Real ale group Camra named a "traditional boozer" in Rochdale as the best pub in Britain yesterday.
The Baum on Toad Lane sits next to where the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society opened the first Co-op store in December 1844.
The pub was a hardware shop until about 30 years ago, and is now run by Simon Crompton, who joined as a barman in 1993, and his wife Heidi after they bought it in 2005.
The old Co-op store, once described as the nearest that the international co-operative movement has to a place of pilgrimage, has been a museum for more than 80 years and recently reopened after building work.
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.