Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Anchor Inn, Bury Old Road

Anchor Inn Bury Old Road Bolton

The Anchor Inn, March 2011. Image copyright Lost Pubs Of Bolton.

A pub that quietly slipped off the scene in 2008 was the Anchor Inn on the corner of Eagle Street and Bury Old Road, which for the previous 25 years had operated as a free house.

Quite how long it was a pub isn’t known but the building is certainly shown on an 1848 map of Bolton. It may well have been a beer house which generally weren’t marked out on maps of the time.

According to Gordon Readyhough [1] the pub was once known as the Bright View until it became a Magee’s house and changed its name to the Anchor.

The Mill Hill area was a hive of industrial activity and there were numerous pubs between Bury Old Road and Folds Road, particularly along Mill Street and Mill Hill Street, both of which still stand. The Anchor was on the edge of the district and served a mix of industrial buildings and nearby housing in the Bury Road/Castle Street area.

After Magee’s were taken over it became a Greenall’s house and can be seen on this 1976 Bolton Evening News photograph. Note the cobbled streets and the old Bolton Parish Church school in the background (re-built nearby in Kestor Street the eighties).

Although much of the nearby heavy industry largely disappeared in the seventies and eighties there are still a number of offices and industrial units close to the Anchor. But, by the early eighties the Anchor, like a number of other pubs (e.g the Ancient Shepherd and the Alma) was surplus to Greenall’s requirements and it closed and remained empty for some time. However, it reopened in early-1983 [2] after being bought by the Mistry brothers who owned the Bantry club on Derby Street. This time it was run as a free house. Boddington’s beers were sold instead of Greenalls and there was an upturn in the pub’s fortunes. Boddies real ale was now on sale [3] at 53p for a pint of bitter, which was probably average for the time. Cask-conditioned Boddingtons Mild was soon added [4].

The Anchor was quite a pleasant pub, open-plan with a centrally-located bar on the left as you went through the Bury Old Road entrance, and a comfortable lounge ahead of you and to the right.

The pub later bought the adjoining fish and chip shop and opened it as the ‘Anchor Chippy’ serving the nearby industrial units.

The Anchor quietly closed in 2008 and is now known as the Anchor House. The Mistrys have got out of the licensed trade altogether and the old pub is now being run as office premises. Indian Karaoke is one of the businesses based there while the former chippy is now Mandy’s Pantry.

[1] The Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough, published by Neil Richardson (2000)
[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers monthly magazine, March 1983
[3] What’s Doing, May 1983
[4] What’s Doing, October 1983

Anchor Inn Bury Old Road Bolton

A side view of the Anchor Inn in 2011 taken from Eagle Street and showing the anchor stone near to the top of the building.

Image copyright Lost Pubs Of Bolton.

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