Monday, 22 August 2016

Railway Tavern, Bradshawgate

A short-lived pub on Bradshawgate, the first evidence we have of the Railway Tavern is on the 1849 list of Bolton beer houses when Edmund Harwood was the licensee. 

It seems the business’s days as a beerhouse were limited even then. It didn’t appear in the 1848 Bolton directory and by the time of the 1851 census Edmund Harwood is listed as a confectioner. It seems likely that the pub had closed and Mr Harwood and his wife Ann were now selling sweets.

By 1861, the premises were numbered 60 Bradshawgate, which puts it somewhere near to where the Pack Horse was. Edmund is a provision dealer and confectioner and lives with a servant and three lodgers.

Edmund Harwood died in 1864. 

Little John, Ashburner Street

The Little John was situated in Ashburner Street and was a short-lived beerhouse in the middle of the 19th century.

The 1848 directory shows James Nuttall as the licensee of an un-named pub in Ashburner Street. By the time the licensing magistrates compiled their list of Bolton beerhouses in 1849 it had a name – the Little John.

Quite why it was named the Little John isn’t given, but a clue can be gleaned further down Ashburner Street where the Robin Hood was situated. Two pubs in Lever Street later pulled the same trick with a Robin Hood and a Little John just yards away from each other.

By 1851 James Nuttall had moved on to a pub on Crook Street. The Little John on Ashburner Street either changed its name or had closed down.

The 1861 census shows James Nuttall working as a cotton waste dealer at 13 Crook Street and ten years later in 1871 he is at the same address but is described as a clock dresser.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Old Cock Tavern, 13 Green Street, Bolton

The Old Cock Tavern dated back to the 1830s. It was originally known simply as the Cock Tavern. There was also a pub by that name on Churchgate just a few hundred yards away, but while pubs with the same name – and there was more than one pub in Bolton named the Hen and Chickens, the Millstone and the Nags Head to name but three – often differentiated themselves with the longer established pub as naming itself ‘Old’ that wasn’t initially the case with the Cock. The Cock on Green Street eventually re-named itself as the Old Cock despite the fact that its contender for the title was open from at least the 1700s until the 1830s.

In 1848 the landlord of the Cock was George Bromiley. He was hauled before the court in April of that year “on police intelligence” according to a newspaper report at the time. The main reason for pub landlords appearing in court was a breach of Sunday drinking laws which prohibited alcohol being served before 12.30 on a Sunday lunch time and between 3.30 and 6 on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday mornings and late Sunday afternoons were the time for Divine Service and Evensong respectively. [1]

The pub was run for many years by Mary Shepherd, also known as Mary Warburton. Mary and her first husband John Warburton first moved into the Old Cock in the mid-1860s. John Warburton died in 1873 and Mary married a weaver named John Shepherd in 1877. John and Mary Shepherd then ran the Old Cock for a number of years afterwards.

The pub became a Tong’s house and remained so until it shut in 1935. By then, Tong’s tied estate was in the hands of the Warrington brewery of Walker Cain. After a review of their local pubs the Old Cock was closed down. The building remained standing for a number of years afterwards until it was cleared along with the rest of the area in the 1960s.
Fold Road car park now stands on the site.

[1] Manchester Courier, 29 April 1848.

Squirrell Tavern, White Lion Brow, Bolton

The Squirell Tavern (sic) was situated on White Lion Brow and appears to have been a short-lived pub in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The 1849 list of Bolton beerhouses shows Richard Parker as the licensee of the Squirrell Tavern. Just two years later Richard had crossed the bridge over the River Croal and on to Chorley Street, Little Bolton where he was a beerseller is at number 119. Two other beerhouses on Chorley Street at that time were the John O’Gaunt and the Brinks Brow Tavern. Richard Parker’s beerhouse could have been either of those but no record exists of their number.

Richard Parker is listed at 119 Chorley Street on the 1851 Census and in the Bolton directories for 1853 and 1855.

By 1861 Richard Parker had moved to 30 White Lion Brow where he was again a beerseller. It is not known whether the premises were the same as those of the previous Squirrell Tavern.

Although he appears to have spent the best part of 20 years as a beerseller, Richard Parker was a shoemaker by trade. The 1841 Census shows him living in Turton Street along with his wife Betty and working as a shoemaker. Betty died in 1865 and Richard appears to have given up the pub trade to go back to work as a shoemaker. He was working as such and living at 129 Folds Road according to the 1871 Census.

