A Salford artist has been painting pubs in Salford in the hope of capturing and preserving public houses in his own expressionistic style.

The artist, Andrew Alan Matthews, wants to commemorate historic Salford pubs as he feels that too many are being demolished to make way for new builds.

I spoke to Andrew at the Dover Inn on Fenney Street, a pub he’s lived near for 18 years and one he has also painted. “This is an iconic pub, it has stood the test of time and the pandemic,” he remarked.

“Contractors and developers need to realise that these places have so much heritage. Going back to cotton mills and dockers that came into pubs such as the Dover Inn.

“Common folk like me would have had a few pints in the pubs around Salford, sharing their stories of a hard-working day in the mills and the Salford docks.”

Unfortunately, not all pubs can withstand the test of times like the Dover Inn has. Pubs such as the Prince of Wales, just down the road from the Dover Inn, are now closed and boarded up.

The area around the pub has seen much change since Andrew lived there.
Andrew added: “It’s all redeveloped with new houses and flats popping up all around the area, breathing new life to a once run down area.
“The Dover Inn stands tall and proud. A reminder of a Salford of times gone by.”

Andrew has painted a number of pubs in Salford; his favourite pub he’s painted? The Black Friar. The day after Andrew finished painting the pub he was asked if he wanted to be the best man at his best friend’s wedding. The venue? The Black Friar.

I also spoke with the owner of the Dover Inn, Stephen McCoy, who has owned the Dover Inn for 31 years. During this time, he has had a number of companies trying to buy the Dover Inn.

Stephen added: “I won’t sell it, it keeps me happy, and it’s a great pub with great regulars.”

Stephen also expressed that he’s proud of owning a pub that has so many ties to the local community. He said: “It’s really great, if people want anything they can come see me, it’s a good old-fashioned pub.”

Alongside the paintings, Andrew also wrote and read out a poem to us outside the Dover Inn; the video is below.

Check out Andrew’s artwork and website here

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