Sunday, 18 February 2018

Black Cow, Fernhill Gate, Bolton

The Fernhill Gate area of Wigan Road looking towards the former Rumworth Hotel. The Black Cow is believed to have been situated in one of the houses immediately before the Rumworth. 

Fernhill Gate is the area of Deane that slopes down Wigan Road towards the junction with Beaumont Road. The name hasn't completely fallen out of use but any reference to the area is usually indicated by the Sutton Estate which was constructed in the area in the late fifties and early sixties.

A number of pubs came and went in this area of Deane and one of those was the Black Cow. The pub was run for the whole of its existence by a spinster, Ann Helme. 

Miss Helme was born around 1807 in the village of Longworth situated some five miles north of Bolton. The village was purchased by Bolton Council in 1907 and Delph Reservoir was constructed on its site. 

Little is known of Ann Helme's early life. However, by 1841 she was working as a servant at Grundy Fold, a small collection of buidlings situated not far from Fernhill Gate at the end of what is now Greenhill Lane (known at that time as Green Lane). 

By 1861, Ann Helme was living with a servant at the Black Cow beerhouse on the Bolton to Westhoughton road. This was sometimes referred to as the 'Old Road' and is now known as Wigan Road. Given that the beerhouse doesn't appear in the 1855 local directory we can only assume that it was set up in the late-1850s. 

 In 1863, Miss Helme was prosecuted for allowing her pub to be open before midday on a Sunday. Opening hours in those days were quite liberal the exception being on a Sunday morning when people were expected to be at church and pubs were forced to close. The 1830 Beerhouse Act enabled people to set up pubs on payment of 2 guineas (£2.10). Many pubs began in this fashion and were initially just a person's sitting room. There was no bar and because only beer was served there were no optics or bottles of spirits. Quite often there would be a beer barrel on a stillage. As a result, the cost of setting up a pub was minimal. 

This arrangement also made it easy to close down a pub and convert the premises back to a home residence. That's what appears to have happened in the case of the Black Cow. By 1881 Ann Helme was a retired beerseller living at 506 Fernhill Gate, which was how Wigan Road was known in those days. 

Number 506 still exists. It's one of a small row of houses near what used to be the Rumworth Hotel. 

The Black Cow was one of a number of pubs and beerhouses that have come and gone in the Fernhill Gate area over the years. James Heyes was running a beerhouse next door to the Black Cow in 1871. This was named the Wellington in 1881 but subsequently disappeared. There was also pubs in the area named the Colliers Arms that appears on maps from the 1890s. The most permanent pub in the area was the Rumworth Hotel which opened in 1893 and closed in 2011.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Bradford Arms, 23 Bridgeman Place, Bolton

Bradford Arms Bridgeman Place Bolton
The Bradford Arms pictured around 1930 just a few years before it closed

The Earl of Bradford owned land around Great Lever, Farnworth and part of the area to the south-western part of Bolton town centre, so it’s no surprise that the name ‘Bradford’ features prominently in the town. The earldom itself refers not to the conurbation in West Yorkshire as one might assume, but to the area of Bradford in Shropshire. That’s where the Bridgeman family, who hold the earldom, originated. A baronetcy was created for the Bridgemans of Great Lever in 1660. The fourth baronet was named Sir Orlando Bridgeman while the fifth baronet, Sir Henry Bridgeman became Baron Bridgeman in 1794.

A number of street and pub names make reference to the Earls of Bradford: Bradford Street, Bradford Road, Bridgeman Street, Bridgeman Place and no fewer than four pubs in the area named the Bradford: three pubs in Bolton while a fourth, in Farnworth, is the only one to survive.

The Bradford Hotel (later the Bradford Arms) was situated on Bradford Street; there was a Bradford Arms on Foundry Street, off Thynne Street, and somewhere between the two, on Bridgeman Place, was another Bradford Arms which was possibly the earliest of the four.

The pub began in the late-1850s when it was opened by a man named James Seddon Hulme. James was born in Little Lever in 1819 to a single mother, Alice Hulme. He was brought up by his grandparents but he appears to have had at least one child – and perhaps as many as six - with a woman named Margaret Barlow although the couple weren't married until much later. Certainly, the eldest child, Harriet Barlow was living with James Hulme and his grandparents at Grundy Fold in Little Lever by 1851. By then, Margaret Barlow was living in lodgings at Taylors Lane, Ainsworth.

