AFTER 25 years at the helm at The Shepherd’s Inn in Lowton, publicans Paul and Teresa Lyth have been honoured with a prestigious long service award by the owners Star Pubs & Bars.

The award is recognition for the pair's contribution to the community and for more than 40 years service to the pub industry.

Paul and Teresa have transformed The Shepherd’s Inn from an unloved local into a hub of the community.

On taking over the couple set about improving the décor, and turned four derelict bedrooms into a function room for 60 which is regularly used by locals for events including christenings, parties, meetings, and wakes.

It has morphed from a semi-rural pub to a suburban pub with the country on its doorstep.

Originally an old coaching house for trams, it was previously known as The Terminal on account of the tram coaches turning around on the site.

Paul said: “Prior to taking on the Shepherd’s Inn we were running country pubs.

"We wanted to be a bit nearer town and the area and pub both ticked the boxes for us as we could see its potential."

Paul paid tribute to the loyal customers who have helped make the job of running the pub so special that he is not even thinking of ringing the last bell for a good while yet.

“We have loved running The Shepherd’s Inn and becoming a central part of the community," Paul said.

"Even though I am 71, I have no intention of retiring any time soon as I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t behind the bar. I’d get bored.

“We’d both like to thank our regulars for their support over the years. Many really live up to the name of regulars, as they come in a few times a week come rain or shine.

"Around 30 customers have been coming here as long as we’ve been serving pints. So I think it is an award for our regulars too!”

During their 25 years at The Shepherd’s Inn Paul and Teresa have helped raise over £25,000 for local and national charities and in particular Wigan & Leigh Hospice, which is dear to their and many of their regulars’ hearts.

They have also created over 50 local jobs, giving the youngsters their first work experience glass collecting and washing up.

Leigh Journal:

David O’Brien, Star Pubs & Bars area, said: “Paul and Teresa are archetypal publicans with high standards and a real love of their community.

"It is great news for those in the area that they have no plans to retire, especially their many regulars who have shared their journey. Cheers Paul and Teresa! And here’s to many more happy years behind the bar!”

In addition to showing live sports, the traditional pub hosts weekly karaoke, live acoustic music and has an acoustic open mic night four times a year.

This month they will also be restarting their monthly pub quiz, adding to the darts and dominoes that they introduced.