Friday, 2 September 2016

Junction Inn - Smoothing Iron, 77 - 79 Egyptian Street, Bolton

The Junction Inn was situated at the meeting of three thoroughfares: Egyptian Street, St John’s Street and the northernmost part of Higher Bridge Street close to where it meets Blackburn Road and Kay Street.

The building was used as a pub in at least the 1860s. The first record we have of it as licensed premises is from 1869 when the licensee, George Pownall decided to sell the lease. [1]

However, the advertisement suggested that the lease agreement dated back to 1837, the likely date of construction although it may not necessarily have been a pub right from the start. At that time of the 1869 sale the pub was known as the Smoothing Iron due to its unusual rectangular shape and it was still known by that name as late as 1876.

For over ten years, the Junction was in the hands of Martha Cope and it seems to have taken on that name under her tenure. Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1859, Martha moved in to the pub in the 1880s with her first husband, Joseph Smith. He died in 1890 leaving Martha and three children and she took over the running of the pub.

In 1893, Martha married the pub’s barman, the Nottingham-born William Henry Cope, who was already living at the pub according to the 1891 census. They went on to have two children together, but in March 1898 on a visit to his home town, William died at the age of just 26.

Martha Cope died in 1901. By the time of the 1911 Census the eldest child, Minnie Smith, was married to William Kirkman. The two other children she had with Joseph Smith were living with their aunt and uncle in Darbishire Street. Two other children, Ethel and Martha, later emigrated to Canada.

Martha Cope was succeeded by Joseph John Goodlad, a career licensee who had previously been at the Union Arms on Deane Road. At the time of his death in 1920 he had moved on again, this time to the Windsor Castle at the bottom of Halliwell Road.

By then the Junction Inn was in the hands of Magee’s brewery after their takeover of previous owners, Halliwell’s Alexandra Brewery in 1910. Although Greenall Whitley were the owners when the pub closed in the 1960s it was still being supplied by beer brewed by Magee’s Crown Brewery just off Derby Street.

 [1] Bolton Evening News, 12 May 1869.

Blackburn Road goes off to the right and Egyptian Street to the left in this August 2015 image (copyright Google Street View). The Junction Inn stood where the trees are in the middle distance. The short thoroughfare heading off to the right of where the pub stood was once the bottom end of St John’s Street.

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