Thursday, 3 April 2014

Recreation Tavern, Hobson Street

Recreation Tavern Hobson Street Bolton

Recreation Tavern, Hobson Street, pictured in the 1920s when it was owned by Tong's Brewery of Deane. Picture in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000.

The Recreation Tavern was situated on Hobson Street, which ran parallel to Lever Street.

The pub took its name from the nearby Heywood Recreation Ground – Bobby Heywood’s Park – which was situated quite close to the pub. Bobby Heywood’s was the subject of a gift by the Liberal politician and former Mayor of that name in 1862. In the years after it opened the surrounding area was developed and the Recreation Tavern opened in the late nineteenth century.

In the 1930s the pub was nicknamed the War Office. The name apparently derived from the pub acting as a local centre for pigeon racing at a time when the government’s war office actively still used carrier pigeons to deliver messages to and from the front line. [1]

The Recreation closed in 1959. At the time it was owned by Walker’s Brewery of Warringtonwho were about to build a new pub just off Lever Edge Lane, which was named the Prince Rupert when it finally opened. As part of the deal to gain a full drinks licence for the new pub, Walker’s surrendered the beer-only licences of the Recreation Tavern and the Roebuck on Kay Street (opposite the Dog & Partridge in the town centre).  [2]

In the early seventies the pub was demolished along with a number of surrounding streets including Slaterfield, Platt Street and Venture Street. New housing replaced the demolished terraces and while the layout of the streets has changed the Recreation was roughly where the Slaterfield community centre now stands.

[1] Shut About Barclay Perkins. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2014. The article contains details of a number of  pub nicknames in 1930s Bolton.

[2] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

Hobson Street no longer exists, but Slaterfield Community Centre is the approximate site of the former Recreation Tavern.

1 comment:

  1. Eric Smith stayed there until he got married in 1954. does anyone remember him?