Sunday, 21 June 2015

Papermakers Arms, 73 Bridgeman Place

The Papermakers Arms was situated at 73 Bridgeman Place on a small row of houses between River Street and the bridge over the River Croal.

The pub was started by Mary Bolton, who was running a pub named, appropriately enough, the Bolton Arms on Bridgeman Street in 1848.  By 1853, she was at Bridgeman Place in premises that later became the Papermakers Arms. The papermaker in question was Robert Lever. By 1861, he was living at the pub with wife Jane, Mary Bolton’s daughter, and their children. When he took over the running of the pub, he named it after his previous profession.

But the Papermakers' life as a beerhouse was only brief. In 1869, all the town’s beerhouses had to re-apply for their licences. The licence of the Papermakers was objected to on the grounds that Police Constables Dearden and Fletcher had seen prostitutes drinking at the pub. [1]

An appeal on November of that year failed and Robert Lever went back to being a papermaker. He and his family were still living at the premises in 1871. Indeed, the premises survived as residential accommodation until the 1960s. They were eventually demolished to facilitate the construction of St Peters Way.

Bridgeman Place pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The former National Union Of Mineworkers building is in the foreground with River Street running down the side of it. The traffic island in the foreground consisted of a small row of buildings including the former Papermakers Arms which stood at the corner of the junction with River Street.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 10 September 1869.

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