Friday, 1 January 2016

Black Lion, Turton Street, Bolton

The Black Lion was situated at 18 Turton Street close to the junction with Kay Street. The pub dated back to the 1860s when John Heywood is listed as the landlord on the 1869 Bolton Directory. By 1871 John Crompton had moved into the pub. He had lived further down Turton Street in 1861 when he was a cotton spinner.

By the early-1890s the pub was owned by the local brewery of Atkinson’s and was being run by William Morris, but he has hauled before the courts in 1891 accused of allowing betting at his pub. It wasn’t uncommon in those days for plain clothes police officers to sit in pubs looking out for any betting activity. William Morris was accused of running a book on the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket. He pleaded guilty and was fined 15 shillings – the equivalent of around £85 today. He also elected against an appeal before a jury. [1]

By 1911 a series of takeovers meant the Black Lion was owned by the Cornbrook Brewery of Manchester. The landlord was 30-year-old James Ferguson who ran the pub with his wife Edith Alice Ferguson (1884-1952). Edith was the daughter of Thomas Robertson a local landlord who formerly ran the Bridgeman Arms and the Oxnoble, both on Bridgeman Street, and the Little John and the Cotton Tree both on Lever Street.

Two years later, in 1913, the pub closed when the licensing magistrates referred the Black Lion to the local council’s compensation authority. [2] The landlord at the time was Thomas Hulme. The compensation scheme was set up to buy pubs in heavily-pubbed areas. The area bounded by Turton Street, Kay Street and Folds Road contained some 20 pubs so it was only natural that the council would try and reduce the number of licensed premises in that area. The compensation authority bought the premises and sold them on without their licences. It became a shop and in 1924 it was being run by Joseph Kay. It was demolished in the late-1930s and council housing was built on the site.

[1] Manchester Courier, 29 May 1891
[2] Manchester Courier, 25 April 1913.

Turton Street pictured in August 2015. The building that housed the Black Lion was on the right-hand side of the road as we look. It was demolished in the 1930s and housing built in its place.

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