A REVAMPED Atherton pub is proving that despite the recession there is still a demand for a good local with traditional values.

When manager Billy Cunliffe, his wife Jean and her brother Geoff decided to take on The Rope and Anchor in Bolton Old Road, they might have wondered what the future held.

With people’s disposable incomes reduced during the current economic climate and the rise in popularity of pub chains, many independent hostelries are suffering. But in the few weeks since they reopened the revamped grade II-listed building, they have not looked back.

“It has been unbelievable,” said Billy, aged 61.

“When we opened on December 7 it was like New Year’s Eve.

“The place was run down but Jill and Geoff have been coming in here for years and they didn’t want to see it shut so we have taken it over.

“Their firm Buildmain has given it a £40,000 facelift with 10 men working 17 hours a day to get it ready.

“I don’t know about all the gloom about pubs closing, it has been buzzing here ever since we opened.”

The refurbishment has retained many fixtures and fittings from its early 20th century beginnings.

“It’s amazing but 90 per cent of customers have commented on how nice the toilets are,” said Billy.

“We are aiming to build on what we have, nowt fancy.

“We get all ages coming in as it is a community pub and we just want to keep on doing that. It certainly seems to be working.”

Customer Bob Lowe has been a regular for the best part of 33 years and gave the thumbs-up to his favourite watering hole.

“The Rope has always had a loyal following,” said Bob.

“It has retained that traditional feel and that’s what attracts people. People feel at home and that is how a pub should be.”