James Hulme married in June 1854 – not Margaret Barlow but a widow named Mary Seddon (nee Henry). Oddly, he took her previous married name as part of his own name and became known as James Seddon Hulme.

Mary had previously run a pub on Churchgate and shortly after they married the couple moved to premises at 23 Bridgeman Place and opened it up as a beerhouse. The Bradford Arms, as it became known, would be run by members of James Seddon Hulme's family for the next 80 years.

Mary Hulme died in January 1876. James remarried in December of that year. He turned to his old flame and married Margaret Barlow at Holy Trinity church.

James and Margaret Hulme died within weeks of each other in 1892. James died on 24 May and Margaret on 13 July. The pub business had been good to him and he left an estate worth £871 – around £105,000 in today's money.

The Bradford Arms was taken over by the family of James and Margaret's daughter Hannah. She had moved to Radcliffe with her mother in the 1860s and in 1881 she married a neighbour, Philip Eastwood. The couple moved in to the Bradford Arms on their marriage and they took over the running of the pub after Hannah's parents died.

The Eastwoods were to remain at the Bradford for the rest of its time as a pub with Philip taking over as landlord.

Hannah died at the Bradford Arms in November 1918. Philip Eastwood died in December 1935 at the age of 83. By then the Bradford was owned by Walker Cain's having previously been sold by the Eastwoods to a Bolton brewer Joseph Sharman's. Sharman's was taken over by the Leigh firm of George Shaw in 1926 and they were in turn taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool and Warrington in 1930.

The Bradford closed in 1936 although it is likely to have shut on Philip Eastwood's death with the licence formally rescinded weeks later. On closure, the pub was converted to a private residence but it was to remain standing for over 20 years after it ceased to be a pub. It was demolished in the early-1960s and a service station and bus lay-by was built on the site.

An intriguing set of photographs from the Bolton Museum collection shows the building in 1957 just a few years before the building and the rest of the row were demolished. The pub signs have been removed but it's unmistakably the former Bradford Arms.

Two of the photos are reproduced here with permission of Bolton Library and Museum Services (copyright Bolton Council).

Bradford Arms Bridgeman Place Bolton in 1957

Bradford Arms Bridgeman Place Bolton 1957
Note Carlton Street - which still exists - where the car is standing

Philip Eastwood (seated left) pictured in 1910 along with the rest of his family. Mr Eastwood ran the Bradford Arms from 1892 until his death in 1936. The pub was opened by the father of his wife Hannah (seated right). 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Railway / Quill and Pen / Donaghy's, 63-65 Great Moor Street, Bolton

Railway Great Moor Street Bolton
The Railway pictured around 1932. The  image was part of a set taken by Walker Cain  Ltd after the took over the Leigh company of George Shaw's. The splendid stone-carved name sign in the middle of the pub was visible until 1985.

The Railway was situated on Great Moor Street and took its name from the nearby railways station that was the terminus for the Bolton and Leigh line. The station stood less than a hundred yards away from the pub on the site of what is now Morrisons petrol station. It opened in 1831 less than three years after the opening of the Bolton-Leigh line itself and was in regular passenger use until March 1954. Tracks were lifted in 1964 and the station building was demolished in 1966.

The Railway pub dated back to the late-1840s with John Tong shown as the licensee on the 1849 listing of Great Bolton beerhouses. It appears to have been either a shop or residential accomodation prior to that. However, it doesn't appear as a pub on the Bolton Directory for 1848. John Tong was a little piecer living in Blackburn Street (now the bottom end of Deane Road) at the time of the 1841 census. He remained at the pub until the 1860s.

The Railway appears to have been sold by Mr Tong to a local shoemaker, Richard Hall, and he was to remain a part of the pub's history for over a decade. But while Mr Hall owned the pub he wasn't always the licensee. In 1869 he applied for the pub's license to be transferred from James Chadbond to a widow, Mrs Betsy Whitworth. Mrs Whitworth didn't last long and Richard Hall is listed as the licensee on the 1871 Census. By 1881 he had gone back to being a shoemaker and was living in Ashburner Street. However, he was soon back in the area and by 1891 he was at 67 Great Moor Street, right next door to the pub.

