The Egerton Arms on Lever Street isn’t a pub that has lasted long in the memory of older drinkers. Plenty of people reminisce in on-line forums about more recent closures such as the Tanners Arms or UncleTom’s Cabin or even the Recreation Tavern next to Bobby Heywood’s Park, but more than 50 years after the Egerton finally closed its doors there is barely a memory of the place.
The pub was situated on the corner of Reservoir Street, and like the Recreation it was close to Heywood Park, across from Lever Street meets Rupert Street and some six doors up from Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
The pub dated back to the 1860s. The opening of Heywood Park led to a development of the area and the 1871 directory gives Jeremiah Aspin as the landlord. But by the time Mr Aspin’s daughter Elizabeth married John Foster later that year he had moved to take charge of the Cotton Tree opposite the Tanners Arms at the other end of Lever Street at its junction with Nelson Street.
It is likely that the Egerton was taken over at the time by Henry Heyes of the Fox and Goose pub on Deansgate and was supplied directly by that pub’s brewery. Jeremiah Aspin’s occupation was put as a brewer on his daughter’s marriage certificate and it seems that the Egerton’s own brewery had closed as a result of the pub’s sale.
The Fox and Goose and its brewery closed in 1897 after the pub’s licence was refused. The Egerton was sold to a Rossendale company, Grant’s Tower Brewery of Ewood Bridge. In 1913, Grant’s sold out to John Kenyon of Barrowford, near Nelson, but despite Kenyon’s falling into the hands of Massey’s Brewery of Burnley in 1928, the Egerton ended up in the hands of a more local concern, Cornbrook’s of Manchester, who already had a number of pubs in the Bolton area.
In 1962, Cornbrook’s closed the Egerton. It was a double blow for Lever Street as the Cotton Tree also closed in the same year.
The area was redeveloped in the seventies and new housing replaced the old terraces. The photo below from September 2014 (copyright Google Street View) shows Lever Street with a walkway heading off the street. That was once Reservoir Street and the Egerton stood to the right of the passage fronting Lever Street.