Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Albert Inn, Derby Street

The Albert Inn on Derby Street, pictured in February 2003. Note the initials SL on the date stone above the date 1884 (see below for explanation). Picture from bolton.org.uk.

The Albert Inn was situated on Derby Street, opposite what is now the Lidl supermarket. For many years prior to the second world war it was owned by the Leach family, whose brewery stood behind the pub.

James Leach is listed as a beer retailer and shopkeeper on Bridgeman Street in Slater’s Bolton Directory of 1843, but by the time Whellan & Co published their Bolton directory in 1853 James Leach is listed both as a brewer and the owner of a beer house on Derby Street. The beer house is un-named but it is likely to have been the Albert Inn.  [1]

According to Gordon Readyhough [2], Leach still owned the pub in the 1870s, but it appears to have been re-built the following decade. However, a stone on the side of the pub – which still stands – gives the date as 1884 along with the initials SL. This is believed to refer to Sarah Leach, a relative of James Leach, who by then was in control of the business.

Leach’s Brewery Ltd, with an address of the Albert Brewery, Hammond Street, Bantry Street and 181-183 Derby Street (the pub’s address) was registered in 1905 but brewing ceased in 1936 when the company went into voluntary liquidation. [3]

Leach's had a small tied estate with brewing  carried out for pubs other than the Albert and in 1908 the Albion Hotel on Moor Lane was advertising itself as selling ‘Leach’s Home-Brewed Ales’.

Both the Albert and the Albion were sold to Cunningham’s Brewery of  Warrington after Leach’s collapse and in 1951 the two were part of a parcel of 34 pubs and 18 off-licences sold by Cunningham’s to Joshua  Tetley & Son of Leeds for a sum of £550,000.* [4] 

In the nineties, Tetley’s got out of vertically-integrated business model where breweries owned huge tied estates. The Albert was sold to Pubmaster and later came under the control of the Mistry family, the owners of the nearby Bantry Club, and they connected up the two licensed premises. 

Around 2009 the Albert closed down. The building is believed to still be owned by the Mistrys but is now an Asian restaurant.

·       *  Cunningham’s eventually merged with another Bolton brewery, Howcroft’s of Spa Road in June 1969, but the entire concern was wound up just six months later.

[1] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (1982)
[2] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000)
[3] The London Gazette. Issue 34338, dated 6 November 1936. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
[4] A Century Of Cheshire Brewers. Retrieved 8 April 2014.

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