Wartime pennies pub is transformed 70 years on

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A West Lancashire pub has undergone a £400,000 facelift.

The Bull and Dog in Burscough, where servicemen left a lasting cash legacy during the Second World War, has been transformed during a three-month closure.

And a roof beam, which Royal Navy personnel hammered coins into the wood before sailing off for frontline service, has been preserved in all its original glory.

“The pub looks fantastic and I can’t believe the transformation,” said Sharon Forrest, who will be running the pub with her husband Ian.

“It looks completely different, but has kept the charm of this historical building by restoring some of the original features, like the beam containing coins from the time the HMS Ringtail air station was operational in the 1940s.”

The £400,000 refurbishment is a joint investment between leaseholders Sharon and Ian and Punch Taverns. It will create 12 new jobs.

The Bull and Dog was the favourite haunt of more than 2,000 naval staff stationed at the nearby air station HMS Ringtail between 1943 and 1946.

Many pushed pennies into the cracks in the timber in the hope they would bring them good luck before going into battle. The coins have remained ever since.

The pub, which will re-open on May 2, has been completely redecorated and will have a brand new food menu featuring pub classics.

Stephen Lafferty, of Punch, said: “As one of the oldest buildings in Burscough, we essentially want to enhance this and create a pub the local community can be proud of.”

HMS Ringtail was a naval air station where men and women of the Fleet Air Arm trained before being going off to war.