A RELAUNCHED pub has more than a fighting chance of success in Hyndburn, reckons a former mayor.

The Old England Forever, in Clayton-le-Moors, has been reopened by Bank Top Brewery after a major refurbishment project.

And a brewery boss and the locals have already bonded over a shared love of the squared circle.

Cllr Tim O’Kane, who was the borough’s first citizen in 2016-17, is secretary of Clayton Boxing Club - and BankTop’s head brewer Dave Sweeney was a keen wrestler in his youth.

“I’ve introduced some of my boxing friends to Dave and within five minutes they were comparing the similarities between boxing and wrestling,” said Cllr O’Kane, in whose ward the Church Street hostelry stands.

“This venture is a refreshing change and will be great for Clayton. It’s nice to a business which is really into the community side of things.”

An open-plan arrangement has replaced the smaller compartments of the old pub, according to Caron Turner, who heads up the brewery’s pubs division with husband Neil.

“We just felt, when we came down here, that the community was really close, and there a lot of other businesses around,” said Caron.

“Much of the pub had been unaltered for many years so it has undergone a complete renovation.”

Like certain other pub aficonados, Bank Top is proud of its no music or fruit machines atmosphere.

“People come to our pubs to chat and we don’t need those kind of interruptions,” added Caron.

“We don’t have jukeboxes or games machines and we won’t be doing any live sports.”

Six hand-pulls will be on offer at the bar, with a rotating guest ale and ciders.

Before now the company has won north-west and Greater Manchester wide honours for its ciders and perries.

And there are plans to offer a selection of spirits, which could be expanded according to local tastes and recommendations.

New landlord Chris Hardy has been learning his trade at the outfit’s other establishments, their brewery tap in Bolton and The Alehouse in Horwich.

Their opening weekend went successfully and now they are looking to build up a reputation as a welcoming haven.

Chris added: “It’s a lovely area and I’m looking forward to cracking on and getting to know people.”