Old England – CAMRA Branch News
OLD ENGLAND BISPHAM VILLAGE
The Old England has sat at the centre of Bispham Village for almost 100 years. It and its sister pub, the Boars Head on Preston Old Road were built around 1922 for the sale of Tetley beers. This mock-Tudor, but rather attractive, building has become something of a local landmark. When Marian and I first moved to Blackpool in the early1970’s, the Old England was our local and although
I was no great fan of the Warrington brewed Tetley Bitter (the Leeds brewed version was much superior), however the beer was well kept and quite acceptable. In the intervening years the pub has experienced a number of highs and lows. Eventually coming under the ownership of Orchid Inns it lost its original black and white half-timbered exterior and took on the dull-beige Orchid house-colours. In recent years Chris Brown and his wife Kelly have brought the Lane Ends in Wesham up to an award-winning real ale house. Possibly its finest honour was to be awarded the CAMRA “Pub of the Season” award in summer 2009. Chris, as well as being a real ale fan, has terrific energy and enthusiasm. However, Trust Inns, who own the Lane Ends has recently been putting the squeeze on tenants and the Browns have decided it is time to move on. Fortunately for us the Browns and the Orchid Group have come together in a rare partnership which gives Chris additional control over the Old England, including the right to source his own cask ales from the SIBA brewery list. Poulton-le-Fylde’s Thatched House (owned by Orchid) has similar control over their choice of beer and we know that they regularly have cracking beers available. Marian and I visited the Old England on the 1st November, only three days after Chris and Kelly had taken over. The large bar currently has three hand-pulls, with only one in use and on that day selling Black Sheep Bitter. Priced were excellent, the beer was selling at £2.15. Chris has had all three beer engines put into working order and plans to initially offer three cask beers to his customers. If demand grows the bar and cellar is large enough to have the capacity to add a dozen or so additional pumps. With Chris’s enthusiasm and energy as well as the support of real ale fans, the Old England could soon turn into a top-notch real ale pub. A lot of work needs to be carried out on the pub to bring it up to scratch, but it is a beautiful pub with huge potential. Hopefully the pub will have its official launch this side of Christmas, so get along there and give it a try. With all our help we could have a real winner in our area. Watch this space for more information.
Posted by Marian Doggart on 15th November 2011