Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Foresters Arms, 63 Smith Street, Bolton

The Foresters Arms was situated at the end of Smith Street, a thoroughfare that ran from Folds Road opposite the junction with Phoenix Street down to Turner Street next to the Bolton to Blackburn railway line. 

The pub dated back to the 1850s and the first record we have is on the 1861 census when William Bridge was the landlord. By 1871 he was at the Horse and Jockey on Bradshawgate.

By the time the pub had to re-apply for its licence in 1868 the landlord was William Holden who had been at the Foresters Arms for three years. The police objected to the licence application after PC Greenhalgh said he had seen people congregating outside the pub and on the street. However, Mr Holden managed to present testimonials as to his good character and the licence was granted on appeal.

William Holden had gone by 1871 and the Foresters was taken over by Henry Jackson. The pub was owned by Thomas Holden who owned the nearby Lord Clyde on Folds Road. who may have been a relative of William Holden. There is also a connection between the Holdens and original landlord William Bridge, who was a witness to Thomas Holden’s third marriage. One of Thomas Holden’s step-children was Susannah Drennan and there was a Drennan Court to the rear of the Foresters Arms.

Thomas Holden died in 1884 leaving a sizeable estate of some £1900 – worth around £250,000 in today’s money. The Foresters was taken over by the Bury Brewery Company and they were pub’s owners when its licence was refused in 1911. The building was demolished in the 1940s though Smith Street itself was around for another twenty years. The area was cleared and the Vernacare factory was built on the site in the 1970s.

Nothing remains of the area where the Foresters Arms stands. The image below comes from Google Earth and shows the Folds Road/Turner Street area. The arrow pointing to the A676 was the approximate entry to Smith Street. The street ran towards the top right of the image towards the car park where the site of the Foresters Arms was situated.

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