Saturday, 19 April 2014

Golden Cup, 12 Haigh Street off Higher Bridge Street

Haigh Street looking towards Higher Bridge Street pictured in May 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). The Golden Cup was situated on the left-hand side on this view.

In the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century it was common for pubs to brew their own beer. Most were supplied by wholesale or ‘common’ brewers but in 1853 it was estimated that around a third of Bolton’s pubs and beerhouses brewed their own ale, which amounted to around 100 breweries in the town (in April 2014 there are three).

The Golden Cup on Haigh Street situated just off Higher Bridge Street was one of those brewing its own beer. In the 1880s it was owned by a Farnworth man, John Tong, described as a provision dealer and beer retailer of Dixon Green. [1]

The early part of the twentieth century saw brewpubs snapped up by wholesale brewers anxious to build up a tied estate for their products and this vertically-integrated business model was the modus operandi for the brewing industry until the 1990s. 

By 1932 the Golden Cup was one of just seven brewpubs left in Bolton (the others were: the British Oak on Derby Street, the Colliers Arms on Chorley Old Road, the Greyhound on Manchester Road, the Lord Raglan on Halliwell Road, the Rope and Anchor on Kay Street and the School Hill Hotel on School Hill).

The Second World War finished off much of the brew pubs as raw materials became scarce. However, there is evidence to suggest that the Golden Cup had already brewed its last even before 1939.

Have a look at this set of photographs from the Humphrey Spender archive. [2]  Although the interior of the pub has not been positively identified it is thought to have been the Golden Cup. The photos were taken in August 1937 and already the pub is advertising Walker’s beers. We know the Golden Cup was a Walker’s pub when it closed in 1959. Perhaps it had stopped brewing and was stocking only Walker’s beers when Spender took these shots.

The area was cleared  in the sixties and seventies and one of  Gordon’s Ford repair sheds now stands on the site. Haigh Street itself acts as an exit from the filing station on Kay Street.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough, published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] Bolton Worktown project. 

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