I took this picture today in the Guest House; it shows one of the pub's three hand pumps that still display the Higsons liver bird. When Higsons was an independent company, the Guest House was its only pub in Southport, and it had no hand or electric pumps on the bar; all the electric pumps were ranged across the back of the bar, and the cask beers were in the cellar behind the bar with their taps poking through holes in the wall. The cask range was Higsons Bitter and Mild, and Draught Bass.
When Boddingtons of Manchester took over Higsons in 1985, they installed hand pumps on the bar and moved the electric pumps there too. They also put real ale in all Higsons houses ~ only about half had sold real ale previously because, Higsons claimed, the pubs were unsuitable for cask beer. I always found that unbelievable, seeing that nearly all of the Higsons estate consisted of Victorian and Edwardian pubs, built when real ale was the only beer available. Whitbread took over Boddingtons in 1990 and, as was its wont, closed the Higsons brewery down. Higsons beers were brewed in Sheffield, then County Durham, but with no resemblance to the original beer, and production was ended a few years later.
The hand pumps installed by Boddingtons in the Guest House in 1985 are the only visible memento of the pub's Higsons past.
Incidentally, the beer on that hand pump was Phoenix Hopsack ~ rather nice.