Village pub is named as one of the best in the UK

Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton

Swan With Two Necks, Pendleton

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An historic Ribble Valley pub has been named as one of the best in the country - again.

The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton has come runner-up in the national Campaign for Real Ale Pub of the Year awards.

Steve Dilworth tends to his ale at the award winning Swan with Two Necks pub.
Photo Ben Parsons

Steve Dilworth tends to his ale at the award winning Swan with Two Necks pub. Photo Ben Parsons

The pub was crowned the winner of the same competition in 2013 and was praised for its welcoming atmosphere, country charm and homemade food.

Dating from 1772 as a licensed farm, it has been run by landlord Steve Dilworth, his wife Christine and sons Robert and Michael for the past 30 years.

Steve said: “We’ve done exceptionally well and we’re proud to fly the flag for Lancashire. We’ve entered three times and been in the final four on each occasion, winning it in 2013.

“We pay special attention to real ale, we’re warm, welcoming and traditional. When we started 30 years ago, straight away we put ourselves out there in the village and wanted to be inclusive.

The family were so determined to be part of community life, that in 1989 they opened the village Post Office in the back room of the pub, running it for 13 years.

Pubs are judged by CAMRA volunteers on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, community focus and the quality of beer. This year’s winner was The George & Dragon in Hudswell, North Yorkshire.

The pub closed in 2008 after the owners went bankrupt, but regulars formed a co-operative to buy and refurbish it before reopening in 2010.

Steve said: “We said we’d have a grumpy party if we didn’t win, with fines for smiles going to a local charity. We have lots of smiling and laughing here, so we’ll probably raise a lot of money. The fact the winner is from Yorkshire is upsetting, but they’re very worthy winners, and a fine example of a pub rising from the ashes.”