I WAS recently invited along to the first birthday celebrations of The Barking Dog in Urmston, where customers were welcomed with a complimentary fizz and canapés reception.

Val and I enjoyed a really lovely evening there, chatting to some old friends we bumped in to.

I remember going there when it was the old post office and it was interesting to see the transformation.

Mark Rackham, director of the Barking Dog Company said: “We decided to offer something back to our customers at the birthday party as it is them we have to thank for getting the pub off to a flying start.”

The Barking Dog has become well known in Urmston for its home cooked pies, great gin selection and fantastic beers. It even scooped the Trafford CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) award as best newcomer in 2018.

In July, it held a month-long music festival with DJ’s every Friday and Saturday nights, as well as taking part in the Flixton Folk Festival’s arts trail, hosting displays from two local artists.

Speaking about the pub’s future, Mark said: “We are excited to launch a new menu from August and we’ve also started serving Sunday lunches as well as our famous Sunday roast pies.”

Reflecting on the events of July, he said: “We’ll definitely be featuring more DJ’s, live music and continue to utilise our wall space as a gallery space for local artists.

“So anybody interested in getting involved should get in touch.”

Messenger Newspapers:

Wayne with Friends of Flixton Gardens volunteers Karan Beaumont, Sue Tiplady, Marian Sidebotham and Linda Moore, along with the Mayor of Trafford Tom Ross and his Mayoress Ann Duffield.​

I was really pleased to be invited along by the Friends of Flixton Gardens to the opening of the Bee Garden and to watch the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Tom Ross, unveil the magnificent Manchester Bee Sculpture.

The volunteers have worked so hard restoring the gardens to their former glory. Guests on the day were greeted with brightly coloured bunting, a glass of Prosecco and cakes and live music by the fabulous Flixton Community Brass Band.

There is something very comforting about a brass band playing in the beautiful gardens. It really was a lovely afternoon.

I even sang a few impromptu songs in the sunshine!

The gardens recently received the prestigious Green Flag Award which is a fantastic achievement.

It’s a credit to all the volunteers who have only been working at it for one year, after many years of the gardens being neglected.

Well done to all involved and thank you again for inviting me along for a lovely day in such a beautiful setting.