Friday, 4 April 2014

Forge Tavern, Bridgeman Street

The corner of Bridgeman Street and  Fletcher Street. The Forge Tavern was situated where the patch of grass is now situated.

The Forge Tavern was situated at 219-221 Bridgeman Street, on the corner of Venture Street. The pub was close to the Farmers Arms (just a few yards away at number 205) and was one of a cluster of pubs close to the Bridgeman Street/Fletcher Street junction.

The pub’s name was taken from the Atlas Forge directly opposite which was built some time between 1866 and 1869. [1]

The streets opposite the Atlas Forge were laid out following its construction and the Forge Tavern was built in the late nineteenth century.

Lloyd Egerton, who often used to stay with relatives in nearby Venture Street in the 1940s, recalls: “At the end of the street was the Forge Tavern. I dread to think how many pints of ale must have been downed at that pub, the workers were allowed to go out in working hours.” [2]

Both 'Delta59’ and ‘Radlad’ back up Lloyd’s claim that workers from Atlas were allowed to go the Forge during the day. [See here]  [3]

The pub was owned by local brewery Magees, situated around half a mile away, but  Magees was taken over by the Warrington firm of Greenall Whitley and the Forge Tavern closed down in the early seventies.

Venture Street and the whole of those properties at the bottom of Bridgeman Street, were demolished around 1972/73.

The Atlas Forge continued production until 1975 and Walmsley’s acted as steel stockholders until it closed in 1984. Mill View Nursing Home was built on the site in 1990.

[1] Wikipedia. Accessed 4 April 2014.
[4] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

Walmsleys Atlas Forge Bolton

Walmsleys Atlas Forge pictured around 1975


  1. Hi
    Forge Tavern on Bridgeman St never closed in 1960. I worked at Walmsleys Forge in the late 60s and the Forge was open then and would say for certain that it actually was open in the 70s. This needs rectifying in your write up. A more accurate date would be to say it closed in the 1970s

  2. Thanks for that, Robert. I've amended the date.

  3. The forge tavern was never on the corner it was the farmers arms as l lived there 1962/5 my farther and mum were landlord/Lady. The tavern was a small pub several doors further up Bridgeman street.And yes staff from the forge were allowed out for drinks and several had tabs of which normally were settled on a Friday on pay day. Tony Lorant