Friday, 11 April 2014

Bradford Arms/Bradford Hotel, Bradford Street

Site of the Bradford Arms, now occupied by four townhouses. April 2014.

The Bradford Hotel – or the Bradford Arms as it later became known – was situated at 107 Bradford Street, The Haulgh.  

The pub was first licensed in 1880 after the transfer of the licence of the White Bear on Deansgate.  [1]

That part of The Haulgh had recently been built up.  An 1850 map of the area shows a sparsely populated Haulgh New Road, as Bradford Street was then known. Radcliffe Road was known as Haulgh Lane and the area further along the lane, heading back towards town near Castle Street on the right-hand side was a tree-lined area known as Top O’Th Haulgh.

By 1891 Haulgh Lane was named Bradford Street and the Bradford Hotel had been built and named after the street on which it stood.  A large saw mill stood next to the pub towards Bury Road with Highfield House and its gardens standing across the road.

By the 1920s the Bradford was owned by William Tong & Sons Ltd whose Diamond Brewery stood at the top of Blackshaw Lane at the junction with Deane Road.  Tong’s was taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington in 1923 before becoming a Tetley pub on their takeover of Walker’s in 1960.

The pub had lost the ‘Hotel’ suffix some years earlier and was now the Bradford Arms. There have been at least three other pubs in the area by that name: one less than half a mile away at the top of Bridgeman Place closed in 1936, while a pub of the same name on Foundry Street closed in 1960. There is still a Bradford Arms on Buckley Lane in Farnworth.

Bradford Arms Bradford Street Bolton

A contributor posted this picture of the Bradford Arms to the 70s Bolton Facebook group. [2] The group of men outside the pub are Bolton Wanderers fans waiting for some Burnley fans who were drinking inside. The photograph was taken on 4 April 1988 prior to a Division 4 match between the two sides at Burnden Park. Fighting broke out shortly after the picture was taken and continued all the way up Bradford Street to the town centre. 

The end for the Bradford came in 2004. The pub struggled on through the nineties and the first decade of the millennium and was undergoing a refurbishment in December of that year when a fire broke out in a first floor room. A workman on the site was alerted to the fire when his radio cut out and managed to escape. [3]

The pub remained empty for over three years before being demolished in 2008. Developers then submitted plans for four townhouses on the empty site which was sold with planning permission the following year. The townhouses were completed in 2012.

Here's a picture of the pub for sale in 2008.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] Facebook. 70s Bolton.
[3] Bolton News, 11 February 2008. Full report here.

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