For a number of years towards the end of the 19th century the Railway was run by James Heyes. He had been at the Clifton Arms as far back as 1881 but by 1891 he had moved round the corner to Great Moor Street to run the Railway. He was still at the pub in 1901 when he is described as a retired beerseller.

By 1905 the Railway was in the hands of John Grime. John Nuttall and his wife were there according to the 1911 census.

Local brewer Magee, Marshall took over the Railway in the early part of the twentieth century. They subsequently sold the pub to another local firm, Joseph Sharman. Following Sharman's sale in 1927 it became a George Shaw pub until the Leigh-based brewery was taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool and Warrington in 1931. Walker's merged with Tetley's to form Tetley Walker in 1960.

The Railway had a reputation as a gay pub in the seventies and eighties. It closed down in May 1985 and was bought by a local pub retail company Regal Knight Hotels Ltd. [1] It underwent a refurbishment and re-opened as the Quill And Pen in December 1985. No longer a gay pub it was aimed at a more upmarket clientele. [2] Regal Knight later owned the Gypsy'sTent on Deansgate and the White Hart in Farnworth. They went out of business in the 1990s.

The Quill and Pen was sold by Regal Knight in 1990. [3] It was taken over by local councillor Martin Donaghy and its name changed to Donaghy's. The pub closed in 1999 and was demolished in December of that year. The skateboard park on Great Moor Street now stands on the site.

[1] What's Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers' magazine, June 1985.
[2] Bolton Beer Break, February 1986.
[3] What's Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers' magazine, June 1990.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Bow Street Tavern, 52 Bow Street, Bolton

The Bow Street Tavern was situated at the bottom end Bow Street not far from Manor Street. It actually stood on the corner of Bow Street, Crown Street and one of Bolton's long-forgotten thoroughfares, Anvil Street, which was a challenger for the title of one of the town's shortest streets. 

Anvil Street ran from the junction of Crown Street to Manor Street opposite its junction with Brown Street – a distance of some 30 yards. There was a small row of retail premises that ran along Bow Street from the corner of Anvil Street down to Manor Street and the Bow Street Tavern was one of those.

The first mention we have of the Bow Street Tavern was in 1871 when Joseph Bromley was the owner and licensee. By the mid-seventies he had moved on and James Jameson was in charge. Mr Jameson was previously an iron moulder living in nearby Independent Street, just off Folds Road, though he had left the pub and moved back to his former profession by 1891.

James Jameson was succeeded by John Reddy by the mid-1890s and Robert Challinor who was at the Bow Street Tavern in 1901. Thomas and Annie Blackledge were at the pub by 1906. [1]

Magee Marshall bought the Bow Street Tavern  in the early part of the 20th century. The pub closed in 1920 and became a barber's shop. James Hart was cutting hair at the premises by 1924.

The row of properties at that end of Bow Street was demolished in the 1950s and the land remained empty for a number of years. The site is now part of the Euro car park at the bottom of Crown Street.

[1] Marjorie Wilkinson on the I Belong To Bolton Facebook group states that her mother, Cissie Blackledge was born at the pub in 1906.

A number 45 bus from Tonge Moor heads along Bow Street into town having just passed the junction with Manor Street (which runs off to the left). The bus is just passing the empty patch of land that marked the spot where the Bow Street Tavern used to stand.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Woodmans Cottage, 2 Deane Road, Bolton

Woodmans Cottage Deane Road Bolton

Two views of the Woodmans Cottage. The 1950s shot at the top shows the pub on the left with Moor Lane bending away in the distance. The Old Three Tuns Hotel can just be seen on the right. The second view (below) is from August 2015 (copyright Google Street View) and shows roughly the same sport.

The Woodmans Cottage was situated at the junction of three thoroughfares: Deane Road, Moor Lane and Derby Street. Its address was variously given as Moor Lane, Blackburn Street and finally, 2 Deane Road. While that suggests it was the first building on the road it was actually part of a block that ran from Stanley Street South to Lupton Street. Its next door neighbour for many years was Kay's pawnbrokers (as can be seen in the image at the top of the page).

