Much of what has appeared on this site and its predecessor has vanished forever. From August 2002, these pages are an essentially complete record of the pub and brewery news, arranged in chronological order. (“Essentially complete” means “those things that came to our attention which have not since fallen prey to computer malfunction“) Before then, there is a patchy and incomplete record of pub news, culled from a variety of sources. Note that in a number of cases news items were published in good faith which subsequently turned out to be not entirely true. No attempt has been made to retrospectively hide our errors.Immediately below are the last news pages of our old (static) website dated 10 April and 13 July 2002 and covering the previous 3 months (approx) from each. Earlier pages from this site have not been saved. Earlier archives are from our branch newsletter.
10 April 2002
Mitchells NewsAre selling off most of the pubs they bought in 1998 from Thwaites, but perhaps not the Masons Arms, Ingleton. Also selling the Bradford Arms.
The majority of Mitchells pubs in our area now have at least one independent brewery beer (usually an ever-changing "guest"); an increasing number have more than one and four or five have now dropped national brews altogether.
The two new Wetherspoon’s pubs have both been delayed. The Green Ayre on North Road, is now due to open in December, while the Sir Richard Owen on Spring Garden Street, is set for 24 September.
Three new pubs are proposed in Lancaster: one to be called "The Litten Tree", 33-39 Church St (presumably on the old Central Brewery site). The "Litten Tree" is a brand of SFI plc, formerly Surrey Free Inns. Akin to Chicago Rock Cafe, but do stock cask beers.
Another is at 145 Ryelands Road (presumably in the area scheduled for demolition). The third is at 47 North Road (formerly GW Antiques), but there are police objections here, so possibly it will never happen.
New licensees at the Albert, Chicago Rock Cafe, Spooners, Nag’s, Royal (still a Crookall pub), Greaves Park, Crow’s (previously at the Hampson House) and Penny Bank.
The Posthouse has a new licensee and is now a Holiday Inn.
The Ring O’Bells has reopened with a new permanent tenant and a tasteful refurbishnent. National beers only - possibly guests in future.
The licensee of Lanky’s has moved to the Royal Oak. Alterations are due at the former.
The Alex has gained a Cask Marque certificate.
The licensee has left the Golden Lion
Morecambe & Heysham
New licensees at Tivoli, Ocean Edge, Bull, Cooper’s Tap, Dome and Bath.
The Morecambe reopened on October 3 after refurbishment by Brian Norris (also licensee of the Smugglers’ Den): it sells Bodds, Tetley and a guest.
The Ranch House has three Thwaites cask beers. All it needs now is someone who can look after them.
Alterations are planned at the George (Torrisholme).
The Bradford Arms is closed and up for sale.
The new licensee at the New Inn has four cask beers including New Inn Bitter (from Usher’s) and Taylor Landlord.
Changes of licensees at the Hampson House, Flag (Nateby), New Inn (Galgate), Crofter’s (Cabus), Brock Tavern, New Inn (Yealand) and Royal Station (Carnforth).
The new regime at the Melling Hall has put on four indie brews including Taylor Landlord. Alterations are planned, perhaps for the new year.
The Wheatsheaf (Ingleton) has not been sold, contrary to earlier reports and continues as before.
The Dalton Arms (Glasson) has Thwaites Reward.Station (Ribblehead) is still up for sale
The tenancy of the Cross Keys (Slyne) is being advertised.
The King’s Arms (Hale) and the Packet Boat (Bolton-le-Sands) have been done up.
A new pub, the Canal Turn, opened in Carnforth on 18 July. Owned by British Waterways, operated by Style Taverns, it is to sell a range of familiar cask beers.
The Nib has Taylor Landlord, while the Redwell has Black Sheep.
The landlord of the White Lion (Halton) is due to retire.
The Bridge (Ingleton) is closed and for sale.
The Eagle’s Head (Over Kellet) no longer has mild in any form.
The George Washington (Warton) has a new licensee and guest beers.
The White Bull (Bilsborrow) is getting a large extension including a conservatory.
13 July 2002
Pub Chain News
Nomura, the Japanese bank which was the UK's biggest pub owner, has sold all its pubs. The “Inn Partnership” chain has been sold to Pubmaster. The pubs involved round here are: Nib and Shovel (Carnforth), Hest Bank, New Inn and Bath (Morecambe) and Plough (Galgate). Nomura's “Unique Pub Group”, meanwhile, has gone to a complex consortium apparently headed by Enterprise Inns (though they only have 16% of the group). Again, the pubs in this chain around here are: Castle (Lancaster), Chieftain (Morecambe), John O'Gaunt (Vale), and Royal (Silverdale).
The Laurel Pub Company, only formed last year from the remains of Whitbread, has sold its tenanted pubs (represented in this area by the Penny Bank and Dog & Partridge) to Enterprise Inns.
