A pub transported me from blustery Normanton to the heat of Barbados.
It was decidedly parky as I trudged up the High Street precinct to get the lowdown on The Black Swan. But it was wall-to-wall sunshine inside the Tardis-like pub.
The third test between the West Indies and England was showing on nearly all of its nine plasma screens.
Sport seems to be a focal point for the Castleford Road pub. Rugby league, cricket, football and boxing memorabilia all adorn the walls. The pub is home local sports teams like Normanton FC and The Black Swan Golf Society.
Rugby League is a great passion of owner of pub owner Wayne Pickup. He bought the pub with his wife Sharon in 2009.
Mr Pickup said: “The Black Swan has always been a great community pub but with the advent of ‘pubco’ companies it took a real nose dive over a number of years. It would have been closed and sold for housing if we had not purchased it. With such a rich history dating back to the 17th century, it would have been a travesty to see this happen.
“Over the past six years we have brought the pub back to its former glories with a full refurbishment programme.
“We have excellent staff who always add to the friendly atmosphere at the pub and have enabled the business to go from strength to strength.”
The pub prides itself as being “the only real ale pub in Normanton”.
When I visited there were two Ossett Brewery beers on the bar. Their beers are on permanently but guest beers are rotated. There is also a wide range of lagers, plus John Smiths, Tetley’s and Guinness.
Mr Pickup said: “I believe if the price is right then a pub is attractive to young and old, and then you have the recipe for a successful business. So if you’re looking for sporting environment or just a quite pint with your friends then we are your number one local.”
The Wakefield Express would like you to tell us which pubs we should be focussing on for our pub of the week page. They can be big or small pubs or clubs like The Six Chimneys on Kirkgate or The Red Shed on nearby Vicarage Street. Or they can be city or country hostelries like The Hop on Bank Street or The Reindeer at Overton. They can be old like The Black Rock or new like The Robin Hood at Altofts.
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