Monday, 23 February 2015

Mount Street Inn, 136 - 138 Mount Street

Mount Street Inn Mount Street Bolton

The Mount Street Inn pictured in the 1920s - probably the late-twenties or even the early-thirties given that the signs proclaims it to be a Shaw's pub. There were only three  more properties after the pub before Mount Street ended at Darley Street and two of them can be seen here. Next to the pub, at number 140 lived Ellis Scholes, a tripe salesman, in 1924. The shop, which can be seen above, was run by William  Fletcher. Just out of shot was the home of Ruth Cunningham, a stocking knitter. The pub's landlord in 1924 was John Whowell who had been there since before the first world war.

The Mount Street Inn was situated on Mount Street at the corner of Portland Street.

The pub was founded in the late-1850s by Edward Harwood. Edward was born in 1819 and for much of his life he was a finisher in the area around Lower Pools. But by the time his daughter Marina was born in 1860 he is described as a publican and on the 1861 census return he is a brewer and beerseller at an address given simply as ‘4 Brownlow Fold’. This is likely to have been the beerhouse that later became the Mount Street Inn.

Edward Harwood may have been an opportunist – and so he might, for just yards away from his beerhouse the Brownlow Fold Mills were taking shape in 1860 and were destined to become major employers in the area. The mill was built by Richard Harwood, who wasn’t an immediate relative of Edward.

In time, Mount Street developed, but Edward’s time at the pub was to be tempered with sadness. His first wife, Mary Ann, died in 1863 at the age of 40. Later that year, he married Mary Frances Paton – a woman aged 31 compared to his 44 - but she died in 1872 at the age of just 39.

This second death appears to have been the catalyst for Edward Harwood to leave the Mount Street Inn. He married again, this time to Jane Ashworth and they went to live in Bury where he died in 1895. A later landlord, James Haydock, saw his ten-year stint at the pub ended by his death in 1904 at the age of just 43.

The pub suffered an objection to its licence in 1869. Local justices were given the power to oppose licences and the police reported at a hearing in September of that year that Mr Harwood had been fined on two occasions for serving beer at prohibited times. While pubs at that time were able to open from 4am to 1am on Monday to Friday, they had to close at midnight on Saturday night and were unable to open again until 12.30 Sunday lunchtimes. In other words, after Sunday morning service at church. Edward Harwood was fined twice – once in 1867 and once in 1868 – and the police claimed he had ‘watchers’ situated about the pub to warn him of police in the area. The licence was refused but was then granted at an appeal at the end of October. 

The Mount Street Inn was bought by local brewer Joseph Sharman whose brewery was situated just a quarter of a mile away on the other side of Mere Hall. [1] By this stage the pub was in two properties: numbers 136 and 138 Mount Street.

Sharman’s were taken over by the Leigh brewery of George Shaw and Sons Ltd in 1927, but the deal stretched Shaw’s financially and they were taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool in 1931.

The Mount Street Inn was a beerhouse for much of its existence, but it gained a full licence in 1961. It closed towards the end of the 1960s and the area was cleared away.

A small part of Mount Street still exists. All the old buildings have been demolished and replaced with new housing in the past 40 or 50 years, but while the likes of Pen Street, Prosperous Street and Nith Street have all been wiped off the map, that stretch of Mount Street that included the Mount Street Inn still survives.

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

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