Heritage plans for Fleetwood pub

Licensee Linda Hardy with the two model trawlers which will be displayed at The Royal Oak Hotel, Lord Street, Fleetwood.
Licensee Linda Hardy with the two model trawlers which will be displayed at The Royal Oak Hotel, Lord Street, Fleetwood.

Back in the days when Fleetwood’s docks were packed with trawlers, the pubs and clubs in and around Lord Street would be bustling too.

And one of the most favoured watering holes for trawlermen in the port was the Royal Oak, affectionately known as Dead’ Uns.

The Lord Street hostelry often appears as a backdrop in old black and white photos of fishermen on leave in the 1950s and ‘60s, and is mentioned frequently in tales about trawlermen.

Even its nickname is a reference to a “well-oiled” fisherman being told to go home!

Now, after recent struggles to stay afloat, this solid Victorian pub with its elegant stained glass bar is set to celebrate its connection with Fleetwood’s once-mighty fishing industry.

“We are bringing in memorabilia which will celebrate the industry which shaped this town,” said Dave Shaw, spokesman for the Fleetwood Pub Company which now owns the pub.

“The walls will be lined with vintage photos of trawlers and fishermen which people are donating, and we’ll have brilliant scale models of well-known vessels on display.

“We will also be serving up our own bespoke ales named after well-known trawlers.”

The Royal Oak has been reinvented as a real ale pub and is already selling two ales with fishing names, The First Trawl and Fleetwood Lady.

These beers are currently being made in Burnley under license from the Fleetwood Brewing Company, set to open at the Strawberry Gardens next year.

But from next April when the brewery is officially launched, all these ales will be actually brewed in the town.

Two scale model trawlers have already gone on display, lovingly crafted by Fleetwood fisherman Steve Saunderson, who fishes off the Norwegian coast. They are models of the sister ships Norina and Idena, which used to go pair-fishing (sharing one trawl) in Fleetwood in the 1970s.

Royal Oak licensee Linda Hardy said: “I lived in Fleetwood in the 1960s when I had young children and the fishermen used to think it was lucky to give money to a baby in a pram – so I ended up with a fair bit of money!

“It’s great they are bringing all these artefacts here – it’s part of Fleetwood’s history.”