A Word In Your Ear with Roy Edmonds - July 11, 2019

Real ale
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Putting the Great back into Marton

It’s great to see a neighbourhood coming alive again. That’s happening in Great Marton, up Whitegate Drive, Blackpool’s earliest district.

It already boasts the coast’s oldest public house. The much-loved Saddle Inn has won awards for its fine ales, food and flower displays, as well as being a forerunner with local beer festivals.

Great Marton also attracted Blackpool’s first micro pub a year ago. This was the rapidly popular Number 10 Ale House, with its similarly named sister hostelry in St. Annes, and now doing Thai food.

This all seemed to enliven the area, as most shops are now back in busy operation, even if more likely to be ladies’ hairdressers, nail or even tattoo parlours rather than greengrocers and butchers.

Happily, I can now report that what was once Blackpool’s most popular locals’ pub, the Boar’s Head up Preston Old Road - a stone’s throw from the Saddle - is in apparently safe hands and reviving under encouraging new management.

Landlord and lady Chris and Karen are offering up an interesting selection of real ales at currently unreal prices (£1.95 a pint), with a wholesome selection of traditional food at equally appealing rates. What’s more, I can vouch for the quality of the beer, after popping into the comfortable, tastefully decorated lounge a few days ago.

Chris is ex-Army but also an experienced hand behind the bar, with long experience at the redoubtable Victoria pub, of Sam Smith’s beer fame, in Cleveleys.

“We’re also dog friendly and child friendly,” confirmed a cheerful Karen, as I stepped over their dozing long-haired retriever. “With sports screens then live entertainment at weekends,” added Chris.

From their confident attitude this seems an addition which will benefit the whole of once-proud Great Marton. It may even bring back memories of golden days in the Boar’s ‘Fylde Lounge’, once beloved of Seasider soccer heroes.

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