Monday, 30 November 2015

Phoenix Tavern, 12 Phoenix Street, Bolton



The Phoenix Tavern was one of two pubs on Phoenix Street which still links Folds Road with Turton Street. But whereas its neighbour the Boilermakers Arms was close to the Turton Street end, the Phoenix Tavern was at number 12 Phoenix Street, not far from the junction with Folds Road. 

The first record of the pub is in 1871 when Joseph Hopkins was the licensee. It was later bought by Seeds Brewery of Radcliffe but by 1913 it was owned by William Tong’s of Deane. In April of that year it was referred by the Bolton licensing magistrates to the town’s compensation scheme. The scheme was aimed at reducing the number of pubs in the town by effectively buying licensed houses in over-pubbed areas from their owners, removing their licenses and either offering them for sale again or renting them out. With another pub in the same small street, the Lord Clyde just a few yards away on Folds Road, and more pubs on Dean Street and the Hulme Street area, the Phoenix was at risk.

The Phoenix Tavern closed later in 1913. By 1924 it had been converted into two private residences numbered 12 and 12A Phoenix Street. Its final landlord, Thomas Shacklady, moved to the Robin Hood on Slater Lane. 

The building was demolished in the 1970s and the site is now in industrial use.

site of Phoenix Tavern Phoenix Street Bolton



This non-descript grey fence represents the site of the Phoenix Tavern. The entrance to the engineering works next to it was once Back Phoenix Street, a U-shaped street that ran to the rear of another row houses of on Phoenix Street situated on the other side of the entrance.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Queen Elizabeth (Bee Hive), Blackhorse Street, Bolton




The new Great Moor Street station pictured here in 1930. It opened in September 1874 and its construction necessitated the demolition of the Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen Elizabeth was situated on Blackhorse Street on part of the site of what is now Morrisons supermarket.

The pub dated back to the 1830s and was owned for a number of years by the Holt family. William Holt is listed as the landlord on the 1836 Bolton Directory and he was still at the pub according to the 1841 Census along with his wife Fanny. By 1848, Elizabeth Holt was the licensee.

In these early days the pub was known as the Bee Hive, but by 1853 it was known as the Queen Elizabeth – possibly in deference to its landlady!

Elizabeth Holt was succeeded by John Hawksworth and it was under Mr Hawksworth’s tenure that the Queen Elizabeth closed. The London and North Western Railway wanted to expand the railway station at Great Moor Street and needed to demolish the pub to make way for the new station. John Hawksworth died in 1873 and the Queen Elizabeth closed shortly afterwards. The licence was transferred to the refreshment room at the expanded station in August 1874 and the new station opened the following month. The licence was refused in 1880.



The site of Great Moor Street station in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). 

Napier Tavern, 149 Deane Road




Not to be confused with the Lord Napier on Bridgeman Street, the Napier Tavern was situated at 149 Blackburn Street. The address was changed to 149 Deane Road when the boundaries of Bolton were expanded in 1896 to include Little Bolton which already had a Blackburn Street.

The first mention we have of the pub is when William Kay was the landlord according to the 1869 Bolton Directory. When the directory was next published, in 1871, John Parkinson was the landlord. Information in these directories was usually out of date by the time it was published and by the time the 1871 census was taken in the spring of that year John Parkinson was already out of the Napier and was living at Albert Street, Halliwell. He later moved back to the area and was at the Milestone near the junction with Moor Lane in 1881. Bolton One now stands on the site.

James Hayes was landlord in 1876 and according to the 1881 census the 50-year-old James was still at the Napier with his 32-year-old wife Maria, four children and three lodgers. James was originally a weaver in Chancery Lane in the centre of town, but after leaving the Napier later in the 1880s he moved to Daubhill and went back to working as a weaver before becoming a tripe dealer on St Helens Road.

In the 1890s the Napier was bought by Wingfield’s whose Silverwell Brewery was situated on Nelson Square where the Pack Horse now stands (more on Wingfield’s can be seen here). Wingfield’s were bought by the Manchester Brewery Company, an ambitious company whose rapid expansion led to its collapse in 1912. It was taken over by the Salford firm of Walker and Homfray’s and it was as a Walker’s house that the Napier ended its days in 1940.

