This Swinton pub has opened a flower shop in its beer garden

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The death of a loyal customer is always a source of grief for owner Lindsey Smethills.

And following the loss of one of her regulars, 79-year-old former sheet metal worker Terry Ryan, Lindsey, who runs the White Swan in Swinton, knew exactly how to express her feelings to the family – with a glass-shaped wreath of Joseph Holt beer reflecting the great-grandfather’s favorite drink.

The flower arrangement was done by Lindsey’s florist pal, Danielle Brooke, who recently opened in the pub’s beer garden.

“It seemed like an obvious thing to do,” Lindsey says of the wreath, made of white double chrysanthemums, with baby’s breath to create the creamy mousse.

“Terry was such a lovely man who had been drinking in my pub for many years and since Danielle has just opened her business at the White Swan the idea came to me immediately.”

The florist’s shop – known as the Flower Girl – is believed to be the first time such a collaboration has happened with a pub.

The arrangement came about after Danielle found herself homeless. So Lindsey immediately offered her a house in the grounds of the White Swan.

“Danielle is my best friend, and she actually worked a few shifts at the White Swan,” Lindsey said.

“With the rising cost of rent, she ran her florist business from home.

“However, when I told him about a disused garage next to the beer garden, we agreed it would be a great place to set up shop.”

It took two weeks to empty, clean and paint the garage. In addition, thanks to its proximity to the beer garden, Danielle has also flowered the outdoor tables.

The White Swan is one of 127 pubs owned by the Joseph Holt Brewery in Manchester.

The shift to florist accommodation paves the way for more pubs to offer wider facilities to the communities they serve.

Four Joseph Holt pubs – the Cleveland Hotel, Crumpsall, Gardeners Arms, Middleton, Red Lion, St Helens and Wilton Arms, Radcliffe – all house, for example, laundry units in their car parks.

“Danielle is a lovely friend, but it also shows how businesses can help each other and serve the community,” Lindsey said.

“His shop opens at 9 a.m., but often people come in around noon, place orders for an arrangement, then maybe have a drink in the pub.

“The beer glass crown shows how incredibly talented she is. And since her customers and their families tend to have a connection with our pub or the Joseph Holt brand, Danielle can take inspiration from her location.

“Plus, the Flower Girl is also a really nice addition to the White Swan.

“I’ve always wanted to do a sort of mini-shop to provide more diversity in terms of what a pub can offer.

“It’s the perfect partnership for both of us.”

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