When Wetherspoon’s new pub in Leyland, The Leyland Lion, opened towards the end of last year, it was of particular interest to two local residents.
Peter Dawson and his neighbour Peggy Hastie, who both live in the Lancashire town, have a special connection with the Lion buses, after which the pub is named.
Peter and Peggy’s late husband Gordon both worked at the world-famous Leyland Motors, later British Leyland, from the age of 16.
The company became very well known for its buses and trucks – and the ‘Lion’ proved to be a winner for Leyland. By 1928, around 2,500 Lion buses had been sold and were in use all over the world.
Peter and Gordon travelled to Moscow in 1966, to sell Leyland trucks to the Russians. They also travelled overseas, demonstrating the buses and trucks for the company, to Poland, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Peter and Peggy were invited to the pub opening by managers Mark and Carolyne Batty (all pictured).
Mark said: “It was fantastic to meet Peter and Peggy at the pub. Their visit evoked some special memories for them both.”
Peggy said: “The pub is absolutely marvellous, and Carolyne and Mark are a wonderful couple, making us feel so welcome – we had a lovely day.
“Gordon would have been so proud to know that his photograph is now on the wall at the pub.”
The pub, the former Spar convenience store, which was originally the post office, opened in October 2011.
The pub’s interior celebrates the bus designs and boom in public transport of the 1920s, with a feature bench bus seat and coffee tables made from original vintage luggage trunks.
The bar design includes stainless steel trim and recycled tyre tread, reminiscent of bus models so evocative of the Art Deco period.