In 1837 a station was built at Acton Bridge, at that time a hamlet almost two miles from the nearest village of Weaverham.

In those days the importance of the railway was to carry goods, so siting it nearer to Weaverham, as they could easily have done, was secondary to its primary task of serving the farming community.

As they built stations along the route of the new railway, they invariably built a hotel to serve its customers. Acton Bridge was no exception and a farmhouse nearby was converted and named the Railway Hotel. Charles Moulton was the first licensee in 1841 and he handed over the licence to Anne Moulton in 1872.

It remained in the family until 1899 being owned by Charles and Hannah Moulton and the longest serving licensee was Alfred Everitt who held the licence from 1950 to 1981.

In days gone by people would come from the Manchester and Liverpool areas to spend holidays at the pub. They would use it as a base to explore the beautiful countryside of the area.

The main custom however came from the farming community. The station was far more important then, than today. There was a pen for animals, goods sidings and a small loco shed. Farmers bringing their milk, livestock or vegetables to meet the train would be able to refresh themselves at the hotel prior to the slow journey by horse and cart back to their farms. And no breathalyser to worry about!

Over the years the name Railway Hotel went out of favour and most pubs of that name saw it changed, a bit of snobbery perhaps, who knows?

But the Acton Bridge Railway Hotel had to be re-named. One of the commonest pears in the area was the Hazel or Hessle Pear and so in 1972 the pub’s name was changed from The Railway Hotel to The Hazel Pear.

The Woodland Trust has overseen the planting of a wood off Station Road which has been given the name Hazel Pear Wood.