Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stanley Arms, 1 Egyptian Street

Stanley Arms Egyptian Street Bolton

Pen Street runs down the side of the Stanley Arms in this late-twenties shot of the pub.

Egyptian Street takes its name from the Egyptian Mill which was built just off Blackburn Road in 1861. Numerous rows of terraced streets were in the process of springing up in the shadow of the new mill and at number 1 Egyptian Street, on the corner with Pen Street, stood the Stanley Arms.

This was one of three pubs in Bolton by that name (the others were on Derby Street and on Chorley Old Road).

For many years the pub was in the hands of Samuel Leach and his family. Samuel was originally a weaver from Tottington, but he moved to Bolton in the 1840s. Together with his second wife Hannah, whom he married in 1850, he took over the Stanley Arms in the 1860s and it was the start of a family association lasting some 30 years.

By 1881, Samuel had retired. Hannah had passed away and the Stanley Arms was being run by his daughter, Mary Spencer, and her husband Richard, whose family were also publicans. His father had run the Dog and Partridge on Moor Lane.

Samuel died at home on 26 October 1887, but it was a time of tragedy  that must have left the pub's very future in doubt.  Mary had died a few months before Samuel and Richard Spencer died in early 1888. Samuel left an estate worth £3602 to his son, Miles, who was described as his only next of kin. Miles was living in Hull at the time, but he returned to Bolton to continue the running of the pub. However, when he died in 1897 and the link with the Leach family was broken.

The Stanley Arms had its own brewery for many years but it was later sold to Joseph Sharman’s brewery at Mere Hall, less than half a mile away from Egyptian Street. Sharman’s were taken over by George Shaw of Leigh in 1927 and Shaw’s were in turn taken over by Walker Cain Ltd in 1931.

The Stanley Arms closed in the early sixties [1]. The area was cleared later that decade and new housing built in place of the old rows of terraces.

Egyptian Mill remains. It ceased to be used as a textile mill around 1960 – around the time the Stanley Arms closed so perhaps the two events were related. But the mill has been used for storage since 2010.

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

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