The building was converted into retail use and indeed it is still used as a retail outlet today. The shot below was taken in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View) and shows the Napier as two shops. While the outside of the building has been renovated we believe this is the original pub building. Defence Street still runs down the side of the pub. Back Defence Street used to run down the other side. The former Derby Ward Labour Club can be seen in the distance. The White Hart – now a medical centre – is behind the camera in this shot.

Napier Tavern Deane Road Bolton site of August 2015

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Alexandra Hotel, 14 Stewart Street, Bolton




The Alexandra Hotel was situated on the corner of Mount Street and Stewart Street quite close to what is now Brownlow Way.

The first record of the pub comes in 1868 when John Halliwell is listed as a beerseller at 14 Mount Street.

In his book Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that Halliwell began his brewing business in 1856. Prior to that he had lived in Sharples where he worked as a bleacher. It is possible that he opened the pub that became Alexandra at the same time he began the brewing business as that part of Halliwell was in the process of being built up around that time. The name Alexandra comes from Princess Alexandra of Denmark who married Queen Victoria’s eldest son, the Prince of Wales in 1863. That also gives us a possible date for the pub. She became Queen Alexandra when her husband King Edward VII acceded to the throne on Victoria’s death in 1901.

By 1871, the address of the Alexandra pub is given at 14 Stewart Street. John Halliwell is there. He is 39-years-old and his occupation is given as a brewer. His wife Martha is 41 and there are six children including Edward, 16, who worked for his father as a brewer, and John, aged 10. By this stage Halliwell had built a brewery next to the pub.

The business expanded and by 1876 John had left the pub and was living at 77 Chorley Old Road. Edward Buckley had taken over as licensee of the Alexandra and in 1881 he applied for a spirit licence. Up to then the pub had sold only beer. The application was refused along with similar applications for the Rock House Hotel and for Mere Hall, then owned by Richard Haworth. Mr Haworth said in his particular application that he had purchased Mere Hall ten years previously and had laid out the grounds surrounding the mansion. He had also built 317 houses in the vicinity. No matter, one of the occupants of those 317 homes complained, as did a Mr Bradbury who got up a petition to object to the granting of the licence. Like the Alexandra and the Rock,  the Mere Hall didn’t get its spirit licence.

John Halliwell’s wife, Martha (nee Whittaker) died in 1879. The couple had married at St Paul’s in Astley Bridge in 1853. John remarried the following year this time to Jane Fielding, a provision dealer from Blackburn Road. However, he died in 1885 and the business was taken over by his eldest son, Edward.

It was under Edward Halliwell that the business grew. In 1881 he was living at 85 Hampden Street, just a few yards away from the brewery.  But his influence within the business was already such that he was described on the census form for that year as a master brewer employing 11 men. He was 26 at the time and living with his 22-year-old wife Ann and their one-year-old daughter Florence. But by 1891 the family were living in much more salubrious surroundings at 108 Chorley New Road, a large semi-detached house which still stands opposite Bolton School.

Back at the Alexandra, George Hamilton took over in 1885. A former joiner from nearby Brougham Street he was at the pub for well over 25 years. George was at the Alexandra when it changed ownership for the first time. Edward Halliwell took a back seat in the running of the brewery and by 1901 he was living on Westcliffe Road, Birkdale, near Southport along with his wife and daughter Florence. The family had been hit by tragedy with the death of Edward’s brother, John Halliwell, in 1891. John had worked for the brewery as a salesman and could claim some credit for the business’s growth. He was just 30 years old when he died.

Edward also died at a young age. He was 49 when he died while on a visit to Merionethshire in Wales. Edward left an estate valued an estate valued at £16584 – the equivalent of £1.8million today – split between his wife, his daughter and his brother, James Halliwell, who eschewed a life in the brewing industry to become a vet.

