Real ale pubs scoop top awards

Atherton town centre. The Jolly Nailor.
Atherton town centre. The Jolly Nailor.
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TOP real ale awards have been won by bars on the Leigh side of the borough.

All will now receive certificates from the South East Lancs branch of the CAMRA after the prestigious and hard fought “Oscars of the pub world” competition.

• Pub of the Year 2012 is Leigh’s White Lion in Leigh Road which was only reopened in June by Wigan’s Allgates Brewery.

Judges say that the concern has made a “great job” of transforming a pub that was once void of any real ale and “in serious decline” into a busy, quality cask ale venue.

This is the pub’s third award since opening and is, say Camra, a “real credit” to landlords’ Harry and Julie McPike’s hard work in ensuring a great range of real ale and cider from micro breweries all over the country as well as local ales from Allgates.

• Runner-up Pub of the Year 2012 is Atherton’s The Jolly Nailor in Market Street “expertly run” by Mary and Steve Bates who, say judges, ensure that quality ales are always available.

The fine three roomed pub with beer garden boasts live bands at the weekend and quizzes on Thursday and Sunday plus a crack darts and domino team.

• Club of the Year 2012 - for the second year running - is Leigh Rugby Union Club in Hand Lane unanimously awarded by the judges to steward and landlady of the adjoining Railway Hotel, Sarah Porter.

The judges say that Leigh RUFC’s five real ale pumps are “well looked after” by Sarah whose club also hosts a popular *Scrumdown* beer festival every May.

Chairman of South East lancs Camra Sarah Bellis said: “Its important that pubs that are doing well are celebrated.

“There are too many pubs closing each week because people don’t use them.

“But whichever pub is good for you, go out and support it and drink real ale in it!”