Sunday, 22 November 2015

Beehive - Cloggers Arms, 118 Deansgate, Bolton

Bolton Central Post Office pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). The building occupies a row of properties that at one time contained the Beehive.

The Beehive was situated at 118 Deansgate originally known as the Cloggers Arms. It became a pub around 1849 when Robert Kellett was listed at the licensee. Robert was born in 1821 and lived on Horrock Row in Turton in 1841 along with his parents Betsy and Thomas. He worked as a clogger but shortly afterwards he moved to the centre of Bolton to open a business on Deansgate.

How the pub came about is a matter for some conjecture. Robert is listed as licensee in 1849 but Henry Kay is also listed as being at the Cloggers Arms. Henry was a 30-year-old grocer in Deansgate on the 1841 census and it is quite likely that Robert rented space in Henry’s shop to work as a clogger before the two men eventually opened a beer house on the premises. Robert Kellett was certainly there by the time the 1843 Bolton directory was compiled.

Robert Kellett was at the pub until at least 1861 but it is listed on that year’s census as the Beehive – quite apt given the number of trades that took place on the premises.

In Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that by 1870 the Beehive was jointly owned by the landlords of two nearby pubs, the Kings Arms and the Welcome Traveller. The latter’s landlord was Thomas Kellett, who may well have been a relative of Robert Kellett.

Certainly by 1876 the Beehive was run by Charles J Lyons, but Mr Lyons had his finger in another pie. The 1881 census tells us that his occupations were ‘beerseller and excursion agent’ and it was the latter business that Mr Lyons decided to concentrate his efforts on. He got out of the pub business and by 1891 he was living in Coop Street, Tong-with-Haulgh and working as an excursion promoter, an early travel agent.

The Beehive’s licence was allowed to lapse around 1900 by which time it was being supplied by the Manchester brewery of JG Swales.

The building stood for at least another ten years until it was demolished to make way for Bolton’s central Post Office. Work on the new building commenced in 1913 and was completed in November 1916. Although the central post office spent some time in Paderborn House in the seventies and eighties it now operates again at Deansgate on the site of the former Beehive.

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