Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bradford Arms, 28 Foundry Street

Another  Bradford Arms to go with the Bradford Arms on Bridgeman Place and the Bradford Arms – previously the Bradford Hotel – on Bradford Street. This Bradford Arms was situated on Foundry Street, just off Thynne Street.

The pub is listed in the 1871 Bolton Directory with John Mee as the licensee. But when John’s daughter Elizabeth married Patrick Murphy in 1868, John’s occupation is given as a moulder. Patrick was also a moulder and the new Mrs and Mrs Murphy’s address was given as 28 Foundry Street – the same address as the Bradford Arms a few years later. It is likely that both men were employed at the nearby foundry that gave the street its name and John Mee must have decided to open up his home as a beer house.

The Bradford became one of Hamer’s pubs and was supplied from the company’s brewery behind the Volunteer Inn at Bromley Cross. Hamer’s sold out to Dutton’s in 1951.

The whole area around Bridgeman Street began to be redeveloped in the 1950s. The 1954 Ordnance Survey map of Bolton shows the Bradford Arms alone on its row, the neighbouring properties all having been demolished. The row on the other side of the street was still standing at this stage.

In his book Bolton Pubs 1800 – 2000, Gordon Readyhough says the Bradford closed around 1960. In truth, it probably shut a few years earlier. The pub and its remaining properties were demolished and the area cleared. The land was acquired by Edbro’s – or Bromilow and Edwards as it was in the fifties – who by then owned the foundry that John Mee and Patrick Murphy were once employed in. Edbro’s closed off that end of Foundry Street and for many years the land was used as a parking space for trucks.

Edbro’s closed their Foundry Street works in the late-eighties. The factory, which had been on the site in one form or another for over a hundred years, was demolished and the Orlando Village student accommodation opened around 1995.

Foundry Street ran from Sydney Street to Bridgeman Street. It is now truncated at the student village, but here’s a 2014 view (copyright Google Street View) of the former Bridgeman Street entrance partly built over by the Medina Dairy (formerly the Associated Dairies Bolton depot). The Bradford was around halfway towards the current end of Foundry Street on the right-hand side.

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