A LANDLORD and landlady have set sail on a voyage of discovery … after finding out their pub is named after a 19th century ship and not a railway as they had always thought.
Joe and Wendy McGuinness took delivery of a new sign this week. And they have been trawling the Internet for information about the Great Eastern, which was once the world's largest steamship.
The couple, who run the Great Eastern pub in Arnold Street, Accrington, were under the impression it was named after the railway of the same name.
Joe, 54, said: "The ship has come in. We never had a clue. We always thought it had something to do with the Great Eastern railway."
Joe was told the pub was named after the ship by a man on his way to a remembrance service to honour the Accrington Pals. He promptly contacted his area manager, Roger Elliott from Thwaites, who immediately instructed an artist to investigate the story and, lo and behold, he was right.
The artist has created a new pub sign for Joe and Wendy, 40, who have been glued to their TV sets after the ship featured on a new BBC2 programme, The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, last Thursday.
Joe said: "We are going to hang up some literature to do with the ship. It hasn't been a big problem changing the pub around. We did have a few pictures of trains up but they had to go. It would have been much worse for a previous landlord who ran the place about 20 years ago, because he had a model railway set up in the pub."
The ship, originally known as Leviathan, was built and launched in 1858 for the Eastern Steam Navigation Company. It transported passengers across the Atlantic for two years before it struck a rock off Long Island and was put into retirement.
Joe added: "The new sign has been stirring up a lot of interest and we are delighted with it."