Saturday, 1 August 2015

Belle Vue, 242 Halliwell Road

The Belle Vue pictured in October 2009 less than two years before it closed (copyright Google Street View).

Part of the famous ‘Halliwell Mile’ the Belle Vue Hotel was situated at 242 Halliwell Road. If you started the crawl at the top of Halliwell Road it was one of the last pubs - or one of the first if you started at the bottom.

The first mention we have of the pub was on the 1871 Directory. At that time it was being run by 44-year-old Mathias Stones who lived at the premises along with his Hannah and their six children. The family had lived on Gaskell Street in 1861 where Mathias worked as a buttonmaker.

Mathias Stones died in 1886 and his widow Hannah Stones took over the running of the Belle Vue. She was aided by her son Matthew who brewed the pub’s beer. By 1901 Hannah had retired and was living with her daughter Emma Brownlow who was a brewer and beerseller at the Lord Raglan further up Halliwell Road. Hannah died in 1904.

David Rostron was running the Belle Vue by 1905. He had previously been at the Lodge Bank Tavern on Bridgeman Street. By 1911 the pub was in the hands of the Oliver family. William Oliver (1876-1913) ran the pub until death and his widow Mary Jane Oliver succeeded him as licensee.

By the 1930s the pub later became part of the small tied estate owned by Samuel Smith – not the Yorkshire firm but a Bolton brewer who also ran the Dog and Snipe on Folds Road along with a small tied estate of pubs in Bolton and Horwich.

The Belle Vue later became a John Smith’s pub. John Smith’s Smooth is sold in many Bolton pubs today but before that the brewery’s Magnet Ales – as they were known – were a rarity in the town. Perhaps as well as they didn’t have a great reputation.

John Smith’s got out of the pub-owning business in the 1990s and the Belle Vue ended up in the hands of Enterprise Inns. It closed in the early part of 2011 the final licensee being Zoe Eckersley.  It was delicensed on 14 July that year. The premises are now [2015] a bedroom showroom. 

Belle Vue Halliwell Road Bolton

The former Belle Vue pictured in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View).

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