Wednesday, 26 March 2014

New Zealand Chief

New Zealand Chief Bolton

The side wall of the New Zealand Chief can be seen on the left-hand side of this photo taken in the late-fifties/early-sixties. Note the small petrol station in the foreground. Photo by Peter Haslam from the Clarke Chronicler's website.

Dating back to the 1830s the New Zealand Chief stood for 150 years on Great Moor Street just a little further up from St Patrick’s church.

The pub was listed in an 1849 list of Bolton pubs as the Indian Chief and there is no indication as to when it changed its name.

New Zealand Chief Great Moor Street Bolton
New Zealand Chief pictured before its closure in 1984.

The New Zealand Chief reputedly had the smallest bar in England – at least until alterations took place in 1959.  The bar measured just 6ft by 2ft 2ins and can be seen in this picture taken by the Bolton Evening News on 24 March 1959.

A story was told that a man weighing more than 20 stones failed to win a bet that he could pull himself a pint from the bar's single set of handpumps. He became wedged while attempting to do so. [1]

The New Zealand Chief closed in December 1984 [2] and was put up for sale by its then owners, Greenall Whitley, who inherited the pub after taking over the Bolton brewery of Magee, Marshall & Co in 1958. It was sold to be redeveloped as offices and demolition began in February 1986. [3]

The new building housed a firm of solicitors until it was demolished at the beginning of 2014 to make way for Bolton’s new bus/rail interchange.

[1] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough, published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers monthly magazine. February 1985 issue.
[3] What’s Doing, April 1986.

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