PEOPLE across the town enjoyed their first pint in almost four months this weekend as Bolton pubs reopened for the first time since the start of lockdown.

Dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, the day witnessed the relaxation of measures which had forced pubs and bars to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Landlords said they were glad to be back in business as they and customers adapted to the range of new measures put in place to keep drinkers and staff safe.

At Bolton’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Man and Scythe, in Churchgate, staff said they had a ‘brilliant time during the day’, with all their patrons social distancing and following the requirements.

However, in the evening things got ‘a bit out of hand’, day manager Sonya Couperthwaite conceded, as a few punters were said to have started treating the pub like it was before lockdown.

She added: “Overall it was nice to be back at work.

“Thankfully there was a lot of police presence last night which was good to see. But everyone pulled together and we had no trouble.

“Hopefully things will settle down and by next weekend it won’t be as stupid.”

There were no such teething problems at The Queens in Bradley Fold, where punters said they were just happy to be able to sip a proper hand-pulled pint.

Councillor Sean Hornby, the pub’s landlord, described reopening after three-and-a-half months as a ‘strange but great experience’.

“Everyone behaved and it was so nice to see people that had not been in the pub for a few months,” he said.

“For the older generation especially, they look at this pub as more of a social thing.”

He added: “This pub has stood through two World Wars and we were determined that the coronvirus would not finish us off. So it’s onwards and upwards.”

Over in Westhoughton, the Beer School in Market Street, had a ‘fantastic’ day and evening as regulars, dog walkers and others popped in for pint, as well as dropping by for takeaways.

As night descended patrons got more dressed up as they enjoyed a socially-distanced night on the town.

Rachel Birch, the bar’s owner and manager, said: “We had a really good show. I’m filled with so much positivity after yesterday.

“Everyone was so respectful. We had zero problems. There was a really good atmosphere. And everyone was so happy to see each other.”

Councillors and police praised the response to Super Saturday but pleaded with the public to stick to social-distancing a safety guidelines.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor David Greenhalgh said: “Our pubs and restaurants and those businesses such as hairdressers and barbers are among the worst affected by the pandemic.

“I applaud the initiative many of these businesses have shown in managing to open safely, both for their staff and customers, and wish them all the very best.

“These businesses are part of our communities ans we are pleased to see them back open, but we have to allow more businesses to open safely, and for these businesses to remain open, to adhere to the social distancing guidance.

“Covid-19 is still amongst us. We are no way back to life pre-Covid.

“We can still enjoy ourselves, but there must be no room for complacency. Follow the guidance and keep safe.”

In a series of statements Greater Manchester Police added: "We would encourage those visiting pubs and bars to enjoy themselves but continue to follow the guidelines.

"Many businesses and venues are reopening this weekend but new measures will mean a change in the way they operate.

"You should only visit restaurants, bars and pubs with others in your household or support bubble or with one other household.

"It is against the law to gather in groups of more than 30 people, except for limited circumstances as set out in the law."