Saturday, 9 January 2016

Foresters Arms, 421 Blackburn Road, Bolton

The Foresters Arms was situated at 421 Blackburn Road, Bolton. Its original address was 21 Blackburn Road, but when Astley Bridge was incorporated into the County Borough Of Bolton in 1896 the number of the house was changed along with all those on the other side of the bridge further down Blackburn Road that marked the former boundary between Bolton and Astley Bridge.

The first mention we have as a beerhouse is on the 1876 Post Office Bolton Directory when the landlord was Peter Hardman. Born in Harwood in 1824, Mr Hardman was listed as living in Kelly Row on Blackburn Road in 1851. By 1871 he was listed as a “watchman and beer seler” in what was now the Foresters Arms. He remained at the pub until his death in 1887.

On the 1895 Directory the landlord was given as Richard Thornborough. However, directories were often compiled up to a year in advance. Richard Thornborough (b. Rumworth, 1857) had actually died in February 1894 and his widow Martha was now running the pub. The Thornboroughs had also been at the premises on the 1891 census.

In February 1895 Martha Thornborough married John Wilcock, a shoemaker from Snowden Street close to the town centre. In October of that year the freehold of the pub was put up for auction. [1] It was leased to Magee, Marshall and Co but the lease was due to expire in 1898 and the brewery bought the freehold to secure their interest in the pub.

John and Martha Wilcock remained at the Foresters Arms. The 1901 census shows that they were living at the premises along with three of Martha’s children from her first marriage to Richard Thornborough along with two children she had with John Wilcock.

The Foresters Arms closed in 1913 when the Bolton licensing magistrates referred the pub and six other licensed premises to the Compensation Authority. [2] The authority bought licensed premises in order to cut down on the number of pubs and beerhouses in the town. However, the Wilcock family continued to live there. The 1924 Bolton Directory shows John Wilcock still at 421 Blackburn Road and working as a boot repairer. He died in 1932 at the age of 69. Martha Wilcock moved to Baythorpe Street on the other side of Blackburn Road. She died two years later at the age of 77.

Number 421 Blackburn Road still exists and an August 2015 image can be seen below (copyright Google Street View). Since 1987 it has been the Talking Heads hairdressing salon. According to contributors on Rootsweb, the gate next to the former pub led to an area known as ‘the Hovel’ though the land actually belongs to one of the properties in Viola Street. [3]

[1] Manchester Courier, 12 October 1895.
[2] Manchester Courier, 25 April 2013.
[3] Rootsweb. Accessed 9 January 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment