The Waterloo Tavern pictured in the 1920s shortly after it had been taken over by Shaw’s of Leigh. Note the Shaw’s sign – bare on the 1976 photo (link here).
Not to be confused with the older and - it has to be said, grander - Waterloo Hotel at the other end of Waterloo Street, the Waterloo Tavern was a beer house on Folds Road at its junction with Waterloo Street.
It dated back to around the 1860s and Alexander Martin is shown as the landlord in the 1871 Bolton Directory. In the 1880s it was taken over by George Walker of the Park View Brewery on Spa Road and as the brewery changed ownership on a number of occasions over the years so did the pub and the rest of the brewery’s small tied estate. It became the Spa Wells Brewery in 1900 then James Jackson & Sons Ltd in 1904.
Jackson’s sold out to George Shaw & Co Ltd of Leigh in 1927; Shaw’s were bought by Walker Cain Ltd in 1931 and Walker’s merged with Tetley’s in 1961.
Like many pubs, the Waterloo was originally two dwelling houses that were knocked together and was numbered 197-199 Folds Road.
The end for the pub came in 1976. Many properties on Folds Road were knocked down in the sixties and seventies and the row containing the Waterloo, between Waterloo Street and Turton Street were among the last to be demolished.
The pub can be seen here in a photograph from the Bolton Evening News of 15 September 1976 It’s the last property still occupied in a row of boarded up houses.
Below is a modern-day view from September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). The site once occupied by the Waterloo Tavern is now landscaped with the bottom of Waterloo Street closed off and traffic diverted to the bottom of Turton Street via Slater Lane. The pub was next to the footpath leading up Waterloo Street.