The area from where Deane Road meets Mayor Street right down to the junction of Moor Lane and Deansgate was one of the most densely-pubbed areas of Bolton in the middle of the nineteenth century. So much so that when local magistrates were given powers to close down beerhouses in 1869 they targeted that area – Moor Lane in particular.

However, the Woodmans Cottage was one of the first beerhouses in the area after an Act Of Parliament passed in 1830 made it easier to open licenced premises selling beer only. It was certainly in existence by the mid-1830s. Jonathan Haslam appears in the 1836 Bolton Directory as a beer seller on Moor Lane a few doors along from the junction with Stanley Street which ties in with the site of the Woodmans Cottage. At that time, his only competition came from the Britannia Hotel, just across the road, the Old Three Tuns, a little further down from the Britannia,  and the Dog and Partridge at the junction of Partridge Street next to the railway bridge.

Jonathan Haslam died in 1845 at the age of 65. By 1849 John Cooper was running the Woodmans Cottage though by 1851 he was at the White Hart on Pikes Lane. By 1861, his wife Jane was at Broom House on Deane Church Lane where she was described as a 'fundholder' – or living off her investments. Presumably, John Cooper had passed away.

William Parkinson was at the pub by 1853, but by 1861 it was run by Samuel Openshaw. He previously ran the Horse and Vulcan, a pub further along Blackburn Street, as the lower end of Deane Road was then known. However, by 1861 he was brewer and beerseller at the Woodmans Cottage where he lived with his wife Sarah. Sadly, Sarah died in 1866 aged just 32. Samuel married Ann Barnes in 1867 and by 1871 he was at the Gibraltar Rock further up Pikes Lane. He died in 1874. 

The future of the Woodmans Cottage came under threat at the licensing renewals of 1900. Three local inhabitants plus members of the local temperance party objected to the pub's licence being renewed. They claimed the pub's closure would be “for the good of the town”. [1] The licensee at the time was Ralph Hall. He had only been at the pub for a few years and no offences had been reported against the house for over 30 years. Quite what Mr Hall had done to raise the ire of the temperance party isn't reported, but the magistrates agreed to renew its licence only if he was dismissed. By 1901 he was living with his in-laws in nearby Shaw Street and was working as a carder in a local cotton mill.

Ralph Hall was succeeded by Walter Copple – or, more likely, by his wife Annie. Walter was a coach painter by trade and he was still painting coaches while he was at the pub. Annie Copple had been brought up in the pub trade – her father ran the Mill Hill Tavern  amongst others – so it's more likely that she ran the pub. The couple went on to run the Queen Anne on Junction Road (by 1911) and the Swiss Hotel on Southern Street in Halliwell (certainly by 1918 and he was still there in 1924).  Walter had retired to Osborne Grove, off Chorley Old Road, by the time he died in 1928 at the age of 64. 

Interestingly, in 1924, Walter Copple's nephew, Walter Tyrer Copple, ran a cabinet-making business from premises on Moor Lane just a few doors down and on the same row as the Woodmans Cottage.

By the early twentieth century, the Woodmans Cottage had become a rare tied house in Bolton for the Openshaw Brewery Company of West Gorton in Manchester. Openshaw was taken over by the Hope and Anchor Breweries Ltd of Sheffield in 1957. Hope and Anchor was later to become part of the Bass empire. However, the Woodmans Cottage didn't get that far. It closed in 1959. The property was demolished in the late-sixties and for many years the site formed part of the Stanley Street car park next to the fire station (opened 1971).

Construction of the Bolton Sixth Form College building began in 2009 on the site of the car park. It was completed in 2010 and the furthest extremity of the complex next to the fire station marks the site of Woodmans Cottage.

[1] Manchester Courier and Lancashire Advertiser, 28 September 1900.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Welcome Inn, 14 Victoria Street/16 James Terrace, Bolton

The Welcome Inn pictured around 1965 from the bottom end of Hartley Street. The pub was originally two separate buildings that were eventually linked together by a small entrance built between them.

