Saturday, 6 June 2015

Milk Street Tavern (the Old Ivy House), Milk Street

Milk Street, Pump Street, Tin Street, Basil Street – there were some great street names around the bottom end of Daubhill in the nineteenth century. In fact the last two of those named still exist – at least on maps. Tin Street is a small thoroughfare that runs off Shaw Street between the children’s nursery and some industrial units, though it is now gated off outside working hours. Pump Street was renamed Basil Street in the 1920s and the street still runs off Houghton Street down to Derby Street.

Houghton Street pictured in 2012 (copyright Google Street View). Shaw Street runs across the image  in the near distance. Milk Street was closer but ran parallel to Shaw Street. 

Milk Street, though, is long gone but it was the only of those named to include a pub. The area was pretty well-pubbed towards the back end of the nineteenth century. The Houghton Street Tavern and the Rothwell Street Tavern were both nearby while the Bee Hive was at the end of Milk Street where it met Back Derby Street.

The Milk Street Tavern was originally named the Old Ivy House [1] but like two of its neighbours it lost its given name in favour of being named after the street on which it stood. [2]

In 1871, 70-year-old Mary Smith was running the pub along with her son John and his wife Ann. Mary had previously run a corner shop at 73 Rothwell Street. Her husband John was a tea dealer by trade but died in the 1850s.

Mary appears to have only turned to running a beerhouse quite late in life. She was still at the shop in 1861 so she must have moved to the pub later that decade.

By 1894, the Milk Street Tavern was being run by Nathan Entwistle. On 4 May that year, the night before a big race meeting at Kempton Park, the Milk Street Tavern was one of three pubs raided by police. [3] They found a variety of sporting literature at each of the pubs, but more damningly for Nathan Entwistle they found on his person a balance sheet.

They say you never meet a poor bookie and that was certainly the case with Nathan Entwistle. He had taken £32 in bets and profited to the tune of over £19. That’s the equivalent of over £2000 in today’s money – all in one afternoon. He must have been taking bets from all over the district.

Mr Entwistle was fined £25 plus costs and was given two months to pay the fine otherwise he faced two months of hard labour.

The licence of the Milk Street Tavern came up for renewal at the annual Brewster sessions a few months later. It was refused on the grounds that the pub was a “disorderly house”. It became a private residence and was demolished along with Milk Street and much of the rest of the area in the late sixties.

[1] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] The Houghton Street Tavern was originally the Bricklayers Arms, the Rothwell Street Tavern was once known as the Shakespeare.
[3] The other two were the Kay Street Arms on Kay Street, and Uncle’s Tom Cabin on Egyptian Street (not the one on Lever Street). Manchester Courier, 19 May 1894.

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