Macclesfield landlady's 'swansong' to take place this weekend

By Mary Piekarski

19th Feb 2024 | Local News

Wendy Smith (left) and Kiara Bailey (right).
Wendy Smith (left) and Kiara Bailey (right).

There's just days to go until a Macclesfield landlady's farewell celebration.

Wendy Smith has been the landlady of The Swan with Two Necks for 19 years, and a huge send-off is scheduled to take place this weekend.

Macclesfield Nub News visited the popular live music venue on Chestergate to speak with the publican, her staff and customers.

Wendy led the pub through troublesome times for UK pubs, including the smoking ban, austerity, Brexit, COVID and the cost of living crisis. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

"I don't call them regulars, I call them friends," reminisces Wendy.

"It's very emotional, I don't think it's hit me yet."

"I'm leaving to focus on my family."

A backwards clock above the bar is a symbol of the alternative spirit the pub championed, something of which will be missed when Wendy's tenure comes to a close. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

When Wendy announced her retirement, she told Macc Nub she planned to arrange a leaving event.

'Swansong – The Final Hoorah' is being held on 23rd and 24th February 2024 at The Swan With Two Necks.

The leaving party will be a two day live music event, featuring popular local musical acts of different genres.

The award-winning pub has been under Wendy's leadership since 2005.

Kiara Bailey and her husband Josh are one of the acts, known as The Coverups. They are first on the bill on Saturday 24th February.

The pair have worked alongside Wendy for several years and describe the invaluable skills they have learnt from her, including how to host a karaoke night and operate live music equipment.

"Wendy is like my second mum. She helped me through some hard times. She's looked after all of us. It really is like a family," said Kiara.

Macclesfield could lose a live music venue, if the direction of the pub changes with the next tenant.

Other acts on the line-up include The Lads from Macc, PantTearer, The Chinese Marbles, Ruff Trade and R&D Project.

"The Friday will be more punk, the Saturday will be more mixed." explained Wendy.

"There will be surprises along the way," adds Kiara.

The pub has been frequented by celebrities, and been a springboard for countless local and UK-wide music talent.

Wendy recalls favourite memories from her residence, including her karaoke debut of "I Try" by Macy Gray, the first band to grace the stage, Silent Slave, and the thousands of pounds that have been raised for countless charities by the pub over the years.

"Thank you is not enough," is Wendy's emotional message to her clientele from over the years.

The show runs over two days on the 23rd and 24th February 2024.

The event promises to be a sentimental musical tribute to the publican that has been describe as the 'best landlady in Macclesfield'.

The line-up can be found on the image above.

Just turn up to support the live music event.

The pub - of Chestsergate's west side - is currently on the market for their next tenant.

The pub is located at 65 Chestergate, Macclesfield SK11 6DG.

     

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