J Halliwell and Son carried on for a few more years, but in December 1910, another local brewer, Magee, Marshall and Co, made an offer to buy the brewery and its small tied estate of pubs, including the Alexandra. The brewery closed and was demolished in the 1920s. For many years its site was a wasteland colloquially known to local children as ‘the brewery’.

The Alexandra carried on into the 1930s. It gained a full licence in the early part of 1935 when the wine and spirits licence of the Four Factories on Turton Street was transferred to the Alexandra. But rather than being the start of better days it was more like a ‘last hurrah’. The pub lasted until the 1960s when it closed and was demolished as part of the clearance of that part of the Halliwell area.

Alexandra Hotel Stewart Street Bolton site of 2012

Stewart Street can be seen in the distance on the other side of this car park off Back Grantham Close. But the building in the foreground is actually the site of the Alexandra Hotel.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Royal George (Ship Royal George), 59 Blackburn Road, Bolton



The Royal George was named after one of the eight Royal Navy ships that carried the name HMS Royal George.

The pub - which was originally known as the Ship Royal George - dated back to the 1830s when local directories gave its address as Blackburn Street (1836), Halliwell Road (1843 and the 1849 licensing list), and back to 28 Blackburn Street by 1855. By 1870 the address was given as 59 Blackburn Road. It was actually situated close to what is now the Blackburn Road/Halliwell Road junction on the corner with Moss Street.

One constant in all this is the Settle family who ran the pub from its establishment until around 1870. John Settle was the pub’s founder and he ran the pub until the 1860s when he was succeeded by his son, Thomas. Thomas also married into the pub trade in 1864. His wife Mary Anne was the daughter of Benjamin Hart, landlord of the Horse Shoe in the New Market Place (now Victoria Square).

But either Thomas doesn’t seem to have made a good fist of running the pub or he decided to get out of the trade when John Settle died in 1870. Thomas and Mary Anne were still at the pub on the 1871 census, but by 1881 they were living at Clyde Street where he is described as a retired beerseller. 

After the settles Reece Ivill is listed as the licensee in 1876 and William Street was there according to the 1881 Census. He had been at the Bank View on Kestor Street in 1876. 

The Royal George was unusual in that it was owned at various time by two of Bolton’s ‘big three’ brewers having been a Magee’s house in the late-nineteenth century and then owned by Sharman’s up to its closure. Sharman’s was a relatively local concern being situated next to Mere Hall.

The pub closed in 1922 and the building was converted to alternative uses. It was demolished in the 1960s as part of the clearance of much of the area between Blackburn Road and Chorley Old Road.

Royal George Ship Royal George Bolton site of

Blackburn Road near its junction with Halliwell Road in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). Thanks to various road improvements Blackburn Road is much wider than it was before the 1970s.  Indeed, the Royal George was demolished to help facilitate those improvements. But the old layout can be gauged by the fact that the pavement we can see on Blackburn Road as it disappears into the distance ran at the same level on this stretch. The junction with Moss Street was just before the junction with Halliwell Road so this shot is within a few feet of where the Royal George used to stand.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bird I'Th Hand, 20 Bank Street, Bolton




The Bird I’th Hand was one of Bolton’s oldest pubs having been mentioned on the licensing records for 1778. It was situated at 20 Bank Street just up from the nightclub known in later years as Maxwell’s Plum or the Late Bar.

The pub was also a lodging house, though it didn’t always attract a desirable clientele in what was a rough part of the town centre. Here’s a court case from the middle of the nineteenth century:

James Taylor, a respectably-dressed young man, was charged with having stolen a quantity of wearing apparel from the house of Mr James Suttie, the Bird-i-th’-Hand, Bank-street. He got lodgings in the house on Saturday evening, and at midnight, after he had pretended to go to bed, he attempted to leave the house unseen, taking with him nearly all the female servants’ wearing apparel. Committed for trial.

Manchester Courier, 28 August 1852

James Suttie was later at the Coe Street Tavern.

The final landlord of the Bird I’Th Hand was James Brownlow. The pub closed in 1870 and in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that it existed as a lodging house by 1876. But by 1895 it was a club, the Friendly Societies Working Men’s Club, and existed as such at least until the 1920s. 

