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THE son of the former landlord of a popular Blackrod pub has paid tribute to his late father by building a pub in his garden shed.

Mark Appleton’s father, Bernard Appleton, was the landlord of the Green Barn Inn in Manchester Road from 1984 until 1994.

Bernard, who died in 2006, aged 74, was from St Helens and had been the tenant at several pubs — but his son said the time he spent in Blackrod was his favourite period.

Mr Appleton, aged 52, who lives in St Helens had lived with his mum and dad at the Blackrod pub for two years and after his father died, he decided to pay homage to him by making his own “pub shed”.

The pub, named the Appleton Arms, is also a tribute to his brother Colin, who helped him to create the cosy venue, but died this year, aged 55.

He said: “My dad loved his time in Blackrod and he fell in love with the pub — that’s why he spent 10 years there.

“I lived there for two years as well and have very fond memories of our time. It was a Greenall’s pub and I have tried to model my shed in the same way as those pubs looked, as they were in the 1970s and 1980s.”

Now, after visiting the demolished site of the former Green Barn Inn, Mr Appleton is on the hunt for an old pub bell that his father took with him to different pubs. He said: “I would love to track that bell down.

“It would be a fitting tribute to my dad and would finish off my pub project well — I would love any readers of The Bolton News who may know of its whereabouts to get in touch.”

Mr Appleton’s “pub shed” is in the running to be named shed of the year as part of a Channel 4 television programme in August.

The former Green Barn Inn building was recently demolished and developers have been given permission to build houses on the site.