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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jess Molyneux

'Quality old pub' where you could 'go on your own and never be lonely'

A "quality old pub" loved by generations was a place where customers could "go on their own and never be lonelly.

The ECHO recently reported how the Fiddle I’th Bag Inn on Alder Lane in Burtonwood has seen thousands from the area and beyond pass through its doors - but that a group of determined campaigners are now hoping to see the Warrington pub as they knew it brought back to life.

The final one of four original place markers laid down in the village and civil parish in the 1840s, the pub boasts a fascinating history and played a core role in WWII with its usage by the UK and US Armed Forces. During and after the war, the pub was a favourite haunt of American airmen as Burtonwood was home to the biggest airbase in Europe.

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In later years many residents celebrated birthdays, wedding receptions, seasonal fayres and more inside the much-loved pub. It is still fondly remembered for its quirky and distinctive look.

Full of pilot’s uniforms, old books, teddy bears and stuffed carp in cabinets and much more, the Burtonwood pub closed its doors to the public in 2019, but a Facebook appreciation group dedicated to the pub are campaigning for its comeback. Many members of the Facebook group have since shared their fond memories of the Fiddle I’th Bag Inn through the years.

Inside the Fiddle I'th Bag Inn in Burtonwood, Warrington (Fiddle Ith Bag Inn Appreciation Group)

On the Fiddle i'th Bag Appreciation Group on Facebook, Jeff Skelton wrote: "It was an old fashioned pub with old fashioned values , it was full of nostalgic items the staff were second to none the food was lovely like your granny was cooking in the kitchen, no pool table no darts board no jukebox just gentle background music and if you strolled in with your dig on a Sunday Gideon would put out a little of the left over meat as a treat a superb pub that's truly missed the last of its generation I think."

Craig Vanrooy said: "It was just a quality old pub. From the moment you step inside it brought you back to a bygone era with vintage music and memorabilia. I run a RAF Burtonwood living history group and we would regularly pop by after an event in our vintage uniforms for a pint and a chat. The food was cheap and they always had some decent ales on. Furthermore there was a time or two we had stopped in on a long bike ride only to realise we had forgot to bring some change. Gideon and Tom always said not to worry and we could pay the next time we stopped by. You just don't get pubs like that anymore."

Have you visited The Fiddle I’th Bag Inn? Let us know in the comments section below.

Andy William posted: "The Fiddle was unique with its decor and its vibe. You never saw anyone drunk there just a hum of conversation. And although it’s only a couple of miles from town it feels like it’s out in the country with the Brook and the view out onto the fields and the intermittent lake."

Sue Harvey commented: " Loved the Fiddle from first visit aged 17 till it closed, very sad to see it boarded up." Jackie Clark said: "It was a place where you could go on your own and never be lonely x."

Karen Clyne posted: "Some publicans have a rare quality of making customers feel special, welcome and more than that, at home. Gideon and his family did that. Such special, everyday evenings and lovely New Years Eve celebrations. Fond memories."

Campaigners hope to reopen The Fiddle I'th Bag Inn which shut in 2019 (Fiddle Ith Bag Inn Appreciation Group)

Charlie Potter said: "Quirky pub that; had all sorts in it. We stopped off one time and was looking around and saw a black cat near us on the next table amongst books and stuff. Couldn't believe it when it woke up and stretched out; we thought it was a stuffed toy."

Debra Rigby commented: "Loved going here with our family when we was kids.. had some great times, food, fun on the big garden and bit of a park(Swing and slide).. its a shame what happens to the best places."

Nick Shaw commented: "There won't be another pub like it." And Paul Grimshaw wrote: "Best times!."

Cheshire Live previously reported how in 2022, revised plans to breathe new life into the building were given the go ahead, but did not come to fruition. Now, former regulars and residents hope that the premises may undergo a full restoration and reopen as a traditional community pub once more.

The Fiddle I’th Bag Appreciation Group, a local assembly of residents and supporters, are recommending people submit their pleas for their Prime Candidate Investor(s) to be selected by the Brewery Trust Inns in order to acquire the premises as soon as possible.

The campaign is being jointly coordinated by local businessman, Mr. Rob Minjoot, theatre performer, Lavinia and community campaigner David Barton to retain the historic landmark. Although the team urges the Brewery to ensure that the pub is retained and restored by whomsoever is ultimately successful.

Should the campaign group’s investor be approved by Trust Inns, they will "be able to begin restorative works immediately with a home-grown core of professionals able to get the site running for later this year." Mr. Minjoot said: "Since the start of our campaign I have been astounded by the level of support and affection for the Fiddle in th’Bag shown in response to this significant building’s plight.

"I find it astonishing and deeply tragic that having shown how strong this support is, by the sheer number of people who have contacted us and the numerous offers to help. Having achieved the aim of finding an investor prepared and with the means to restore the Fiddle to the benefit of the local community; we find we must appeal to Trust Inns to accept our more than adequate offer and proposition for the purchase and restoration of the site. Now more than ever, we need your support."

Campaigners hope to reopen The Fiddle I'th Bag Inn (Fiddle Ith Bag Inn Appreciation Group)

Chief fundraiser Lavinia said: "This may be our last opportunity to save the Fiddle. We need to convince Trust Inns that we are the right candidate with the best interests of the community at heart. I urge you to make your support known to Trust Inns."

Join our Liverpool memories and history Facebook group here.

For more nostalgia stories, sign up to our Liverpool Echo newsletter here.

And Mr. Barton added: "We truly hope that after much hard work campaigning that we may yet be able to bring back this community hallmark and gain the approval from Trust Inns for our ideal candidate who would showcase the true potential of the premises not withstanding some excellent CSR o part of the Brewery.

"At this critical stage we need as many of you to contact the brewery direct now to highlight just how much this building means to you and just why we should be seeking to retain and utilize our civic heritage as effectively as possible in the modern day. The more people that contact the brewery the better."

To find out more about the Fiddle i'th Bag Appreciation Group on Facebook, click here. To get contact the Brewery, click here.

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