The building that stands on the site is not the original. However, in recent years the site has housed the Taboosh Takeaway and the Via Italia restaurant before the Taboosh Shisha bar opened on in 2010.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Antelope (Antelope's Head), Churchgate, Bolton

Antelopes Head ABC Cinema Churchgate Bolton 1976

The ABC Cinema on Churchgate is seen here in the summer of 1976 with 'It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet' as the main feature. The Antelope occupied the right-hand part of the premises. Copyright Bolton Library and Museums Service.


The Antelope Inn – or the Antelope’s Head as it was sometimes known – stood on Churchgate and was used as a pub for almost a hundred years from around the 1790s onwards. It was situated at 27 Churchgate, halfway between the Golden Lion and the Boars Head.

To the rear of the pub was Antelope Court which contained a three-storey silk mill, tenement dwellings and a bakehouse. At the back of Antelope Court, overlooking the River Croal, was a pit where cock fights would take place. [1] Cock fighting was hugely popular in Bolton with wagers taking place on the result of fights. But gambling was illegal as the Antelope’s landlord Mr Gee discovered in 1829. He was fined £5 for allowing gambling on his premises – the equivalent of around £500 today. [2]

Fred Hill’s 1981 book Churchgate: 50 Years Ago, A Biography Of Lifestyles In The Early Thirties shows pictures of the Antelope Court cock-fighting pit taken at the time he wrote his book. It is also an interesting read from a modern-day perspective even when he talks about the area in the early-eighties. An artist’s impression of Antelope’s Court by Robert Hampson (1925-1996) can be seen here

Steve Fielding gives an account of a murder in Antelope’s Court in 1883. An extract from his book Murderous Bolton can be seen here. He notes that the site is reputedly haunted.

A look at local directories show landlords coming and going from the Antelope. It was in a very heavily-pubbed area of the town centre and theatres began to spring up on the other side of Churchgate during the nineteenth century. Indeed, one licensee of the pub, Peter Crook, was declared bankrupt in 1858. He was at the Starkie Arms on Tonge Moor Road in 1849 but moved to the Antelope’s Head in the early-1850s. By 1858 he was living in lodgings on Shipgates, just off Bradshawgate, when he was hauled before the judge and presumably off to the debtor’s prison. [3]

By 1869 the tenancy of the Antelope was being advertised in the Bolton Evening News. It was described as being “a well-known and fully accustomed house”. Previous landlord Josiah Hurst had moved on to another pub. [4]

But by 1880 the Antelope’s time was up. It ceased to be a pub and was converted into retail premises and served as a butcher’s shop run by Edmund Aspinall for many years. Mr Aspinall was educated at Settle’s private school (formerly the Free Reading School, founded 1748) in Antelope Court. He became a Conservative councillor in 1897 for Derby Ward, and was the leader of the  Conservative group on Bolton Council for over 20 years. He was the Mayor of Bolton in 1923-24 [more on Edmund Aspinall here]. Older readers may be familiar with the Aspin Hall in Aspinalls Buildings on Deansgate. Aspinall’s Buildngs was founded by Edmund Aspinall.

The butcher’s shop closed in the mid-1920s and the site was demolished shortly afterwards. The Capitol Cinema was built on its site and opened on 13 February 1929 with the screening of Dolores del Rio in Ramona. The cinema underwent a refurbishment in 1956 and was renamed the ABC in 1962. The initials stood for Associated British Cinemas, the cinema's owners. The ABC closed as a cinema in 1 October 1977 with Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. [5]  Like many cinemas it became a bingo hall before opening in 1979 as JJB Sports, a leisure centre with squash courts in the cinema’s former seating area. That building was demolished in 1988 and Stone Cross House was built on the site. The Inland Revenue moved in and HMRC, as it is now, still maintains a presence on the site along with offices for a number of small businesses.

