A photo of the development on the top of Bangor Street seen in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). Prince Street can be seen in the distance. While both streets existed in the Albert’s time none of the residential buildings remain. Poplar Street has gone. The Albert stood at the junction of Poplar Street and Duke Street. The site of the pub is roughly halfway between the entrance gate and Prince Street, approximately where the buildings on the left are now situated.
The area around Prince Street was developed from the 1860s onwards. Prior to that there was just School Hill House, the School Hill Chemical Works and a few houses on side of Prince Street heading up from Higher Bridge Street.
The construction of the Albert Mills by Barlow and Jones in 1851 was in some way the catalyst for the development of the area in order to provide homes for workers close to their employment. Other cotton mills were subsequently built in nearby Vernon Street.
In working-class areas such as this the pubs – or certainly the beer houses – weren’t far behind. The Albert Inn on Poplar Street was one such beer house Named after mill it was built in the late-1860s/early-1870s and was one of a number of licensed premises that sprang up in the area.
The Bolton brewer of William Tong bought the Albert and the pub became a Walker’s house when they took over Tong’s in 1923.
The end for the Albert came in strange circumstances in February 1952 when the police objected to the renewal of its licence on the grounds that it was a “redundant pub”. True, in the area nowadays bounded by Topp Way, School Hill, Prince Street and Higher Bridge Street there was also the Rainforth, the School Hill Hotel, the Rock House, the Hearts Of Oak and the Mitre, while the Haydock Arms had closed two years previously, but it was a strange call for the police to make. Whatever – the magistrates listened to the police and the Albert closed.
The Bolton Evening News captured the Albert Inn shortly before its closure. The image can be seen here. The pub’s address was 46-48 Poplar Street suggesting it was knocked into number 48 from number 46. This was done in the early part of the twentieth century. Evidence can be seen on the image from the bricked up doorway next to the pub’s entrance.