Saturday, 19 November 2016

Greyhound, 564-566 Manchester Road, Bolton

The Greyhound pictured in 2008 a couple of years before its closure (copyright Google Street View). Note the Greyhound weather-vane on the pub’s chimney. This was removed after closure.

The Greyhound was situated on Manchester Road between Green Lane and Moses Gate. This particular part of Great Lever enjoyed three pubs: the Bridgewater Arms  (also known as the Gravel Hole after its locality), and the Bradford Arms, on the same side of the road as the Greyhound and not far from the Bridgewater.

The first mention we have of the pub is in the 1869 Bolton Directory when Thomas Shaw is a provision dealer and beerseller on Manchester Road. Shaw grew up in pubs. At various times his father, John Shaw, was landlord of both the Bradford and the Bridgewater.

Thomas was initially a wheelwright. By 1856 he and his wife Harriet were living in Lever Hall Fold, a small settlement close to Great Lever Hall and situated in an area that was cleared in the 1960s for the construction of St Peters Way.

Some time in the 1860s, Thomas Shaw and his family moved across Manchester Road to open a provisions store and beerhouse in what became the Greyhound. He was to remain there for over 30 years.

Two of Thomas Shaw’s daughters married brothers from the Middlefell family of Starcliffe Street. Elizabeth Shaw married William Middlefell in 1881 and the family went to live in Shaw Street, which ran down by the side of the White Horse Hotel near Moses Gate station. Sadly, she died after giving birth to a son in 1885. Later, William Middlefell was to move next door to the Greyhound at 568 Manchester Road. He died there in 1913.

Another daughter, Mary Jane, married Edward Middlefell in 1882. They took over the pub when Thomas Shaw retired. Thomas died at the Greyhound in 1896 but the Middefells tenure didn’t last for much longer. By 1901, the landlord was William Kay, formerly a wine and spirit salesman who remained at the Greyhound until his death in 1919.

By 1922 the pub was being run by Thomas Hodson. In 1922, his daughter Constance married a professional cricketer, Charlie Hallows who played for Lancashire. In 1928 the Little Lever-born Hallows achieved the feat of scoring 1000 runs in the month of May which has only been matched by two other players. [1]

The Greyhound received a full licence in 1933 allowing it to serve wines and spirits as well as beer. The pub was owned by Liverpool brewery Walker Cain after a series of takeovers left the with a sizeable tied estate in Bolton. Walker’s decided to transfer the full licenses of the Old Robin Hood on Lever Street, the Three Tuns  on Chapel Street, and the Arrowsmith Arms on Mill Street, to three other pubs: the Greyhound, the Vulcan on Junction Road and the Nightingale on Lever Street. However, the council was also keen to cut down on the number of pubs and before allowing the deal to go ahead they insisted that Walker’s surrendered three beerhouse licenses, as well. The Merehall  on Lyon Street, the Greengate on Hammond Street and the Black Horse in Chew Moor were all axed.

Walkers merged with Tetley in 1961 to form Tetley Walker. As breweries disposed of their tied houses the Greyhound was sold to a Mr Grundy in 2000. He closed the pub in 2010 and converted it into living accommodation.

The Greyhound pictured around 1974.

[1] Wikipedia. Accessed 19 November 2016.

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