[1] Churchgate Conservation Document, Bolton Council, 2008. Accessed 23 November 2015. 
[2] Manchester Courier, 30 May 1829.
[3] Manchester Courier, 5 June 1858.
[4] Bolton Evening News, 15 May 1859
[5] Cinema Treasures. Accessed 23 November 2015. 


Antelopes Head Bolton site of Aug 2015

The site of the Antelopes Head, Stone Cross House, pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View).

Monday, 23 November 2015

Boilermakers Arms, 48 Phoenix Street, Bolton



Boilermakers Arms Bolton site of August 2015

A children’s playground stands on the site of the Boilermakers Arms on Phoenix Street. (Copyright Google Street View August 2015).

The Boilermakers Arms was situated on Phoenix Street, a street that still exists and which connects Folds Road with Turton Street.

The first record of the pub is when Andrew Chadwick is listed as its licensee in the 1871 Bolton directory. Mr Chadwick originated from Blackburn and was a yarn dresser living in Woodside Place, Darcy Lever according to the 1861 census. By 1871 he was running the Boilermakers Arms along with his wife, Ellen. Two daughters, aged 17 and 9 were with them along with a two-year-old grandson.

The Boilermakers Arms took its name from the Phoenix Boiler Works, an engineering factory that appears on maps towards the end of the 20th century. The factory was practically next door to the pub. As Phoenix Mill it later dealt in cotton waste and the site of the mill still operates as a waste recycling plant.

The cutting below comes from the Bolton Evening News shortly before the Boilermakers Arms closed in 1956. It notes that it was owned by the Crown Brewery of Bury. Crown didn’t have a huge number of pubs in the town though the Man and Scythe on Churchgate was one of them. Crown took the council’s offer of compensation and the pub was demolished as part of a slum clearance plan along with many of the surrounding streets. A children’s playground now stands on the site.

Boilermakers Arms Bolton 1956


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.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Barley Mow, 140 Crook Street, Bolton




Crook Street goes off in the distance and Thynne Street goes across the middle of this August 2015 image (copyright Google Street View). When Sainsbury’s was built on the site of the old Hick, Hargreaves factory in 2003-04 it took out much of Burns Street. Only the junction with Bridgeman Street now exists. At the other end of the street at the junction with Crook Street was the site of the Barley Mow, roughly where the bushes are on this image.

The Barley Mow was situated at the Thynne Street corner of Crook Street, part of a triangle of land also bordered by Burns Street and which was later used as a bus station.

The pub dated back to the 1840s when the part of Crook Street around the Holy Trinity church was being developed. It is mentioned on the licensing list of 1849, but it isn’t on directories from that decade – 1843 or 1848.

The first recorded licensee was Robert Hamer. Robert was a joiner living in Hanover Square according to the 1841 census. A decade later he and his wife Sarah were at the Barlow Mow along with their son Henry. But by 1861 he had given up the pub trade and was living just around the corner in Burns Street and working as a joiner and undertaker.

The Barley Mow was licensed to sell beer and wine, but Gordon Readyhough tells us in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000 that by the 1890s the licensee was also brewing his own beer. That is likely to have been Isaac Gibbons who spent around twenty years at the Barlow Mow from late-1870s onwards. By 1901 he had moved to the Grapes on Blackburn Road.

The Barley Mow lasted until 1910 by which time it was being supplied by Wilson’s brewery of Newton Heath, Manchester. Later in the twentieth century Wilson’s were a major supplier of beers in Bolton. 

The premises were demolished soon afterwards and in time the rest of the buildings between Burns Street and Thynne Street were also pulled down. For some years from the 1940s up to the expansion of Moor Lane bus station in 1969 this parcel of land was used as a small bus station by operators such as Salford Corporation Transport and Lancashire United Transport. Salford’s number 8 bus to Manchester used this small station which consisted of no more than a few stone shelters.  A 1958 map of Bolton bus services shows that the number 12 to Manchester, the 41 to Worsley and Eccles, the 49 to Union Road Mills, the 51 to Little Lever and the 52 to Bury via Little Lever and Radcliffe all left from this bus station. When the buses moved to Moor Lane the land was used as storage by Thistlethwaites Tyres. When the news Sainsbury’s was built Thistlethwaites moved across Burns Street to occupy the whole parcel of land that once contained the Barley Mow.