Brysons beer is permanently on at the Water Witch (Lancaster): usually the Barrows Bitter.
Other places that often have their beers include Guy's (Bilsborrow), Pickerings (Catterall), Smugglers’ Den (Morecambe), Crown (Morecambe), Imperial (Morecambe) and the Graduate College Bar and Furness Bar at Lancaster University.
Two new Brysons beers have appeared: in April, Shifting Sands, a flowery 3.8% bitter; and in May, Midland Mild, a 3.2% dark brew, in the north-western style despite the name.
Notes from the brewer:
Business still going well.
New LOCAL outlet, the Ranch House (Frontierland) is taking a Wammellers Wheat and a Shifting Sands next Monday, one or the other is due to be on sale middle of next week. The Redwell is also expressing interest, possibly Shrimpers Stout, for delivery next week. Anyone going to Fleetwood can probably find our beers in the Wyre Lounge Bar at the Marina Pavilion. We dropped seven 9’s offtoday and they've ordered six kilderkins of Barrows Bitter for the Fleetwood folk Festival (last weekend in August). We deliver to them about every two weeks.
The rumour that Thwaites would brew Lancaster Bomber has proved well-founded. It is being honestly sold as Thwaites, in both Thwaites and Mitchells pubs as well as Wetherspoons. Nowhere has put it on regular sale. It’s 4.4% ABV, malt-accented - very little like the old Bomber, but unlike the usual Thwaites beers either. A number of Mitchells pubs, mostly in Lancaster, are running a promotion on this beer - but this doesn't necessarily mean it will be in stock when you visit.
The majority of Mitchells pubs in our area now have at least one independent brewery beer (usually an ever-changing “guest”); an increasing number have more than one and four or five have now dropped national brews altogether.
New licensees at the Bentleys, Boot & Shoe, Bowling Green, Britannia, Greaves Park (another one), Litten Tree (already), Ridge, Skerton.
The new licensee of the George & Dragon is replacing the Brains with changing beers.
Collegian Club now has two hand pulls with a third proposed. Cellar has vertical stillaging for cask beers. First deliveiy of Brysons 14/06/02. Cask ales £1-40 per pint, worth joining?
The Litten Tree (on Church Street by the new cinema) and the Revolution (the former Alex) have opened. No cask beer at the Revolution: what’s on at the Litten Tree is unlikely to be of much interest to you.
The Bar Navigation has been demolished.
Eddy’s (or muse.) and White Cross to let.
Morecambe & Heysham
New licensees at Bradford Arms, Ocean Edge, Park
The licensee of the New Inn has the tenancy of the Morecambe. He will be leaving the New Inn as soon as a replacement can be found.
The Smugglers’ Den, like the John O’Gaunt, may soon be getting all its beers from Carlsberg- Tetley.
Crown and Anchor - Rumour is that there is a new licensee and that previous licensee is trying to get a pub licence for the old Chinese restaurant in Heysham village.
Changes of licensees at the Black Bull (Brookhouse), Highwayman (Burrow), Wheatsheaf (Garstang).
The New Holly (Forton) has had a refurb and now has a new licensee and mild on sale.
Quattro’s (Cabus) is closed for refurb.
The Station (Ribblehead) and Dutton Arms (Burton-in-Kendal) are still up for sale.
The Melling Hall has been sold. It is currently shut. Rumour has it that it will be made into flats, but that a bar will remain.
The owners of the Capernwray Diving Centre have applied for a full licence.
The Stork (Conder Green) has been sold to the Mortal Man Pub Company.
Structural alterations: Wheatsheaf (Garstang), Guy’s Eating Establishment (Bilsborrow).
Post House (Lancaster) has changed its name to Holiday Inn
Alex (Lancaster) has changed its name to Revolution
31 AugustChange of licensee at:
- Stork (Conder Green)
- Park (Lancaster)
- H2O (Lancaster)
- muse (Lancaster)
- Eagle & Child (Garstang)
- Bentley’s (Lancaster)
Minor alterations at the Black Bull (Brookhouse) - the bar counter is being shrunk..
The licensee of the Bobbin (Lancaster) is moving to County Bar (University)..
The Fenwick Arms (Claughton) has reopened with no cask beer..
The Highwayman (Nether Burrow) is now a Thwaites pub with the same licensee as the Game Cock (Austwick) and the Fighting Cocks (Arnside)..
The John O’Gaunt (Vale) has a new licensee and is for sale..
The New Holly (Forton) has been redecorated and is serving cask mild and Thoroughbred..
6 SeptemberChange of licensee at:
- Eagle & Child (Garstang)
- Royal King’s Arms (Lancaster)
- John O’Gaunt (Vale)
- Dog & Partridge (Morecambe)
It seems that someone has naughtily buit an extension to Garstang Country (Bowgreave) without licensing permission..
