Get award-winning pub back in business

Swan with Two Necks
Swan with Two Necks

Calls have been made to get a ransacked Chorley town centre pub back into business.

The landmark Swan with Two Necks has become an empty eyesore since it closed two years ago.

Police arrested a man in the boarded-up Grade II listed pub on Hollinshead Street after copper piping and other fittings were removed.

The 34-year-old, from Adlington, who was caught hiding in a cupboard, is on police bail until December 19, pending further inquiries.

Ward councillor Adrian Lowe said: “I’ve had concerns ever since it shut down.

“I’ve tried to get to the bottom of who actually owns the Swan with Two Necks.

“The last time I made inquiries it was a company down south, a financial, property investment company.

“As long as it remains derelict and it has the potential as a magnet for damage.”

Coun Lowe said he would like the premises to spring up as a business again – perhaps as a pub, once more, or a restaurant.

“I would support any effort to get it back into business,” he said. “Obviously, that’s in the hands of the owners.

“I will speak to the building control officers to make sure they are complying to make it secure.

“I’m aware it’s not in a good state and I think there was damage done to the outside as well as inside.”

In its heyday, the award-winning Swan with Two Necks was one of Chorley’s most popular pubs but two years ago,

licensee Denise Hogan and her husband Nick left after eight years there.

In 2008, they completed a £160,000 refurbishment of the pub, which included creating new decking outside, laying solid oak flooring, installing designer light fixtures throughout the venue, and a roof terrace.

As they left, the timber decking was ripped up, trees were cut down and fixtures inside were taken out.

The pub, in the St Laurence’s conservation area, was visited by council officers, police and bailiffs.

Police were informed of a civil dispute raised by the building’s owner.

The pub hit the headlines in 2010 when Mr Hogan became the first person to be jailed in connection with the smoking ban.

He was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay a fine, imposed by a judge, for more than £10,000 for flouting the legislation.

The offences related to his time as landlord of The Swan with Two Necks and Barristers in Bradshawgate, Bolton.

But a campaign was launched by his supporters, and his fines were paid. He was released 11 days into the sentence.

The pub closed in 2010, with the smoking ban and cheap supermarket booze blamed for its demise. But in 2011 it reopened, with the Hogans saying they would give the business “one last go”.

Punch Taverns, who previously leased the building, stopped leasing it 12 years ago. It is believed the owners of the pub now live in London.

Mr and Mrs Hogan moved on to a pub in Bury.