 “John McDermott, 19, was indicted for stealing from the person of Robert McClenahan, a silver lever watch and three shillings in money on 28 June. Mr Marshall prosecuted and Mr Cottingham defended. The parties were drinking together on the day in question and at the Barley Mow on Crook Street, prosecutor fell asleep. He awoke at eleven o’clock at night, but the prisoner had then left, and the watch and money were gone. The prosecutor was drunk at the time, and admitted in cross-examination that it was probable he might have asked the prisoner to take care of the watch. Evidence as to the character of the witness was given and by direction of the Recorder a verdict of not guilty was at once returned. The Recorder, in discharging the prisoner, said that in this case the prosecutor was more to blame than the prisoner, and he ought to leave that court thoroughly ashamed of himself for his conduct.”

Bolton Evening News, 23 July 1869.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Dog And Partridge, 22 - 24 Manor Street, Bolton


Dog and Partridge Manor Street Bolton
Dog and Partridge in 2010

On 31 August 2015 Neil Piper, the landlord of the Dog and Partridge, wrote on the pub’s website that the D&P would not be reopening and would soon be demolished. It had already been closed for ten months after a car drove through the traffic lights at the bottom of Kay Street and into a side wall narrowly missing Neil and some visitors who had been sitting in the vault just a few minutes earlier. The damage sustained in the incident and in a series of subsequent break-ins that easily ran into double figures meant the pub was uneconomical to repair. 

As Neil Piper locked up in the early hours of 29 October 2014 the last thing on his mind was that he was bringing down the curtain on 209 years of trading at the Dog and Partridge. But the incident later that day meant that a pub built in 1805 had served its last pint.

The Dog and Partridge was originally two residences both dating back to the early years of the nineteenth century, the original pub being the vault and the snug and numbered 24 Manor Street. It later expanded into adjoining premises, number 22. Early Bolton directories showed the following licensees: 

1818: J Hardman; 
1836 James Hayward – or Haywood – who later became a saddler. 1842: Richard Sharples, who moved from Turton to take over the pub. 
1848: John Duerden. 
1851: James Wardle. James left to become a cotton worker in Halliwell, but he was back in the pub trade by 1876 just a few yards up the road at the Hare and Hounds on Bank Street. 
1853 William Mercer. 
1869: William Parker. 
1876: William Mercer. 
1895: Edward Gaskill. 
1905: William Entwistle. 
1924: Mrs Ellen Hill.

“To Let with immediate possession, a well-accustomed PUBLIC HOUSE known by the name of “Dog & Partridge” Manor Street. Good reason for leaving. Apply on the premises.”

Bolton Evening News, 23 October 1869

Plans for alterations in 1930 can be seen here. They were uncovered by Vince Noir, to whom I am indebted. Other than a more open-plan look in the lounge that involved removing part of a wall in the 1970s the pub’s layout remained pretty much unchanged from these plans right up to the end. The bar was rebuilt as part of the 1930 plans – the curve is more pronounced on the newer plans. Seating backing on to the front wall was installed in the vault and remained in situ for the rest of the building’s existence. The Snug became a Smoke Room.

The plans also show an upstairs room which is described as a Club Room. The Dog had been known as a meeting place for clubs and societies as far back as 1869 and probably area. The Bolton Evening News for 26 June that year carried an advertisement on behalf of the George The Third Lodge of the National Independent Order of Oddfellows:

“Tea Party and Ball to be held at the house of Wm. Parker, Dog and Partridge, Manor Street, on Saturday July 3rd. Tea on the Tables at Four o’clock. Healthy young men from the age of 18 to 35 will be presented with a ticket on payment of their Entrance fee.

Tickets may be had from John Webster, 35 Churchgate, and Miles Sweeny, 32 Crown-street.”

A tea party AND a ball. That assumed there would be a live band – and all in the Dog’s upstairs club room. But as was seen for much of the latter days of its existence the pub became adept at shoe-horning in both punters and performers into a confined space.