The Welcome Inn was situated on the corner of Victoria Street and James Terrace, off the bottom end of Blackburn Road.

Although Gordon Readyhough gives the address as 14 Victoria Street in his book Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, the 1905 directory gives the address at 16 James Terrace. 

Moss Street, with its baths that opened in 1924, ran parallel with Victoria Street. Short thoroughfares such as Stirrup Street, Hartley Street, Rutter Street and Aspden Street, along with Back Rutter Street and Back Aspden Street linked Victoria Street and Moss Street. 

St Matthews Mission Rooms were at the other end of James Terrace. Victoria Mill was nearby. In 1891, the mill was owned by Nathan Pickering who lived in nearby Arkwright Street.

Early records of the pub are hard to pin down and the first record we have is from the 1905 Bolton Directory when William Mason is the landlord. However, it is likely that the Welcome Inn was going for some years before that.

The building is shown on maps from 1891 but at that stage it only consists of the property on James Terrace. It appears to have been extended into the adjoining property on Victoria Street by the early part of the 20th century.

By 1924, Andrew Pendlebury was in charge. Next door to the pub on the Victoria Street side was a firm of printers called Pendlebury and Sons Ltd. It seems likely that Andrew Pendlebury was a member of that family.

The pub was originally owned by the John Halliwell's Alexandra Brewery which was situated on Mount Street just a few hundred yards away from the Welcome Inn. Halliwell's went out of business in 1910 and the pubs were taken over by Magees. Like a lot of Bolton pubs, the Welcome Inn kept its Magees signage even after the brewery was taken over by Warrington-based Greenall Whitley in 1958.

The whole area was cleared in the early seventies and the Welcome closed around 1971.

Kentford Road roughly – though not exactly – follows the path of Victoria Street. Similarly, Kingsdown Gardens was built roughly on the site of James Terrace. The Welcome Inn was situated at the junction of those two streets as can be seen below on this view fro September 2014 (copyright Google Street View).

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Stags Head, 200 St Helens Road, Bolton

stags head st helens road bolton circa 1974
The Stags Head, St Helens Road in an image taken as part of a set for Tetley Walker around 1974, Image Gerard Fagan, Bolton Lancs Bygone Days Facebook group.

The Stags Head at 200 St Helens Road was one of two pubs less than three-quarters of a mile apart to bear that name. The name itself is derived from the crest of the Hulton family who owned Hulton Park on Newbrook Road from 1167 (some say 1353) until 1993. [1]

The Stags Head on Daubhill was the younger of the two pubs by over 30 years. The first mention of the pub was in 1836 when Peter Boardman (1785-1858) the owner. Mr Boardman was previously at the Hulton Arms at Four Lane Ends. Indeed, the Boardman family remained in control of the Hulton Arms and were farmers in the area between the pub and Hulton Park.

The Bolton to Leigh railway line - the second-oldest in the world - was opened in 1828 with Daubhill station at the junction of St Helens Road and Deane Church Lane opening in 1831. With no other pubs in the area the Stags Head was an opportunity to cash in on passenger traffic coming to and from the station. It was also a sizeable building and would have offered accomodation to railway travellers arriving from outside the area. 

As the 19th century progressed the pub gained a local clientele as the previously rural Daubhill area became industrialised. The giant Sunnyside Mills complex was built in 1865 and streets of terraced houses were built on both sides of St Helens Road.

Although there has been speculation that the current building was the second Stags Head a map from 1846 shows the building looking much the same shape as it still does today. [2] The railway ran behind the pub and then across St Helens Road before heading on to Great Moor Street station. Although the line was diverted in the 1880s this small branch line carried goods wagons across the main road to sidings at Sunnyside Mills as late as 1969. The map also shows a tramline on the other side of the pub running from the railway line, across what is now the Asda car park and across St Helens Road to stone quarries on the other side of the road.

The pub was known in some local directories as the Antelopes Head. In the days when most people were illiterate and pubs were known locally by their signs rather than any lettering it was an easy mistake to make. An inquest held at the pub in 1841 into the death of Christopher Ince on the Bolton to Leigh railway made reference to the pub as “the house of Mr Peter Boardman at the sign of the Antelope”. [3] But by 1843, newspaper references were referring to the pub as the Stags Head.

