Sunday, 1 March 2015

Union Arms, 53-55 Bullock Street

Union Arms Bullock Street Bolton

A late-1920s shot of the Union Arms. The pub initially occupied the premises at the at the top of Bullock Street though it eventually expanded into the property next door. Folds Road runs along the side of the pub. 

One of the earliest pubs in the Folds Road area was the Union Arms. Although technically speaking it was on Bullock Street it was at the very top of that street at its junction with Folds Road.

The Union dated back to the late-1820s when John Hamer was the landlord. By then it was the only pub on the main road from Kay Street onwards, although a number of pubs such as the Three Tuns on Chapel Street were in the built-up areas off the main stretch.

The pub was in the hands of the Rostron family for a number of years. At various times members of the Rostrons ran pubs such as the Foresters Arms on Smith Street and Anchor on Eagle Street – amongst others. Abraham Rostron was succeeded in the mid-1880s by his son Herbert who spent over 20 years at the pub.

The Union was bought by William Tong’s brewery of Deane in the early part of the 20th century, but it was later sold to James Jackson’s Spa Road brewery. Jackson’s were taken over by George Shaw of Leigh in 1927 and the Union became a Walker’s pub when they bought out Shaw’s in 1931. [1]

The Union ended its days as a Tetley Walker pub in 1969. The pub closed and was demolished along with many other properties in the area. The construction of St Peters’s Way was the catalyst for the wholesale redevelopment of the area.

Jonas Webster Ltd built their new headquarters on the site of Bullock Street and the Union Arms in the early seventies and as Webster Drives they still occupy the site today.

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

Folds Road in September 2014. Kestrel Street runs off to the left of the picture. Folds Road Secondary Modern School was once on the site of the motor dealership in the distance. The Union Arms was on the right, directly opposite the school and in front of what are now the offices of Webster Drives.

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