The Dog was owned by Cornbrooks by the early part of the 20th century. The trail of takeovers meant that prior to that it was probably owned by Atkinsons of Commission Street. William Atkinson started the company in Water Street, just around the corner from the Dog, and by 1871 he had moved to premises across the road from the pub at number 1, Manor Street. Atkinson’s were taken over by Cornbrooks in 1895. Cornbrooks were taken over by United Lancastrian Breweries Ltd in 1961 and subsequently became part of Bass Charrington. Cornbrooks brewery was still in production in 1973 and the company’s products were still advertised on a window in the Dog’s snug right up to the pub’s closure.

By the early part of 1978 the Dog was run by an Indian couple, Mr and Mrs Patel, but when the Patels decided to leave due to Mrs Patel’s ill-health Bass put the pub up for sale. It was bought at auction by the Blackburn brewers, Thwaites. Under Thwaites’ ownership the D&P was unspoilt – much to the dismay of tenants who were constantly promised a refurbishment that never happened. But to its regulars it had a charm all of its own. It retained a traditional pub lay-out with a vault to the left of the main entrance, a lounge to the right. The Smoke room became a pool room and, in the late-nineties, was converted back into a Snug.

By 1997 the Dog and Partridge was struggling. It was taken on by Angus Crompton, one of the pub’s regulars and he was in charge until Neil Piper and Terry Fletcher took on the tenancy in 2000. Neil and Terry were also customers at the pub.

Under Neil’s 14-year stewardship the pub took off in a different direction as it began to cater for live alternative music. Hundreds of bands played in the pub's main room, which could fit 100 people with any comfort. The outdoor area to the rear of the pub staged an annual festival, Dogstock, attended by hundreds of fans each year. Along with the Alma, at the other end of the town centre on Bradshawgate and catering for heavy metal bands, the Dog and Partridge offered an alternative to the rest of the town centre and was often seen as an oasis of sanity.

Thwaites decided to sell in 2006 as the brewer withdrew from running smaller pubs that were often less profitable. The Craven Heifer on Blackburn Road and the Starkie Arms on Tonge Moor Road were also disposed of around this time. Having got the cash together to buy the Dog and Patridge outright Neil and Terry discovered on the day of completion that the pub had been withdrawn from the market. Thwaites had decided instead to sell it to Bluemantle, a company looking to redevelop the whole of the area bounded by Bank Street, Manor Street and Brown Street - the Church Wharf development. The development has yet to take place. Bluemantle lodged ‘outline planning permission’ in January 2013 and the demolition of the pub means one less property to worry about.

We’ve written over 200 of these lost pubs. Many of them are just long-forgotten names finally entering the public domain as a matter of record. But as the 21st-century has progressed some of the Lost Pubs of Bolton are the pubs of our youth. Pubs such as the Howcroft, the Sally Up Steps, the Clifton – great pubs in their heydays.

The manner of a pub closing is always sad, but with the exception of the Top Storey Club none has been as tragic as the end of the Dog and Partridge. It was a tragedy for Neil Piper. It was a tragedy for Angus Crompton and Terry Fletcher, both of whom stepped in to stop the pub closing in the past. It was a tragedy for the family and friends of Craig Durham, the driver of the car on that fateful evening in October 2014, who hung himself a few weeks later. It was a tragedy for the pub’s customers. The Dog and Partridge was a special pub to very many people, an unspoilt gem that had managed to reinvent itself and keep going against all the odds. To lose it was bad enough. To lose it in the manner that it went was heartbreaking on so many levels.

In 1993, the then landlord of the Dog and Partridge, Tony Thompson, announced he was leaving the pub due to ill-health. On his final evening he hosted a small gathering of the pub’s customers and he proposed a toast: “To the Dog – it will outlive us all!” Sadly, Tony died in 1998 but there can have been few present that night who didn’t believe that an establishment then heading for its bi-centenary would go on and on just as it always had done. The Dog and Partridge was to last for just 21 more years.

The Dog and Partridge pictured on 28 September 2015.