Monday, 14 December 2015

Crawford Arms, 19 Bolton Street, Bolton

The Crawford Arms on Bolton Street was built in 1869. Local builder Robert Bolton built the pub – and the whole street – on land off Draycott Street and he was offering the pub to let by the end of March that year. It was taken on by Isaac Greenhalgh, a former cotton spinner from Kestor Fold, who was there until he died in 1876.

By the 1890s it was being run by Mrs Emma Hargreaves while her husband Robert worked as a slater. They had left the pub by 1901 and were living in Hibbert Street next door to the Cricketers Arms

A later landlord was Jack Bradshaw. According to the author Alison Bruce, Bradshaw’s daughter’s grandfather-in-law was the executioner, William Billington, whose father kept the Derby Arms on Churchgate. More on Alison Bruce’s recollections of Jack Bradshaw can be seen here

The Crawford was bought by Hamers, a sizeable concern which managed to supply a tied estate of some 42 pubs from a relative small brewery at the back of the Volunteer Arms at Bromley Cross. The last of the Hamers, former Mayor of Turton John Hamer, sold out to Duttons of Blackburn for £316,000 in 1951. Duttons became part of the Whitbread group in 1964 and it was a Duttons pub that the Crawford Arms ended its days in 1979. [1]

The pub was demolished in the eighties.  

Bolton Street no longer exists, though Back Bolton Street is still visible off Draycott Street. A housing estate has been built on the site of both Bolton Street and Prospect Mill No 3 which stood to the street. 

[1] More on the sad story of John Hamer can be read here

Draycott Street runs along the bottom of this 2015 picture (copyright Google Street View). The electricity substation in the foreground is on the corner of Back Bolton Street. Bolton Street ran down the other side of the substation starting where the trees are situated.

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