MANY readers will have fond memories of The Wheatsheaf pub on Orford Lane and the family who owned it are now part of an exhibition about the history of the town.

Val Drinkwater, 70, is the great-grandaughter of William Henry Hughes, who became the owner of the pub in 1901.

The pub is now known as The Wire, but William acquired the premises after working as a weaver and beer seller at the start of the 20th century.

Val said: “After being a weaver he became a beer seller – they used to brew their own beer and then they had their own cart and used to sell it at all the grand houses.”

William had six children, one of whom was Val’s mother, Betty.

When her father died, Betty and her husband Reginald Millington took over the pub and brought seven-year-old Val with them.

Val said: “I didn’t like it at all but I was the envy of all my friends who could only see free pop and crisps.

“It was like living in a goldfish bowl. I couldn’t do anything even slightly naughty without someone telling my mum and dad. I wasn’t short of boyfriends when I was in my teens though.”

Val used to help out as a barmaid, washing glasses and emptying ash trays with her hardworking mother.

She said: “We always used to refer to everybody by what they drank – we’d be like, oh you know ‘Mr a pint of bitter and a half of stout’.”

After her dad died in 1967, Val and her mother moved out of The Wheatsheaf and ran an off licence on Knutsford Road.

Val, who was a receptionist, said she has not been back inside the pub since they left and was not interested in following in her parent’s footsteps.

However her uncle Vic became head of brewing at Greenall’s.

She shared her memories and photographs of the pub with the Relationships Centre as part of their exhibition, ‘Us and Them and Way Back When’, which opens in July.

Jackie Cooling, who runs the Heritage Lottery-funded project, found Val after she posted photographs of the pub on the Warrington Memories Facebook Group.

The exhibition opens at the Relationships Centre on Museum Street on July 12 from 10am to 1pm.