Sunday, 31 January 2016

Pineapple (Sweet Home), 25 Water Street, Bolton

 The Pineapple Inn was known as the Sweet Home in the 19th century. It was situated at 23 Water Street, a thoroughfare which ran from Folds Road down to the River Croal on land now covered by Folds Road car park.

In 1861, Joseph Nicholson lived at the premises along with his wife Ann, four daughters and a niece. The 55-year-old Nicholson is described as a shop manager and the 1871 Census still describes the premises as a shop, but he is also described as a beer retailer in the 1869 Bolton Directory. That could mean the shop was an off-licence but it could also mean that beer was being consumed on the premises. Joseph Nicholson was still at the shop/pub according to the 1876 Directory but by 1881 he had retired and was living on Pikes Lane (Deane Road).

Two later licensees moved to the Sweet Home from Nelson’s Monument which was situated on Blackburn Road: John Flitcroft was at the Sweet Home in 1881 while John Brotherton was there from 1891 until around 1894.

It was around 1900 that the Sweet Home became the Pineapple and was bought by Halliwell’s brewery of Mount Street. Halliwell’s were bought by Magees in 1910.

The Pineapple was taken over by William Cole in the late-1890s. A native of Staffordshire, William married his second wife Sarah Ann in 1899, shortly after he had taken over the pub. He remained at the Pineapple until after the First World War and was succeeded by John and Mary Tootill formerly lodgers at the pub when the Coles were there.

The Pineapple closed in 1934 at a time when the country was recovering from recession and pubs were struggling. With Magees owning the Grapes just across the road there appeared to be no reason to have two struggling outlets within yards of each other. The Pineapple was closed and the building was demolished in the 1940s.

Only a small part of Water Street still exists. However, the part from Brown Street to Folds Road has long since been covered by the car park on Folds Road. The picture below shows Water Street with Brown Street running along the middle. Until the whole of the area was redeveloped in the sixties and seventies another part of Water Street carried on beyond the greenery in the picture.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Founders Arms, 30-32 Ashburner Street, Bolton

Founders Arms Robin Hood Ashburner Street Bolton 1928

The block between Spring Gardens and Howell Croft South pictured in 1928 with properties boarded up and ready to be demolished. The Robin Hood can be seen in the foreground with the Founders Arms at the other end of the block. 

The Founders Arms on Ashburner Street dated back to 1806 when it was known as the Founders Inn.  It became the Founders Arms before 1818. There were a number of foundries in the area. Wardle’s directory for 1815 shows Blankley and Elton on King Street; James Kirkman and Co on Howell Croft and the much larger Union Foundry owned by Smalley, Thwaits and Co located on the site of the current market This final foundry gave Ashburner Street its name.  

One of the Founders’ early landlords, Robert Roberts, came to an unfortunate end while on a trip to London to watch the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. The Bolton Chronicle takes up the story:

“Immediately on his arrival in London, Mr. Roberts hired a cab to his destination, but had not been sat above a minute, before he was struck with the hand of death, and fell off his seat a corpse.” [1]

By 1876 the landlord was Richard Beckett who had previously been at the Farmers Arms on Derby Street. Beckett had moved to the Crofters Arms at Bradshaw by 1882, but the following year he filed for bankruptcy with debts of £1050 – the equivalent of £115,000 today!

The Founders was situated on the corner of Ashburner Street and Howell Croft – next to where the pelican crossing leads to the Octagon Theatre. At the other end of that block and on the corner of Spring Gardens, was the Robin Hood which was run by the  Ashton family for a number of years. By 1890 their daughter Rachel Briercliffe was the landlady of the Founders Arms so the family had both corners covered in what was a competitive part of town. Rachel had married a solicitor, Robert Briercliffe, in 1885 and the couple took over the pub a few years later. Robert continued in his work as a solicitor while Rachel’s background in the pub business meant that was the licensee. By 1901 they had retired to 2 Derby Road, Southport. Rachel died in 1917.

The Briefcliffes were succeeded at the Founders by Thomas Albert Ashton Tong who spent over 25 years at the pub. Tong was born in Ashburner Street at the end of 1869, the son of James Ashton Tong, an iron moulder in one of the local foundries. He married in 1895 and took over the Founders – by now a Magees pub - shortly afterwards. Thomas’s wife Sarah died in 1917. Thomas himself died in January 1925. His daughter Nellie was living in Oakwood on Chorley New Road by the time she married in 1940.

