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Beer flows again after derelict pub reopens

A landmark Buglawton pub that was “almost consigned to the history books” has reopened after 10 years.

The Throstle’s Nest, on Buxton Road, had been left to decay over the last decade, but welcomed back punters last Friday afternoon after undergoing a transformation by new owners Caldmore Taverns.

Landlord Michael Cooper, (38), a born and bred Congletonian and former student of the old Heathfields School, will be running the pub with wife Maaria, (37).

“It’s about making people happy, at the end of the day,” he said. “There’s a really strong community interest in the pub. It was almost consigned to the history books, but now it has been reclaimed and restored.”

The renovation has focused on introducing new environmental features, such as solar panels on the roof, which will help offset costs. A builder from the company behind the job confessed the place had been “an absolute wreck” before work started, with the interior overtaken by a sprawling mass of overgrown ivy.

Landlady Mrs Cooper, (37), originally from east London but now living in Lower Heath, said: “It was closed for a long time, so we knew it would be a big challenge. It’s very nerve-racking but exciting, and it’s heart-warming to see the positive reception we’ve had so far.”

Congleton mayor Coun Margaret Gartside was among the first guests through the door when the pub reopened. She said that the team had done an “amazing job”.

In his book a Pub Crawl Through Time, Lyndon Murgatroyd said the pub’s first landlord was Joseph Woolley in 1832.

The derivation of the name of Throstles’ Nest comes from throstles, or thrushes. Mr Murgatroyd said the pub may have been named after Throstles Nest House, located on the far side of King Street, and which had a large garden, presumably home to throstles.

In 1999, the-then licensee Paul Tyler thought that the pub had at one time been an old coaching inn although this has not been confirmed. Historian Dr Joan Alcock also thought the pub at one time had a thatched roof – one of her relatives, a great uncle named James Scott, kept the pub in the 1870s.

Local people told Mr Murgatroyd that the pub was noted for having many tenants and being favoured by the local colliers. They used to stand outside smoking their clay pipes. They all had beards and were often referred to as Santa Claus by the local children, said Mr Murgatroyd.

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