Historic pub reopens after major revamp by new owners

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

A HISTORIC city pub with links to a professional football club’s origins more than 120 years ago is set to open under new ownership after a major revamp.

Staff at The Milbourne Arms will wear replica shirts of Shaddongate United, formed in 1896,

which, eight years later, was to become Carlisle United FC.

The Carlisle pub’s impressive makeover also showcases the city’s cotton mill heritage, and

specifically the city’s Linton Tweeds, featuring the world-famous firm’s fabric on its chairs.

Trevor Wall
Trevor Wall

Hand looms, spinning wheels, bobbins and shuttles from Linton Tweeds which would have been used in the nearby mills, along with archive photos including a visit to the city by a “Cotton Queen”, a feature of mill life in the 1930s, are all part of the pub’s makeover.

Head teacher-turned-businesswoman Dianne Irving - who has already carried out hugely

successful revamps at the award-winning Crown in Stanwix and city centre Howard Arms - is

behind the Milbourne Arms’ impressive transformation.

Dianne, managing director of Drouth Limited, who bought the pub earlier this year was due to open The Milbourne Arms’ doors in March - but the coronavirus outbreak put her plans on ice.

Now, after a complete refit, The Milbourne Arms is ready to welcome its first customers when it opens on Saturday, August 22 - serving a wide area of Denton Holme and Shaddongate, while also being only a short walk from the city centre.

Dianne said: “We are delighted to be opening. We had to delay our plans in March. So it’s great to be finally able to open the doors.

“Our pubs are known for being at the heart of their communities. There is a large community here and the pub serves a wide area, so we really hope people will come down and support us.”

A familiar face will greet diners and drinkers. Trevor Wall, the highly-respected bar manager at The Howard Arms for more than 20 years, is the new face of the Milbourne Arms.

Trevor, 52, well known across the city for his experience and expertise in the hospitality

industry is looking forward to welcoming new customers as the manager of the authentically

refurbished Milbourne Arms.

Trevor said: “It’s a proper pub, with proper pub food, proper beer, and proper people will really enjoy spending time here.

“Dianne has done the place out really well, with all the furnishings and memorabilia to capture the history of this place and the surrounding area, while making sure that it still feels like a pub.

“It’s an ideal place for people to come down, enjoy a drink and maybe something to eat, have a chat and a laugh and enjoy being sociable.

“There’s lots of people for whom this will be their nearest pub, and lots of businesses nearby,

and we want them to feel like this is their pub, a place for them to relax.

“We want people to feel safe and comfortable. We have got all the social distancing measures in place so that people can feel confident coming here, and can relax and enjoy themselves.

“I’ve always thought a pub should be the heart of any community, and this is very much how we want people to feel about the Milbourne Arms,” said Trevor.

Behind the bar, there’s a wide selection of rums, as well as gins, malt whiskies, and real ales.

“Many of the real ales we have on will be from Cumbria, as we like to support local businesses as much as possible,” said Trevor.

At the turn of the 20th Century there were ten pubs in Denton Holme, which came under the

State Management scheme in 1916.

Of those ten, four of which were in Milbourne Street, only the Milbourne Arms survives to this day.

With Shaddongate United’s players said to have changed in the pub - with their matches at

nearby Willowholme - The Milbourne Arms features replica shirts which customers will be able to buy, with all profits going to The Gate project which looks to promote the area.

The pub also features a goalkeeping glove signed by Carlisle United’s more modern-day hero Jimmy Glass whose goal kept Carlisle in the Football League in 1999. There is also a poster of all Carlisle United’s 58 different kits from the club’s origins to 2019.

Keeping with the community feel of the pub, there’s even a record deck so customers can bring in their own vinyl and share their favourite sounds with others.

The Milbourne will comfortably sit 40 people with all social distancing measures in place. Pizza and Paninis will be on the menu along with other dishes and ‘beer snacks’.

The Milbourne Arms’ refurbishment and opening comes on the back of Dianne masterminding a £350,000 refurbishment of the iconic Howard Arms in Carlisle city centre.

The Howard Arms, managed by Matt Womersley, features an authentically refurbished bar and restaurant downstairs, and stylish Said The Actress To The Bishop gin parlour upstairs.

Dianne also runs the ever popular award-winning Crown Inn at Stanwix, managed by Rhona Bill and well recognised across the industry and the city for being at the heart of its community.

Customers keen to be among the first to visit the new-look Milbourne Arms are asked to book ahead if possible, due to social distancing requirements.

To book a table at The Milbourne Arms call 01228 541194.