Brian Boru where he has become just about its best known official, just how could it be any other way?

Also on board and behind the bar are his two daughters.

Mike, known throughout Ashton as one of its real gentleman, isn’t planning any radical changes to The Hawk.

Although he is hoping to introduce a food offer soon and is already working hard on being able to dispense the best point of Guinness outside of, well, the Brian Boru itself.

You just know that from now on, St Patrick’s days celebrations in this part of Carr Lane are going to take on epic proportions.

Top seller he assures me remains Fosters at this Heineken-owned pub.

But I would prefer to talk about the excellent pints of the classic Courage Directors which keep the cask flag flying...and foaming pints fairly flying over the bar.

He is rightly proud of the cask and it is an area that could well be expanding if its take-up continues in such enthusiastic terms.

With minimal passing trade because of its location at the very heart of the housing estate which gave birth to it, Mike (pictured) was attracted to running a textbook

community pub.

Particularly as he has lived in Hawkley Hall for approaching three decades so knows full well the important part it plays in the life of all the “chimney pots” surrounding it.

Like many modern pubs, The Hawk has a light and airy in feel and plenty of atmosphere.

The games room has Latics’ football and Warriors’ rugby memorabilia, while flat screen TVs cover the matches.

There is also a comfortable lounge and surprisingly spacious beer garden for kinder weather times.

Mike, who is also cultural officer at the Brian Boru, said: “The Hawk is definitely a community pub...that is what attracted me in the first place.

“I will be running both of them – I am sure I have still got the energy left to give them both a good go!

“There isn’t much that needs doing at The Hawk but I will be working to make it even more of an important part of the scene in Hawkley Hall and part of that is that we are going to do a bit of a food offering shortly – or as soon as I catch my breath.

“We have had such a good welcome here, we really couldn’t have asked for more. We only live in the street and I have been here for 42 years.”