In 1865 a subscription bowling green opened close to the pub. Known at the time as the Stags Head bowling green it was situated on the other side of the railway line on land now occupied by the offices of the Park Cakes bakery. Access to the green was via Wilton Street or Bertwine Street which ran down the side of some early-nineteenth century cottages that stood raised up from St Helens Road until they were demolished around 1969. This small hill was the original 'Daub Hill' from where the area got its name.

The bowling green lasted until around 1953. Warburton’s Soreen malt loaf bakery, which later became Park Cakes, was built on the site. The Bakewell Tin and Metal works were right next to the green with the Daubhill Brick Works (opened 1883) not far away. Another bowling club, the Beaumont ,stood off Deane Church Lane until the late-sixties. 

A tollgate was in operation near the Stags Head. The toll allowed traffic to travel along the road between various gates on payment of a fee. It closed in the 1870s.

Tong's Brewery took over the Stags Head in the early part of the twentieth century. Prior to that the pub had brewed its own beer. It became a Walker's pub in 1923 and a Tetley Walker house in 1960.

The pub was refurbished in the 1960s though it kept its revolving doors until another refurbishment in 1986.

Tetley Walker had been part of the Allied Breweries (later Allied Lyons) group since 1961. The brewery had the idea in the early eighties of transferring pubs into a new subsidiary called Peter Walker Ltd. The pubs were done up in a 'traditional' style and in 1986 the Stags Head's became a Walkers pub. [4]. Other examples included the Howcroft on Pool Street, the Ainsworth Arms on Halliwell Road, the Sally UpSteps (Stanley Arms)  on Chorley Old Road, the Cross Guns on Deane Road and the Church in New Bury. In the autumn of that year £100,000 was spent and the range of Walker's ales introduced.

By 1995, the Peter Walker concept was being put out to grass and the Stags Head gained an alternative identity as Mr Q's, a sort of sports bar aimed at drinkers aged 18-25. However, it retained the Stags Head name on the front of the building.

Allied Lyons got out of the pub business and in 1999 its chain of Mr Q's pubs was sold to Punch Taverns. Punch owned the Stags Head for just ten years and presided over its decline. One day in 2009 landlady Jackie Heyes looked out of the window and saw a 'For Sale' sign outside the pub. Ms Heyes had signed a five-year lease with Punch only a few months earlier after it had been closed for six months. Although she had her partner Ian Matthews managed to raise £200,000 it was well short of the £295,000 asking price. [5] 

The pub was sold to a local firm Mayble Ltd, based at the Gibbon Street Garage further down Daubhill. It closed at the beginning of September 2009.

But while that may have signalled the end of the Stags Head as a pub it wasn't the end of the building. Mayble Ltd converted the former pub in to the Manor House, seemingly a suite of offices. A local business, the retail chemist chain Freshphase Ltd claimed on its March 2016 accounts to be using 200 St Helens Road – the former Stags Head pub – as its head office. The Manor House has also been hauled over the coals for using the premises as a wedding/conference centre, despite not having applied for planning permission. An application (95030/15) was made by a Mr Ali, based at 177 St Helens Road in 2015.

But despite the Manor House being used as offices and as a wedding reception centre, by April 2017 it was still appearing on Bolton Council's list of empty properties. It was said to have been an empty building since it closed as a pub in September 2009. As anyone living in the area will testify, that simply isn't true.

The Stags Head pictured around 1970. The signage over the top of the pub contains its old Walkers livery which pre-dated that company's merger with Tetley's in 1960.

The Manor House, as the Stags Head now is, pictured in July 2016 (copyright Google Street View).

[1] Historic England.  Accessed 25 April 2017.
[2] National Library of Scotland. Accessed 26 April 2017. 
[3) Manchester Courier, 18 December 1841.
[4] What's Doing, the Greater Manchester beer-drinkers' monthly magazine. September 1986.
[5] Bolton News, 23 July 2009. Accessed 26 April 2017. 
JimSant's piece for Bolton Revisited about the Daubhill area is well worth a read. Accessed 26 April 2017.