Structural alteration in the offing for Toast (Lancaster) ..
The New Inn (Morecambe) has been shut, but now reopened. It may have a new licensee.
The licensee of the Old Hall (Heysham) is leaving..
The Black Bull (Bentham) is now all-keg..
On campus, Jeremy has settled into County Bar (Lancaster University) and plans on getting 4 handpumps and to be open all day. Furness are launching the "Centurion Challenge", which involves drinking 100 different real ales in the academic year [normal Camra drinking, so not much of a challnge for us]. Centurions get their name embossed on a plaque in the bar, plus a keepsake. A beer festival is planned for first week in December - about 100 beers, ciders and perries. Other events include brewery visits. Graduate Bar is extending its range to include draught Belgian beer and Dutch wheat beer..
The White Cross (Lancaster) has (apparently) a new tenant and independent brews..
Alterations due to Punch Bowl (Churchtown) ..
New " Brewster &, Travel Inn (Lancaster) " planned at Lancaster Business Park, Caton Road..
7 OctoberChange of licensee at:
- Royal (Silverdale)
- Old Hall (Heysham)
- Duke of Lancaster (Lancaster)
- Bradford Arms (Morecambe)
- Bobbin (Lancaster)
The Bridge (Ingleton) is being converted into flats..
9 OctoberChange of licensee at:
- John O’Gaunt (Vale)
The Slyne Lodge (Slyne) has been sold to the Chamaeleon Pub Company, reputedly a food-oriented operation based in Warrington, but still appears to have the same beers and same management..
The Melling Hall (Melling) is due for residential development..
The Station (Caton) is closed for refurbishment..
1 NovemberChange of licensee at:
- Holiday Inn (Lancaster)
- Bradford Arms (Morecambe)
- Station (Morecambe)
- Varsity (Lancaster)
- White Cross (Lancaster)
New licensee at Crow’s (Lancaster) - it's now part of the growing Alan Crookall empire..
The alterations to the Punch Bowl (Churchtown) turn out to be a quite small extension..
The Grosvenor (Heysham) is to be demolished and replaced by flats..
Victoria (Glasson Dock) .
The Black Bull (Brookhouse) has reopened after its refurb..
The Sun (Kirkby Lonsdale) is for sale..
The Crown & Anchor (Heysham) is empty. The (former) owners may still be trying to open the old Chinese restaurant in Heysham village as a pub. Brysons may be interested in the Crown & Anchor as their nearest pub..
The lease of the King’s Arms (Morecambe) is being advertised..
The Bare Institute (Morecambe) is apparently to get Brysons. Any memberof this club reading this, please get in touch..
Lankys (Lancaster) is shut..
The Park (Morecambe) has reopened after refurbishment, but the owner may still turn it into flats..
The Dog & Partridge (Morecambe) has had a repaint, new furniture and bar refit which involved the loss of two handpumps from the two sets of three previously fitted (so only one independent brew now). Suggest you complain to Laurel Pub Co..
Mitchells: The improvement in Mitchells beer offerings continues. They have signed an agreement with Moorhouse's of Burnley so the latter's beers have started appearing in Mitchell's pubs. Cain's beers have also reappeared.
Brysons: New beers have appeared: Quayside, 4.9% ABV, a variant of Guy's Ginger and Priory 6 % with honey. These are the first two of a series of "Lancaster Landmarks": the next are to be "Memorial" and "Castle" Message from the Brewer: Nothing very exciting at the moment. Beerwise, the Lancaster Landmark series has got off to a good start. The first brew of Quayside has just sold out, and the second (and last for this year) has just gone into casks. We are pleased with this one, the ginger is not overpowering and seems to blend in well with the malts. The second LL is Priory, casked up late last week. Priory uses honey in the recipe, enough to be noticable but not enough to dominate the taste, together with 5 hops from three countries. It is conditioning well and is giving a slightly dry taste with the hop bitterness coming as an after taste. ABV is a moderate 5.7%. Availability is pretty much as was in the Lunesdale area, though we have had a first delivery to the Silverdale Hotel and the Halton Social club. Time will tell if these become regular outlets. Further afield we are picking up new customers slowly with our new (part time) salesman rooting out customers both for now and for the future. The new style pump clip designs are nearing completion, with Priory and Shifting Sands to be delivered very soon, and the rest early next year, then it will be goodbye to the old ones.
3 DecemberChange of licensee at:
- Woodlands (Silverdale)
- Brown Cow (Lancaster)
The licensee of the Brown Cow (Lancaster) has retired after 25 years..
The Station (Caton) has reopened after refurb (a bit more knocking through and addition of a family room). Now has Black Sheep alongside Bodds and Worthy..
19 DecemberChange of licensee at:
- Coach House (Bentham)