Number 30 White Lion Brow reverted to being residential accommodation. In more recent years it was the home of Navada Motors Ltd but on their departure for Wordsworth Street in 2013 the building was demolished. A photo of the premises from April 2012 can be seen below (copyright Google Street View).

Monday, 15 August 2016

City Hotel, 37-39 Eskrick Street, Bolton

The former City Hotel pictured in 2009 (copyright Google Street View). The building was demolished a couple of years later. The front steps still remain.

The City Hotel was situated at 37-39 Eskrick Street in the Brownlow Fold area of Bolton.
A beerhouse named the Eskrick Arms existed at 33-35 Eskrick Street and was certainly in existence at the time of the 1871 Census. By 1881, John Farnworth is at 33-35 Eskrick Street.

So did 33-35 Eskrick Street change its name from the Eskrick Arms to the City Arms? Although streets often renumbered their buildings it is more likely that number 33-35 became the shop at the corner of Darley Street and Eskrick Street. 

Certainly the City Arms as shown on later maps was quite an imposing building – twice the size of those around it. By 1895 it was certainly known as such with an address of 39 Eskrick Street. Robert Bibby (1845-1900) was the landlord and Gordon Readyhough tells us that it was a home-brew pub at the end of the 19th century. [1]

After Robert Bibby’s death in 1900, his widow Maria remained at the pub. She married Ellis Greenhalgh, at 42 some ten years younger than her, in the spring of 1905. The couple were in Wordsworth Street by 1911.

By 1924 Thomas Clowes was the landlord of the City. He was in his mid-fifties and was a shopkeeper/fruiterer in Darley St in 1911 – possibly the building on the site of the old Eskrick Arms. The shop premises had previously been run by his father-in-law and were  next door to the City. The greengrocers closed when Thomas Clowes left and was turned into a fish-and-chip shop.

Magees took over the City and it subsequently became a Greenalls pub following their takeover of Magees in 1958.

The original City Hotel was pulled down along with much of the surrounding area in 1968. However, Greenall’s were given planning permission to rebuild the pub. The new City Hotel opened later that year. It closed in 2008. There were plans for the premises to be converted into an Indian restaurant; however, those plans fell through and the building was demolished in 2011.

[1] Bolton Pubs, 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Blue Bell, 63 Spring Gardens

The Blue Bell was situated on Spring Gardens in the centre of town. The pub was opened in the 1830s by Thomas Foster (born 1777). A cotton weaver by trade Foster most likely left the running of the pub to his wife Ann.

Thomas Foster appears in local directories from 1836 onwards. In April 1848 he was hauled before the courts after being caught serving beer on a Sunday morning a crime that saw him fined 2 shillings plus costs. [1]

The Bolton directory published later in 1848 sees Thomas Foster replaced by Joseph Graham and family. However, Thomas Foster had returned by 1852. He died later that same year and the pub appears to have closed a short time afterwards.

[1] Manchester Courier, 29 April 1848.

Sefton Arms, 22 Brougham Street, Bolton

The Sefton Arms dated back to the 1860s. The first record we have is when John Lewis is listed as licensee on the Bolton Directory of 1869. The pub was situated on Brougham Street, a short side street that linked Pen Street with Lune Street off Halliwell Road. It was a typical street-corner local standing on the corner of the junction with Thwaites Street.

In October 1869, landlord John Lewis was caught selling booze beyond his permitted opening time of 11pm. It was only 11.15 and Lewis claimed that his clock showed the time as being nine minutes past, but the magistrates took the evidence of the policeman concerned, Constable Woods, and fined the unfortunate Mr Lewis 10 shillings (50p) plus costs.  That's the equivalent of around £60 today. [1]

By the start of the twentieth century The Sefton was owned by Halliwell’s brewery situated just a few hundred yards away Mount Street. Halliwell’s were bought out by Magees in 1910 and the Sefton became a Greenall’s pub after they took over Magees in 1958.

The Sefton closed in 1971 as part of the clearances in the Halliwell area. Brougham Street, Pen Street, Thwaites Street were all demolished and Halliwell Health Centre now stands on the site.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 2 November 1869.