This historic Victorian pub, tucked away behind Manchester Science Park, is the venue where black boxer Len Johnson took action in 1953 which led to the ending of the ‘colour bar’ policies.
Today, this legacy lives on through projects such as monthly youth led anti-racism music night ‘Breaking Barz’, which helps deliver a powerful message in an engaging way.
The pub, which is a social enterprise run by Steam Hubs & Pubs CIC, was also once part of the city’s Greenheys estate (demolished in the 1960s/ early 70s as part of Manchester’s controversial ‘slum clearances’), with this history also remembered through projects organised by the pub’s dynamic team for former residents.
Its diverse offer includes being a pub for a pint, a live music venue (big supporter of grassroots acts), having a catering kitchen, its own community radio station, being a youth training centre and general safe space for local people to come together through the range of innovative events and groups it hosts.
The pub’s impactful community projects include ‘Heart & Soul TV Dinners’, which sees free meals (created with produce from FareShare) delivered weekly to in-need locals by volunteers (who also do a wellbeing check), dementia-prevention and support focused lunches, a winter evenings warm bank, ‘pay as you feel’ supper clubs and events for elderly people including a weekly CommuniTea and hosting Hulme Writers’ Club.
Judges were also impressed with the pub’s strong focus on catering for the creative community, with impressive facilities including a band rehearsal space, radio room for practicing, as well as streaming content for its community ‘Steam’ radio and community meeting room.
Full list of 2023 GBPA winners:
Best Pub Garden – Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton, Dorset
Best Sustainable Pub – Stroud Brewery Taproom, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Best Pub Chef – Charlotte Vincent, Candlelight Inn, Chard, Somerset
Best Young Pub Chef – Karl Quirante, the Cricketers, Ormskirk, Lancashire
Community Hero – the Old Abbey Taphouse, Manchester
Punch Pub of the Year – the Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire