Friday, 30 May 2014

Wellington/Welcome Traveller, Union Buildings


While a waste disposal skip may seem an odd choice to illustrate a point, this skip, and the fenced-off area next to it, mark the approximate site of the Wellington (formerly the Welcome Traveller) on Union Buildings. On the other side of the wall is the Bolton-Blackburn railway line. Right behind us is the now-closed Anchor. To the right is Bradshawgate and in the distance are the flats in the former Bolton County Grammar School on Great Moor Street.

We dealt with one of the pubs on Union Buildings, a small street some 40-50 yards in length that still exists just off Bradshawgate, when we looked at the Anchor, a building that still stands and which only ceased to be a pub a few years ago. Now let’s look at the other pub.

It’s hard to believe but there were initially two pubs along that short stretch. The  first pub to be opened on Union Buildings was the Welcome Traveller situated just across the street from the Anchor at number 11.

Nicholas Heyes was listed on the 1849 list of the Great Bolton beerhouses as the landlord of the Welcome Traveller. The pub isn’t listed in the 1843 Bolton Directory although Mr Heyes (or Heys as his surname was spelt) is listed on the 1841 Census as residing in Union Buildings, most likely at the same address. At that time he was 27 years old, employed as a cotton spinner and lived at the address with his wife, Margaret, his two children and 20-year-old John Heys, presumably another relative.

Mr Heyes obviously decided in the mid-1840s to take advantage of the 1830 Beer House Act which enabled common householders to open a room in their house for the sale and consumption of beer – a public house – so he opened the Welcome Traveller at number 11 Union Buildings.

The Welcome Traveller was re-named the Wellington later in the 1850s, according to Gordon Readyhough [1]. A clue as to why it chose that name can be found at the National Archives in Kew, which holds records for the Wellington Benefit Building Society, which was listed as being at the Welcome Traveller on  Union Buildings. It is entirely possible that it became a branch of a building society after it ceased to be a pub, but it is also likely that the Welcome Traveller housed a branch of a building society and changed its name to that of the financial institution.  Certainly, there were branches of the Wellington Benefit Building Society in Manchester and Liverpool, as well as in Bolton, although it had been struck off the Register of Friendly Societies by1 January 1913. [2]

The pub remained in the Heyes family for some years. Nicholas Heyes died in 1873 and his wife, Margaret, took over. In 1883, another of Nicholas Heyes’ children, also named Nicholas, married Mary Ann Garrity at Holy Trinity Church. The 23-year-old Nicholas was described as a ‘beerseller’ residing at 11 Union Buildings – the Wellington. His father, the late Nicholas Heyes, was described as a ‘common brewer’ which suggests the pub brewed its own beer at one time as well as for other pubs . Deposits were taken from small savers and mortgages arranged. Heyes was known to own a number of properties in the town centre.  


After Mary’s death, the younger Nicholas Heyes managed a number of pubs, including the Bridge Inn on Bridge Street and the Falcon on Kay Street. By 1911, he was living on Huntroyde Avenue and working as a brewer.

The Wellington closed in 1906 by which time it was owned by John Hamer’s brewery based at the Volunteer Inn at Bromley Cross. The building no longer exists and it seems the Wellington closed because of the needs of the railway. Additional sidings were constructed next to the Bolton to Blackburn line and that necessitated the demolition of a number of the buildings at the top of Union Buildings. An 1891 map of the town centre shows the buildings at the top end of the street clearly visible along with  Heyes Court directly behind the Wellington. In the 1910 map the area has been swept away.

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

[2] National Archives. Accessed 29 May 2014. 

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Clifton Arms/Gateway, Newport Street


A rather forlorn-looking Gateway (formerly the Clifton Arms) pictured in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). By then the pub had already been closed for two years.

It’s always a shame to see a pub closed and boarded up. Sometimes the pubs that have gone are ones that only ever sold keg or smooth beer and while one feels they aren’t much of a loss even that is never the case. Some of these pubs have stood for a hundred years or more and served thousands of customers. But in the case of the Gateway – or the Clifton as most people will remember it – the fact that it closed is nothing more than a crying shame.

Twenty years ago there was a good little crawl from the Clifton to the York to the Sweet Green – or the other way round before carrying on to town.

Under the stewardship of landlord Pete Morris the Clifton began selling guest beers a full three or four years before the 1990 Beer orders chipped away at the brewery tie. Jennings Bitter was a regular on his bar alongside cask Tetley Mild and Bitter long before independent brewers from outside the area got space in a tied house.

By the time Pete retired in the early 2000s he regularly had about five real ales on the bar.
But it was never the same after he left. Many regulars left. The hand pumps soon fell into disuse and although the pub began to do food at lunchtime it simply wasn’t the same any more.

Licensees came and went and nobody seemed to be able to make a go of this once-thriving pub and it closed in early 2010.

The Clifton dated back to the 19th century and in the 1870s it was a beerhouse known as the Newport Arms. In those days that part of Bolton now bounded by Newport Street, Great Moor Street, Trinity Street and Blackhorse Street was known as Newtown and was inhabited mainly by Irish immigrants who moved to Bolton after the famine.

Despite that, the Clifton claimed to be celebrating its centenary in April 1987 although presumably it was the centenary of being renamed the Clifton. Anyone buying a pint with an old penny would get it at 1887 prices (1d, or 1/2p in new money). [1]

In the early part of the twentieth-century it was one of the few tied houses belonging to Leach’s Brewery based at the Albert Arms on Derby Street, a concern that went out of business in 1936 [see the entry for the Albert for more about Leach’s]. A member of the family, Wilbraham Leach, was the landlord of the Clifton in the 1890s and married another member of a pub-owning family, Emily Hilton, whose family owned the Uncle Tom’s Cabin pub and brewery on Lever Street. 

The Clifton was sold to the Empress Brewery of Manchester before becoming a Walkers pub in 1929. Walkers merged with Tetley of Leeds in 1961. [2]

The pub underwent a refurbishment in 1980 [3]. It was one of a number of Tetley pubs that were re-branded as Walker’s outlets and were given a new range of Walkers beers as well as a refurbishment in a more traditional style.  The bar was moved to the right-hand side of the pub and the premises were re-decorated throughout. Another refurbishment took place in 1986. [4]

The Clifton was renamed the Gateway around 2004 and after its closure it was up for sale for a few years before being converted into retail premises in 2013. The Post Office based across the road from the Clifton moved into the premises after being displaced due to the demolition of properties on that side of Newport Street for the construction of Bolton’s Bus/Rail Interchange.

The pub can be seen here in 2002  and  in the background in this picture from 2010.  But this is a great pic from 1989 Note the etched windows. 

[1] Bolton Beer Break, published by the Bolton Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, Summer 1987 edition.
[2] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000 by Gordon Readyhough, published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[3] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester Beer Drinkers monthly magazine, January 1981 edition
[4] What’s Doing, September 1986

New Globe/Rock House Hotel, corner of Kent Street and Duke Street


The New Globe pictured in May 2014. The pub had been shuttered earlier in the year but it appears that the new owners had taken up residency by the time the photo was taken. Kent Street runs to the right of the pub,  Duke Street to the left.


The New Globe closed at the end of 2013 and its days as a pub appear to have come to an end.

The pub was in existence as a beerhouse certainly as early as 1871 when Christopher Briggs was the licensee. It was known for all but the last few years of its life as the Rock House Hotel, perhaps due to its stone structure.

Although it was built a residential hotel, at first it had only a beer licence, but the Shakespeare on Bradshawgate had closed around 1875 and its full licence had simply been surrendered to the council. James Drinnan saw an opportunity and applied to have the Shakespeare’s licence transferred to the Rock. [1] He was successful and in 1883 the Rock House Hotel became a fully licensed inn.

The Drinnans had moved around the corner to a shop at 103 School Hill by the early part of the twentieth century and the Rock House was bought by Chadwick’s Walmersley Brewery in Bury. Chadwick’s remained in control until 1927 when they sold their brewery and 43 pubs to Walker & Homfray Ltd of Salford. Walker & Homfray merged with Wilson’s of Newton Heath, Manchester in 1949.

Wilson’s were in control of the Rock House for almost 40 years. In 1988 it was one of 210 pubs sold by the brewery to a property company named Heron International, but within weeks it had been sold again, one of 60 pubs bought by the Wolverhampton brewery, Banks’s. [2]

The layout of the Rock was similar to many nineteenth-century suburban pubs until a refurbishment in the nineties brought in an open-plan scheme.  There were two entrances: a main door on Kent Street and a side entrance on Duke Street. Before the refurb there was a ‘vault’ to the left of the Kent Street entrance with a lounge bar to the right that included a dart board at the far end. The Duke Street entrance led to a small side room which was used as a pool room and was still in situ after the refurb.

The area around the Rock changed over the final 30 years or so of its life. In the late-seventies and early-eighties the old terraces on Davenport Street, Duke Street, Clarence Street and School Hill were all swept away and were replaced by new housing. While there were pubs in the past on School Hill they had gone by the early-eighties, while the United Veterans Club on Duke Street went out of business in the nineties. If anything, the Vets was much busier than the Rock, especially at weekends when the club would put on cabaret singers.

Around 2002 the Globe on Higher Bridge Street closed its doors for the final time. The locals decamped almost en masse to the Rock and the pub was renamed the New Globe.

The pub carried on until 2012 when it closed for a while and in January 2013 planning application was put in for the New Globe’s conversion into a house. At the time it was stated that the pub had been closed for over a year – news to its regulars. In March 2013 planning application was granted but the pub remained open until just before Christmas 2013.

Although it was boarded up around the time of closure the sheet metal boarding was taken down by the time the above picture was taken in May 2014. Inscriptions on the windows were still visible publicising karaoke, singers and cheap booze offers and the words “The New Globe is here to stay.” It gave the impression of a pub doing its best to justify its existence, but licensed premises to a pubco are just pieces of property to squeeze income out of. The New Globe was obviously more valuable as piece of real estate than as licensed premises and the pub was closed and sold.


The Rock House in 1952.  Note the door on the corner leading to the vault. This was long gone even by the time this writer would visit the pub in the late seventies. 


The Rock House pictured in 1982 when it was a Wilson's pub.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton, 1800-2000. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] Bolton Beer Break, the magazine of the Bolton branch of the Campaign for Real Ale. Summer 1988 issue.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Ram's Head, 275 Derby Street


The site of the Ram's Head at the Derby Street junction with  High Street. 

The Ram’s Head was situated at 275 Derby Street on the corner of High Street and operated as a pub for around 150 years. It was initially a beer house, meaning it opened after the 1830 Beer House Act was passed, and as such it was able to sell beer but not wines and spirits.

It seems we have a man named Peter Hodson to thank for the Ram’s Head. The 1836 Bolton Directory lists Mr Hodson as a beer retailer on Derby Street but by the time the 1843 Bolton Directory was published he was a licensed victualler, meaning he had a full licence to sell the harder stuff as well as beer. However, the 1841 census lists Mr Hodson as a ‘publican’ – in other words he had a public house licence by then. He ran the pub for some years as he is listed as the landlord in the 1853 Bolton Directory. [1]

The pub was later taken over by the local firm of Magee, Marshall and Co, whose brewery was situated just a couple of hundred yards away from the Ram’s Head on Cricket Street. It later became a Greenall’s pub as a result of their takeover of Magee’s in 1958.

The Ram’s Head had a classic pub layout: a lounge to the right of the front entrance and a ‘vault’ or pool room to the left with the bar laid out in the middle.It continued as licensed premises until the early part of the millennium, but the end for the Ram’s Head as a pub came in 1987. [2] 

The Crown Hotel, a little further down Derby Street, had been bought from Greenall's in 1980 by the Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes. At one time the Crown was Magees brewery tap, but despite the brewery being closed by Greenall’s in 1970 the company still owned the brewery site for its Cambrian soft drinks subsidiary.

Someone had the bright idea of knocking down the Crown Hotel to free up the land for a few more parking spaces – but what about the Buffaloes?  Greenall’s offered them the Ram’s Head instead. The premises closed as a pub and continued for around the next 15 years as the RAOB Club. When it finally closed its doors it was converted into an Asian grocery store.

[1] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (1982).


[2] Bolton Beer Break, the magazine of the Bolton Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale. Spring 1988 issue.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Gypsy's Tent/Gipsy's Tent/Winston's, 178 Deansgate



The site of the Gypsy's Tent in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The pub has been closed for some years and its future is uncertain. According to Bolton Council's empty property list the pub is owned by a company named PJM Trading Ltd, which has since gone out of business.




The Gypsy’s Tent (or Gipsy’s Tent as it was spelt up until the nineties) was built in the 19th century. Although the pub’s address  is on Deansgate it was severed from the rest of the street when Marsden Road bridge was built in 1877.

During the latter half of that century a band of travelling dentists would extract teeth at the rear of the building. As seems to have been common in Victorian dentistry a brass band was often present and would play tunes in order to drown out the patient’s screams. [1]

The pub came into the hands of local brewers William Tong in the early part of the 20th century before being taken over by Walkers of Warrington in 1923. Walkers merged with Tetley’s in 1961 to form Tetley Walker but in August 1981 it was decided to put the Gipsy’s Tent (as it was then) up for sale. [2]

A local firm, Bandmatic, took over the pub in 1983. They operated pool tables in a number of local pubs and had also bought the Rose Hill on Manchester Road, which they named Churchill’s.  The Gypsy’s Tent was renamed Winston’s when it reopened in September 1984 and a refurbishment saw the former three-roomed pub turned into an open-plan arrangement.

By 1989 Regal Knight Hotels were the new owners [3] and the pub was sold again in 1996 with the upstairs room transformed into Romany’s function room.

The Gypsy’s Tent was closed in 2007 and although it was put up for sale it appears not to have been sold.  According to Bolton Council’s empty property list the owner is a company named PJM Trading Ltd although a company by that name based in Widnes was dissolved in 2011. Attempt to sell the pub appear to have been unsuccessful.

The pub is situated on a slight incline leading down to the River Croal and there have been rumours that the foundations are now unsafe.




[1] Bolton Town Centre, A Modern History. Part One: Deansgate, Victoria Square, Churchgate and Surrounding Areas, 1900-1998. Published by Neil Richardson.

[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers’ monthly magazine, August 1981.


[3] What’s Doing, March 1989.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Albion Hotel, Bridgeman Street


The bottom end of Bridgeman Street pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The boarded-up Church Hotel is on the left. Station Street is on the left-hand side of the street running across the picture, Moncrieffe Street runs to the right. The Albion Hotel was actually situated on the other side of the role on the corner of a very brief continuation of Bridgeman Street, with the railway line running behind it.

This isn’t the Albion Hotel on Moor Lane. That’s very much alive and well, thankfully – this is another Albion, a long-lost pub once situated at the very bottom of Bridgeman Street, and although both pubs date back to around the middle of the nineteenth century by the dawn of the twentieth-century only the Moor Lane Albion remained.

Bridgeman Street was once said to be the longest street in Bolton. Initially it ran from Bradford Street all the way up to High Street and was later extended even further up to Adelaide Street.

In 1838 Bridgeman Street was affected by the opening of the Manchester to Bolton railway. This involved digging a huge ditch to accommodate the new rail tracks with Bridgeman Street carried over the line by means of a bridge.

By 1849 the Albion Hotel was in existence as a public house – not a beer house - at the corner of Bridgeman Street and Station Street, a street that still exists to this day. Station Street ran down the side of the old Trinity Station building for just a few yards until it met Moncrieffe Street outside the Church Hotel, but when the old station building was pulled down in 1987 Station Street was truncated just a few yards where it met the main carriageway.

The Albion’s existence became a little more precarious in 1884 when Bridgeman Street bridge was pulled down and the street split into two: the original Bridgeman Street, which ends where it meets Crook Street with the Church Hotel on the corner, and Lower Bridgeman Street which runs on the other side of the railway line.

The pub’s luck ran out in 1899. By then the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway owned the premises and they decided to pull it down. An 1891 map of Bolton shows the Albion all alone, opposite the Church Hotel and with the railway line running behind it. It was very much in the way. Nathaniel Tyldesley had run the pub for over 20 years and, in his late sixties, he sold out to the railway company

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Duke/Archduke Charles, Deane Road

The Duke – or the Archduke Charles Hotel – to give it its full original name was situated at the bottom of Deane Road, close to its junction with Mayor Street and University Way (formerly College Way).

The pub was actually one of the earliest in the area and Gordon Readyhough states that it dated back to the late-eighteenth century. [1]

By the middle of the nineteenth century terraced streets had begun to spring up on the opposite side of Deane Road, which in those days was known as Blackburn Street from town up to Cannon Street and Pikes Lane from Cannon Street onwards. Punch Street, Duncan Street and Noble Street were all in existence by 1849 and soon the stretch beyond the Duke and down towards town would consist of more housing and more than a dozen beerhouses in the space of just a few hundred yards.

Not far from the Duke was Chamber Hall. This was the seat of a branch of the Ormrod family, wealthy industrialists who made their money from cotton and banking. James Ormrod was a partner in the Bolton Bank, which through various takeovers and mergers, now forms part of the Royal Bank Of Scotland.

Chamber Hall and its land ran from close to the Duke all the way up towards what is now the Pikes Lane Health Centre and down towards the Bolton to Preston railway line.

On James’s death in 1825, his son Peter inherited his stake in the bank as well as his cotton manufacturing business. From 1856 to 1858 Peter built Wyresdale Hall at Scorton, near Garstang, some 40 miles from Deane. Chamber Hall appears to have been abandoned as the Ormrods left for their country estate and the hall was later demolished.

Rows of streets sprang up on the former Chamber Hall site and by the end of the nineteenth century the Duke, which still had its own brewery at that time, had an abundance of potential custom on its doorstep. It also had competition in the shape of the Deane Conservative Club, which had opened up just a few doors away. Indeed, when the new streets close to the pub were laid out two of them – Beaconsfield Street and Salisbury Street - took the names of prominent Conservative politicians of the day.

The Duke’s brewhouse lasted until the early part of the twentieth century. The pub was then bought by a local firm, William Tong’s, whose Diamond Brewery was situated little more than half a mile from the Duke, further up Deane Road – as it had by then become known – at the junction with Balshaw Lane. Tong’s were bought out by George Shaw of Leigh in 1923 and Shaw’s were in turn swallowed up by Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington a few years later. Walker’s merged with Joshua Tetley of Leeds in 1961 to form Tetley Walker.

It was as a Walker’s pub that the photograph at the top of the page was taken in the late-twenties. By then all reference to Archduke Charles was gone and it was operating under its former nickname. Given that the original Archduke Charles was an Austrian general there is every chance that the name was changed during World War 1. 

Note the words ‘Parlour’ and ‘Vault’ etched into the windows. The pub had a central entrance with a classic two-roomed layout and that arrangement continued until it closed in the 1990s.

The Duke was sold off and a takeway now stands on its site. For a while a sign proclaimed that short row of buildings as ‘Duke’s Corner’ though that has now gone.

The Conservative Club moved some years ago to a site further up Wigan Road, though it closed in 2011.  The building was demolished and is now a parking site noted for the presence of a takeaway situated in a converted double-decker bus.


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


The Duke pictured as it looked in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). The red double-decker bus in the distance is a mobile takeaway that often stands on the site of the original Deane Conservative Club.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Great Eastern/Claremont Hotel, Waterloo Street

The site of the Great Eastern pictured in September 2009 (copyright Google Street View) painted in green. In the mid-1990s it was a dark shade of blue. The pub stood on the corner of Calvin Street and in its previous incarnation as the Claremont Hotel it was situated across the road, where the back of the B&Q Superstore can be seen on the right-hand side of the photo. The whole of Waterloo Street was changing even before the Great Eastern closed in 1968. Car breakers now dominate one side of the street - scrapyards have been in the area for many years - while offices and retail outlets are on the other.  Indeed, the former Great Eastern premises probably challenges the Bolton Gate Company’s factory at the bottom of Waterloo Street as the oldest building left on the street.

The story of the Great Eastern on Waterloo Street is actually the story of two pubs.

The Claremont Hotel beerhouse – not to be confused with the pub of that name on Halliwell Road – existed for some years on Waterloo Street, possibly as early as the 1850s. However, in 1883 the owners decided to move from number 221 Waterloo Street to number 228, just across the road on the corner with Calvin Street. [1] A licence transfer application was put into the local magistrates and number 221 – the Claremont Hotel – closed as a pub and was converted into a private residence. The back of the Bolton branch of B&Q now stands on the site.

But instead of opening number 228 Waterloo Street as the ‘new Claremont Hotel’, the pub’s owners decided on a totally different name, the Great Eastern.

The new pub took its name from a ship, the SS Great Eastern, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and, at the time of its launch in 1858, by far the biggest ship that had ever been built. By the 1880s, though, the SS Great Eastern was coming to the end of its life. It was reduced to acting as a giant advertising hoarding sailing up and down the Mersey advertising Lewis’s Liverpool department store and it was broken up towards the end of that decade - not long after its namesake pub opened in Bolton. Its flagpole was later bought by Liverpool FC to stand on top of the Kop end at their Anfield ground.

Bolton’s Great Eastern pub lasted a good deal longer. As long ago as the 1930s it was nicknamed ‘the Ship’ by locals as a nod to the type of vessel that gave it its name. [2] It was owned by John Halliwell & Son who operated from the Alexandra Brewery on Mount Street in Halliwell. In December 1910, Halliwell’s were bought by another local firm, Magee, Marshall & Co, who supplied the Great Eastern from its Cricket Street brewery on Daubhill until the pub closed in 1968.

The Great Eastern was sold off for use as offices. A firm of accountants occupied the building for a number of years but it is now used as offices for a nearby firm of car breakers.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] As noted by Mass Observation. See Ron Pattinson’s Barclay Perkins blog for more Bolton pub nicknames from the 1930s. 

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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Coe Street Tavern, Coe Street


Coe Street pictured from Bridgeman Street in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). Albion Mill can be seen in on the left in the distance. Edbro’s offices on Lever Street can be seen at the far end of the street. One of Coe Street’s two pubs, the Coe Street Tavern, stood on the right-hand side about halfway down this first block.

The area in between Bridgeman Street and Lever Street became heavily-pubbed during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Indeed, it wasn’t unusual for a street to have two or even three beerhouses.

Take Coe Street, for example. The street began to be built up in the early part of the nineteenth century and old maps from 1850 show around half the houses built on the street.

Two beerhouses arrived in the street that century. At number 45 was the New Inn while just across the road, number 52, became the Coe Street Tavern. We’ll take a look at the latter.

The 1853 Bolton Directory shows no beerhouse licences in Coe Street but the 1849 list of Bolton beerhouses show a Coe Street Tavern owned by William Whittaker. By 1877 as the Holy Trinity parish records show the daughter of the landlord, Alfred Rolphs, baptised at the church that year. Their address is 52 Coe Street and Alfred’s profession was given as a ‘beerster’ – or beer seller. He wasn’t in that profession for long and by the time his next daughter, Mary Ellen, was baptised at Holy Trinity in 1882 he was working on the railways and appears to have done so for the rest of his life.

By the end of the century the Coe Street Tavern was owned by the Bolton brewery of John Atkinson on Commission Street, close to where the fire station now is. Atkinson’s pubs were bought by the Manchester brewery of Boardman’s in 1895 and became the property of another Manchester brewery, Cornbrook’s, when they bought out Boardman’s three years later.

The Coe Street Tavern remained a beer house. A number of pubs went for wine and spirits licences but the Tavern remained a beer house until it closed in 1949. Its neighbour across the street, the New Inn, continued in business until 1961 and the whole street was pulled down for redevelopment in the mid-sixties.

Coe Street still exists but it has been part of an industrial estate for almost 50 years.

White Lion, Deansgate

The former White Lion, pictured as a sports goods shop in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The area was the shutter is on the far right-hand side was formerly the entry to a courtyard. This was bricked up when the pub expanded into the open area in 1985.

It was a case of ‘another good ‘un gone’ when the White Lion closed its doors for the last time around 2001. It’s now a sports shop.

It was a decent enough pub with pleasant surroundings and back in the day sold well-kept ale – Wilson Mild and Bitter, perhaps even Websters Choice when that came out. It even made the Good Beer Guide on one or two occasions in the eighties and nineties.

So what went wrong? It was probably at the wrong end of town, for one thing. The Albion, Gypsy’s Tent, Greyhound, Hen and Chickens and Blue Boar were all within a few hundred yards and with trade dropping over the years it was inevitable that at least one or two of them would go. And so it proved with the White Lion and its nearest neighbour the Gypsy’s Tent both biting since the turn of the millennium.

The White Lion dated back to the late-nineteenth century so the fact that it lasted over 200 years before closing is doubly tragic. It came into Wilsons ownership in 1949 with their takeover of Walkers and Homfrays, the Salford brewery that had taken over the Manchester Brewery Company in 1912. A number of pubs that ended up owned by Wilsons pubs were earlier owned earlier by local brewery, Wingfields and which was taken over by Manchester Brewery in 1912 although it continued to act as a spirit merchant for some years afterwards.

A refurbishment in 1985 was quite tastefully done considering how some of other Wilsons pubs were knocked about in the early eighties. The vault and games room were extended into the former courtyard and they even retained the table football machine for a while. It was the first time the White Lion had been refurbished since the early sixties.

The nineties, though, were a tougher time as the big brewing combines of the time chose to get out of pub ownership or brewing - even both in some cases.

The White Lion spent a period closed in 1994-95 until it was bought by the Unique Pub Company. When it closed in around 2001 it was put up for sale again and was sold de-licensed to a company dealing in sports goods.

For much of the 20th century the White Lion’s immediate next-door neighbour was the Deansgate railway goods warehouse. From 1828 a railway line ran from Great Moor Street station, which was situated where Morrisons supermarket car park now is, and traversed across the sites of what are now the market and Moor Lane bus station – then a steel works - into the warehouse. The railway line was dismantled in the late-1920s and the warehouse was leased to a firm called Harry Mason & Sons Ltd. They left in 1962 and the warehouse was demolished the following year.

This 1996 shot shows the White Lion on the left-hand side of the image a few years before it closed.

[1] What’s Doing – the Greater  Manchester Beer Drinkers Monthly Magazine. December 1985 issue.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Horse And Jockey, Bradshawgate

The junction of Great Moor Street and Bradshawgate pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View). In 1875 the bottom end of Great Moor Street was known as Old Acres and was less than half the width it is now. As part of a road widening scheme a number of buildings on Bradshawgate were demolished and the row including the Balmoral was built in their place.

This isn’t a pub that any living person will remember given that it closed in 1875, but we’re going back to the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries now for a pub that was actually a predecessor to one of our current licensed premises.

The Horse and Jockey opened in the 1790s [1] at a site close to the modern-day junction of Bradshawgate and Great Moor Street, the bottom end of which was known as Old Acres. Emen Davenport was listed as the pub’s owner in the 1818 and 1824 Bolton Directories, by which it time it was more commonly known as the Old Horse & Jockey despite only having been in existence for perhaps 30 years or so. By 1836 it was being run by Samuel Horrocks, who was also a musician.

Henry Dutton was in charge during the 1840s and 1850s and in 1859 it was the meeting place of the Waltonian Angling Club with a local politician, Alderman Richard Dunderdale, as its chairman. [2] The club took its name from Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler, an early fisherman’s handbook and a number of towns opened ‘Waltonian’ fishing clubs in his honour.

Dunderdale was a tea dealer operating from premises on Deansgate and sat on Bolton Council. The title of ‘Alderman’ suggests he was chosen by his fellow councillors rather than having to submit to what passed for the electoral process in the middle of the nineteenth-century.

By the 1870s Old Acres was just a narrow street at its junction with Bradshawgate, but it was the point of entry into the town for people travelling from Bolton Moor, which had grown in population during the nineteenth century meaning that traffic had become much heavier. The council decided to improve the junction, but also to widen Bradshawgate down to where it meets Nelson Square.

In February 1875 the owner of the Horse and Jockey, William Bridge received a letter from the council asking for him to deliver possession of the premises. Another similarly-named pub the Horse and Groom, further along Bradshawgate, was also purchased along with a number of other properties along the same row. The properties were demolished later that year and a new row of buildings emerged in their place.

The Horse and Jockey’s public house licence was transferred to the Derby Arms at the bottom of Derby Street; however, one of the new properties built in place of the Horse and Jockey was the Balmoral Hotel, which opened in 1876 and which continues to trade to this day.

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

[2] Leisure In Bolton, 1750-1900, Robert Poole (1982).


Sunday, 11 May 2014

New Inn, 34 Halliwell Road

The New Inn was situated at 34 Halliwell Road and dated back to around the 1870s. It was either the last pub on the ‘Halliwell Mile,’ (or first depending on where you started)  a crawl of the dozen or so pubs that once ran the length of the road. [1]

When the landlord of the New Inn, Thomas Robertson, died in June 1909 the event was of sufficient importance to merit an article in the Bolton Evening  News, though perhaps that was due to his membership of another organisation as well as his career in the licensed trade:


“For 32 years he had held a licence in Bolton, coming to the borough 50 years ago from Perth, of which town he was a native.
He was at one time a member of the District Beer and Wine Sellers’ Association.
He was also a Freemason, being a member of the Earl of Ellesmere, No 678 Kearsley Lodge.
Formerly he kept the Railway Shipping Inn, now the Brunswick Inn, Crook-st.
Mr. Robertson had been ailing for the last six months though death occurred rather unexpectedly from heart failure.” [2]

The New Inn was a beerhouse for much of its existence only obtaining a full licence in 1961. By then it was owned by Cornbrook, a Manchester brewery that became part of Bass Charrington later in the 1960s.

From 1980 the pub was run by a professional wrestler, Colin Joynson, who made many an appearance on the wrestling segment during ITV’s Saturday afternoon programme, World Of Sport.

Colin is still fondly remembered amongst aficionados of what were for many the halcyon days of British wrestling and the Wrestling Heritage website speaks warmly of the regard in which he is still held in the sport.

“The word professional surfaces fairly quickly whenever thoughts turn to Colin Joynson. He was, and still is, the ultimate professional. Colin was always protective of the image of professional wrestling, and was not afraid to stand up to whoever he felt may harm the credibility of the sport or bring the business into disrepute. He remains so to this day, twenty-odd years after leaving the ring, and whilst willing to discuss the sport in a mature, honest way remains protective of the wrestling heritage in which he played such an important part. And rightly so.” [3]

Colin also fought a lengthy legal battle with Bass over the company’s insistence that he only bought beer only from the brewery. That was despite his status having changed from a pub tenant to a lessee as happened to a great many pub landlords in the 1990s. [4]

Like all big brewers Bass sold off their pubs during the nineties and the early part of the millennium. Discovery Inns bought the pub and were then taken over by Enterprise Inns. The last owners of the New Inn were Admiral Taverns.

The New Inn closed in 2008. The pub was gutted and the front rebuilt. A chemist now stands on the site.

Mary Gray wrote on the Lost Pubs project about her memories of the pub:

“I remembered the New Inn as having Cornbrook Ales. It was near the bottom of the road and a little back ran below it to Progress Street. Opposite on the other side of Halliwell Road was the Windsor Castle on the end of the first row of shops. At the bottom end at the traffic lights was the District Bank on the corner of Moss street. All gone now of course. I was born in 17 Halliwell Rd and lived there until 1952.” [5]

[1] For the record the others were: Black Dog, Pedro's, Derby, Belle Vue, Lamb, Robin Hood, Lord Raglan, Peel, Crofters, Fox and Stork (or Stork and Fox) and The Ainsworth Arms. Some also counted Halliwell Road Conservative Club, the Portland and the Weavers Arms (the ‘Mop’)as part of the crawl. Older readers will add the Windsor Castle, opposite the New In. Most have now closed.

[2] Bolton Evening News, 22 June 1909. Retrieved 11 May 2014. Among the other pubs Mr Robinson held the licence of were: the Bridgeman Arms on Bridgeman Street and the Cotton Tree on the corner of Lever Street and Nelson Street (opposite the Tanners )
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/historyben/4450956.print/

[3] Wrestling Heritage.  Retrieved 11 May 2014.

[4] See the Bolton Evening News report of 5 August 1996 for the case. Link retrieved 11 May 2014.


[5] Lost Pubs Project. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 


The site of the New Inn pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View).

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Arrowsmiths Arms, Mill Street

Well Street, Bolton. On the other side of the wall at the end of the street is St Peter’s Way, but it also marks the spot where Well Street met Mill Street. The Arrowsmiths Arms stood on the corner of those two streets.

The Arrowsmith family were early industrialists in Bolton. James Arrowsmith was a counterpane and quilt manufacturer, who had a warehouse built in Craddock Lane in the Mill Hill area. Not far away, on Mill Street, David Morris opened a beer house and shop which was in existence by 1836 and which he named the Arrowsmiths Arms, presumably after the local industrialist.

Soon after it opened Morris obtained a full licence for the pub. The 1843 Bolton Directory shows that Morris was still a ‘beer seller’ – in other words, he hadn’t yet obtained the full licence. However, the 1849 licensing list shows that the Arrowsmiths Arms was a public house licensed to serve wine and spirits as well as beer. [1]

In February 1905 a tragedy occurred at the pub when the landlord, Robert Tonge, fell downstairs and died the following day of his injuries. His widow, Edith, continued to run the pub after his death.

The Arrowsmith’s was owned by Sharman’s brewery and was one of 20 pubs transferred to George Shaw of Leigh when they took over Sharman’s in 1926. Shaw’s was in turn taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington in 1931.

As we have seen with the Old Robin Hood on Lever Street  when Walker’s reviewed their Bolton estate with the acquisition of Shaw’s and the earlier purchase of another Bolton brewery, William Tong’s, 
they decided that the Arrowsmith’s full licence was more valuable than the pub itself as a going concern. The King William IV beerhouse on Manchester Road opposite Burnden Park could do with a full licence so in 1933 the Arrowsmiths Arms closed down and its licence was transferred to the King Bill.

The location for the Arrowsmiths was on Mill Street the corner of Well St, which means that St Peters Way now runs over the site of the pub.


[1] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (2000).

Four Factories, Turton Street

Turton Street looking towards the junction of Topp Way with the St Peter’s Way extension.  By the end of the first decade of the 19th century the Four Factories – Round Hill Mills – were on the right. Short rows of terraced housing were on the left, one of which included the Four Factories pub.

The Four Factories was situated on Turton Street and was opened as a pub around 1808.

It took it name from the ‘Four Factories’ of Faulkner’s, Dillon and Hart, Thomas Dixon and Roger Holland that were built on or around Turton Street between 1797 and 1802. Holland’s eventually bought the other three factories and the complex was renamed Round Hill Mills. [1]

The Bolton brewery of John Halliwell & Son of the Alexandra Brewery, Mount Street, Bolton owned the Four Factories pub at the end of the 19th century. [2]  Mount Street was situated in the Haliwell area, close to Mere Hall, and was less than a mile away from the Four Factories. John Halliwell began brewing there in 1856 but the firm closed in December 1910 when it was taken over by Magee, Marshall and Co.

The Four Factories closed in 1935. Magee’s decided that the pub’s full licence would be put to better use at the Alexandra Hotel, ironically the former Halliwell brewery tap – the closest pub to the brewery. However, it was an ill-conceived plan as the Alexandra closed only a few months later.

Round Hill Mills later became part of the Peel Mills complex which continued until it closed as cotton mills in 1960. Part of the complex became part of Bolton Gate Company’s warehouse. A retail park now stands  on the site.

[1] St Mark’swebsite. David  Dunne. Retrieved 10 May 2014.

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

Peel Hotel, Higher Bridge Street


The Peel pictured in 1975. The entrance to Gordon's car showroom can just be seen on the left-hand side of the photograph. Falcon Street runs down the side of the Peel. The building directly next to the pub is slightly set back and out of shot of the camera. After the chemist’s and the property next door to that was the entrance to Clarence Street, again slightly out of shot.   Image from the Bolton Library And Museums Service collection. Copyright Bolton Council 

The Peel Hotel was a nineteenth-century pub that was fully licensed by the end of that century. It stood on Higher Bridge Street on the right-hand side as you go out of the town centre and on the opposite corner of  Falcon Street to Gordon’s car showroom.

The pub was one of four in the town to be named after Sir Robert Peel, along with three pubs named the Peel Arms: one on Halliwell Road, one on Sidney Street and one on Waterloo Street.

The Peel on Higher Bridge Street was owned by Threlfalls brewery of Salford at one time, but it was sold to local brewer Magees and passed to Greenall Whitley when they took over Magees in 1958.

It had a lounge area on the right as you entered the pub. A vault – or public bar – was on the left and was also accessible via another entrance on Falcon Street.

In the summer of 1985 it was being reported that the Peel had been closed and was boarded up, along with the Tanners Arms on Nelson Street.  At the time it was up for sale with an asking price of  £48,000; however, just over a year later, in September 1986, it was announced that the Peel had been bought by Bolton Metropolitan Borough  Council and would be demolished as part of the Topp Way extension.

Ironically, Falcon Street was named after a pub at the opposite end, the Falcon, which was bought at the same time.

Both the Peel and the Falcon were demolished in 1987. The following year, in a guide book entitled, Vintage Pubs And Real Ale In The Manchester Area, the Campaign for Real Ale said of the Peel:

“This pub had an elegant fa├žade and a spacious interior with large public bar, comfortable lounge and an upstairs function room. Among the pub ‘memorabilia’ was a fascinating price list from the 1950s.”


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

[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester Beer Drinkers Monthly Magazine, June 1985 issue.

[3] What’s Doing, September 1986.

[4] Vintage Pubs And Real Ale In The Manchester Area. Edited by Peter Barnes.  Published by the Campaign for Real Ale (1988).

A May 2012 image of the area where the Peel used to stand (Copyright Google Street View). The pub was situated roughly where the cars are coming towards us on the right-hand side of the shot. The tree-lined traffic island is where the chemist was on the 1975 shot, with the entrance to Clarence Street now visible next to the row of houses in the distance.


Cottage/Jolly Huxter, 58 Cannon Street

Female customers outside the Cottage circa 1950s.

The Cottage was situated at number 58, Cannon Street, not far from Emmanuel Church.

In his study of the Whittle family, who lived in the area in the nineteenth century, John Partington states that in the 1861 census James Whittle lived with his family at 58 Cannon Street and worked as a cordwainer - or shoemaker – and provision dealer. [1] The Bolton directories for 1836, 1843 and 1853 all list one James Whittle as a beer seller in Cannon Street and while there is no note of any number it is likely that this would have been at the premises that became known as the Cottage.  [2]

Only it wasn't initially known as the Cottage. The 1849 of beerhouses in  Bolton lists James Whittle as the proprietor of a pub named the Jolly Huxter on Cannon Street. This was likely to be the Cottage. A huxter - or 'huckster' - was a deal in small goods so if James Whittle was a provision dealer - or 'huxter' - it suggests that the Cottage was used as more than just a drinking house. It was probably also a grocery store and even a cobbler’s.

James doesn’t appear on the 1841 census but his 70-year-old father - also named James - appears that year as a farmer living on Cannon Street, a reminder that other than a few houses on the street much of that area of Deane was a largely agricultural community.

The Whittles had gone by the time of the 1871 census and by the end of the 1880s the Cottage was owned by Henry Greenwood. Henry grew up in the licensed trade. His father was the landlord of the Hand And Banner on Deansgate, while Henry himself had run the Lower Nag’s Head before taking over as the proprietor of the Swan Hotel in 1886. He was also a brewer and lived in Crown Street off Deansgate.

Greenwood sold the Cottage after a few years, this time to Wingfield’s Silverwell Brewery, whose story we dealt with when we looked at the Queen Anne on Chancery Lane. Wingfield’s sold out to the Manchester Brewery Company in 1899 and Walker & Homfray’s of Salford took over the Manchester Brewery Company in 1912. Walker & Homfray’s were taken over by another Manchester brewery, Wilson’s of Newton Heath, in 1949.

Six years after this final takeover, in 1955, the Cottage closed down for good. [3]



The lower part of Cannon Street, pictured in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). The older-looking houses in the foreground on the right-hand side are the only older houses now left on the street. The Cottage was situated further up  on the right-hand side.

[1] Whittle family history – John Partington. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
[2] Bolton Directories 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (1982).
[3] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cricketers Arms, Hibbert Street

The site of the former Cricketers Arms pictured in May 2012. Copyright Google Street View.


The Cricketers Arms was situated at 33-35 Hibbert Street, off Blackburn Road.


The bottom end of Blackburn Road from Waterloo Street up towards was often referred to as Back O’Th Bank, owing to its proximity to the banks of the River Tonge. Back O’Th Bank House was owned by the Slater family who owned the Little Bolton Bleachworks on Slater Lane.

Bolton Cricket Club played in the Back O’Th Bank area during its formative years but the cricket club left for a new home at Green Lane in 1875.  A few years before their exit the Cricketers Arms opened in premises not far away from Back O’Th Bank House.

The Cricketers Arms provided liquid sustenance for the residents of the recently-built rows of terraced houses: streets such as Hibbert Street, Charles Rupert Street and Blackbank Street. In 1874 William Lee, the pub’s landlord who was also the owner of the pub, obtained a full licence after the closure of the Millstone on Deansgate (not to be confused with another Millstone, on Crown Street, which still stands). [1]

In later years it also drew custom from Warburton’s Bakery, built on the site of Back O’th Bank House and which opened in 1916.

The Cricketers became a Threlfall’s pub and then a Whitbread pub after Threlfall’s were taken over in 1967.
A refurbishment in the early-eighties was done in the Whitbread style of the day. Not as garish as the "House Of Horrors" treatment meted out to the Trotters’ which was fashionable amongst Whitbread’s design teams for a while in the north-west – it was a little more tasteful.

The whole area around Hibbert Street has been redeveloped and while the street is still there the old terraced houses have all gone. But while the Cricketers closed in the 1990s the building still exists, the last of the originals left standing. It was sold off by Whitbread and is now a youth and education centre.  

The Cricketers was one of those ‘street corner’ locals that are dying breed. With the explosion of licensed premises following the 1830 Beer House Act there were many street-corner locals such as the Cricketers. Mill Hill, Halliwell and part of Great Lever were full of them. Now, in Bolton at any rate, these places are few and far between. The New Globe (formerly the Rock) closed earlier in 2014; the Portland  went in the nineties; the Spread Eagle earlier than that. The Edge Tavern and the Howcroft shut a few years ago, while estate pubs such as the Prince Rupert  and the Schooner have also taken a hammering. There aren’t many of these places left. 

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


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Jolly Angler, Hulme Street


The site of the former Hulme Street. Nowadays it is confusingly called Cross Street on this stretch although Cross Street still goes along the top of the street. Hulme Street used to go all the way down to Folds Road and at one time it contained five pubs or beerhouses of which the Jolly Angler was one (the others were the Premier, the Standard, the Hulme Street Tavern and the Spread Eagle). The Jolly Angler was at 74-76 Hulme Street at the Cross Street end, roughly where the houses are on the left-hand side of this image.

When we looked at the General Havelock on Sidney Street we came across the formidable Mrs Mahalah Harcastle. Now we encounter Mrs Hardcastle once again as the owner of the Jolly Angler on Hulme Street in the nineteenth century.

The Jolly Angler was constructed in the early part of that century as the whole ‘hinterland’ beyond Folds Road up towards Turton Street was built up.  However, number 74-76 Hulme Street appears not to have become a beer house until the second half of the century.  It was taken over by Mahalah Hardcastle although it isn’t known whether or not ownership ran concurrently with her ownership of two other pubs: the York and the General Havelock.

Mrs Hardcastle was perhaps best-known in the latter part of that century as the landlady and owner of the York Hotel on Newport Street which she ran from the 1860s until her death in 1881 and the age of 72. However, along with her husband John she also ran the George Hotel in the 1830s. After John Hardcastle’s death she was described on the 1851 census as a laundress and a brickmaker at number 13 Deansgate. The brickmaking business did well enough to employ eight men. However, the Bolton Directory of 1853 describes Mrs Hardcastle as the landlady of a pub at 13, Deansgate, the Old Woolpack, before moving to the York a few years later. [1]

The Jolly Angler remained outside the tied house system of pub ownership that developed in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. However, it closed in 1919 having remained in private hands for the whole of the 50 or 60 years it was in existence. By the following year it was back as a private residence.

[1] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Published by Neil Richardson (1982). 



Queen Anne/Central Hotel, Chancery Lane


New Look at the entrance to the Crompton Place shopping centre looking up from Mealhouse Lane. Chancery Lane once led from this point on Mealhouse Lane right up to Great Moor Street and the Queen Anne was the first building on the left-hand side. 


The Queen Anne was situated at 1-3 Chancery Lane in the centre of Bolton where the Crompton Place shopping centre now stands. The pub dated back to the 18th century and the list of alehouses from 1778 shows pub as being owned by George Taylor. The Bolton map of 1793 shows the building as the only one on that side of Chancery Lane.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries its upper room, known as the Assembly Room, was used as a meeting place by many local societies and institutions. One such meeting, held in 1825, led to the formation of the Bolton Mechanics Institute, the forerunner of the University of Bolton.

The magisterial business of town was also conducted at the Queen Anne at that time. Session courts were held there and the local Boroughreeve had his office thereabouts. Court business was transferred to premises in nearby Bowkers Row by the 1840s. [1]

The Queen Anne became the Central Hotel in 1895 but it closed after its licence was refused at the February licensing sessions of 1911. The premises were described as ‘ill-conducted’ and the licensee ‘unsatisfactory’.

The building was subsequently used as the women’s and juveniles’ departments of the Employment Exchange as an office of the Ministry of Pensions Office, as a bottle store for a local brewery, and as an accountant’s office. In 1946 the Bolton Journal and Guardian and the photo department of Tillotson’s Newspapers Ltd took over upper room while the ground floor became Tillotson’s canteen. By then the Bolton Evening news and Journal series had taken up residence on Mealhouse Lane, just next door.

The building was demolished in the late-sixties ready for the construction of the Arndale Centre which opened in 1971. Chancery Lane still exists with its entry opposite St Patrick’s RC church. In former times the street ran all the way down to Mealhouse Lane but is now truncated just past the entrance to the J2 nightclub by the building at the top of Nelson Square.

In the 1890s, the Central Hotel was owned by Wingfield’s Silverwell Brewery. The company began as a wine and spirit merchants by Thomas Wingfield, a Shropshire man who had moved to Bolton to start his business.  In the late-1820s the company had its offices in Chancery Lane with Wingfield living in Mawdesley Street. A brewery was added on Nelson Square in the latter part of the nineteenth century and Wingfield’s soon built up a tied estate that stretched as far as Preston (the Olde Three Crowns on Deansgate was another Wingfield pub).

One of Thomas Wingfield’s descendents, Thomas Rowland Wingfield, was in charge by the 1890s and in October 1896 he set up the company of Wingfield’s Silverwell Brewery to take over the business of the brewery and the wine and spirit merchants. In September 1899 the company was wound up having been taken over by the rapidly-expanding Manchester Brewery Company although Gordon Readyhough states that Wingfield’s wine and spirit merchants was still trading into the thirties. [2]

The brewery was situated on Nelson Square, one of the properties in between the Pack Horse at the Bradshawgate end and the Levers Arms Hotel at the Bowkers Row end. The Pack Horse was extended to the top of Nelson Square in 1952 and now stands on the site.

There is an excellent photograph here of Wingfield’s staff pictured outside the brewery on Nelson Square in the late-nineteenth century. If you zoom in on the image the original Pack Horse building can be seen at the right-hand end of the row.

[1] Bolton Town Centre, A Modern History. Part Two: Bradshawgate, Great Moor Street and Newport Street, 1900-1998. Published by Neil Richardson (1998).

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

Uncle Tom's Cabin/The New Cabin, 270-272 Lever Street


The former Uncle Tom's Cabin, pictured in May 2014 (Copyright Lost Pubs Of Bolton).


Uncle Tom’s Cabin – or the New Cabin as it was later known – was situated at 270-272 Lever Street, Bolton.

The pub dated back to the late-nineteenth century and was initially a single property standing at the corner of Lever Street and Slaterfield.

A pivotal figure in the early story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was Henry Hilton, a man with pubs and brewing running through his veins. Like his father before him Henry Hilton was a brewer. Both his wives – he was widowed at a young age – were the daughters of publicans. By the time he married for the second time in 1867, five years after his first marriage, he had gone from being a brewer to a licensed victualler – possibly at Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Hilton ran the pub for a number of years and in 1894 he engaged William Green as brewer. Again there was a connection with the trade. Green had previously worked as a wholesale ale and porter dealer based in Great Lever. Perhaps more importantly, he had also married Hilton’s daughter, Sarah, in 1892. But by 1900, William Green was being described as a ‘retired publican’ – despite not yet being 40 - and he and Sarah living on nearby Rishton Lane.

Hilton’s other daughter, Emily, also married someone from the pub trade. Her husband was Wilbraham Leach, the landlord of the Clifton Arms on Newport Street and a member of the Leach family, who owned the Albert Inn pub and brewery on Derby Street. Leach succeeded William Green as the landlord of Uncle Tom’s Cabin around 1898, but like William Green he didn’t last long in the post and by 1904 he and Emily were living in Blackpool where Wilbraham Leach was described as a ‘gentleman’. The couple spent the rest of their lives in Blackpool where they died within a few months of each other in 1927.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of the last pubs in Bolton to brew its own ales. Uncle Tom’s Cabin Brewery Ltd was formed to take over the brewing side of the business but it was wound up in 1937 [1] and the pub was sold to the Bromley Cross brewer John Hamer.

In 1951, Hamer’s sold out to Dutton’s of Blackburn and the new owners successfully applied for Uncle Tom’s Cabin to obtain a full drinks licence in 1953. Dutton’s were taken over by Whitbread in 1964. In turn, Whitbread got out of the pub-owning business in 2002 when it sold its tied estate, by then renamed Laurel Inns, to Enterprise Inns plc.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was renamed the New Cabin in the 1990s and it remained a local pub for the residents of the surrounding streets, but the pub closed down in 2011According to Bolton Council’s empty property spreadsheet of April 2014, Enterprise Inns still owned the building. The first floor has been converted into offices and is now occupied by a firm of accountants. The ground floor was still ‘to let’ at time of writing (May 2014).

[1] London Gazette, 25 June 1937.  Retrieved 5 May 2014. 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Albert Inn, 46-48 Poplar Street


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.