The Founders closed soon after Thomas Ashton Tong’s death. The pub’s full licence was transferred in 1926 to the Brooklyn Hotel on Green Lane. The building was demolished in 1928 along with its neighbour the Robin Hood. The civic centre was built on the site. The children’s library is situated on the site of the former Founders Arms.

[1] Bolton Chronicle, 30 June 1838.
[2] Manchester Courier, 29 June 1883.

Rope and Anchor, 198-200 Kay Street, Bolton

The Rope and Anchor was situated at 198-200 Kay Street, at the junction with Higher Bridge Street. The pub dates back to the 1860s when George Warburton bought a beerhouse licence and opened up his house at 200 Kay Street to sell beer. In 1851, Warburton – not directly related to the baking dynasty - was living in Back Lever Street. By 1861 he was at 200 Kay Street but was employed as a factory operative. By the time of the 1869 Bolton directory he was a beerhouse operator. He died in 1876 aged 53. His wife Ann took over until she died in 1879.

In the early part of the 20th century the pub was bought by Booth’s brewery who operated from the Rose and Crown on nearby Dean Street. By 1924 the pub was being run by Daniel Booth. He was the brother of William Settle who ran the brewery. An argument with another brother, Albert, who ran the Red Lion on Crook Street over the company’s name resulted in it being changed to WT Settle.

On William T Settle’s death in 1951 the brewery and its pubs were sold to Duttons of Blackburn. The Rope and Anchor became a fully-licensed public house in 1962. Duttons sold out to Whitbread in 1964.

The Rope and Anchor closed down in 1971. The pub and surrounding properties were subsequently demolished. 

The top end of Kay Street near the junction of Higher Bridge Street. The Rope and Anchor stood on the right-hand side of the street as we look on the site of the car park. The Smart car dealership is in the distance. When the area was redeveloped in the early seventies the Trutex factory was built on the site.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Founders Arms, 18 St Georges Street, Bolton

Founders Arms St Georges Street Bolton image dated 28 September 2015

The Founders Arms pictured in September 2005 shortly after its closure. Note the blanked-out name of former owner Burtonwood.

The first week in September 2015 could have been one of the blackest in the history of Bolton’s pubs. The week began with the announcement that the Dog and Partridge would not be re-opening, it ended with the closure of the Daisy Hill Hotel, it was announced that the Rocket would be closing for conversion into a convenience store, and somewhere in the midst of all that the closure of the Founders Arms on St George’s Street had been sold and would be closing.

The Founders Arms opened in the 1830s in order to provide liquid sustenance for the Hope Foundry. Situated on the opposite corner of All Saints Street to the Founders the foundry was built for Thompson, Swift and Cole in 1807 and later became Moscrop’s Oil Works and the Temple nightclub. On the other side of St George's Street was Little Bolton Town Hall. Built in 1826 it was the scene of a Chartist riot in 1839.

The pub was a fully-licensed public house from the start and it was run for the first quarter-century or so of its existence by the Brownlow family. Christopher Brownlow founded the pub and when he went off to run the Ainsworth Arms in the late-1830s he was succeeded by Joseph Brownlow who is believed to have been his brother. Joseph Brownlow died in 1850 aged 45 and his widow Sarah took over until the 1860s.

By the 1880s the Founders was owned by Elizabeth Rostron. She also owned two other pubs in the Bolton area: the Bridge on Bridge Street and the Gibraltar Rock on what was then known as Pikes Lane but which was renamed Deane Road in 1896. Right up until the Founders’ closure “Rostron’s Founders Arms” could be seen etched into the window above the front entrance.

A later landlord was Joshua Porritt who was at the pub in 1905 and whose family went on to found the Gregory and Porritt department store on Manchester Road. The store later moved to Great Moor Street where it remained for many years.

The Founders Arms was bought by local brewer Joseph Sharman’s. It became a Shaw’s house when Sharman’s were taken over in 1927, a Walker Cain outlet when they bought out Shaw’s in 1931 and a Tetley Walker pub when that firm was founded in 1960. 

As the nearest pub to the Palais de Danse  (later Cinderella Rockerfella's, Ritzy and Ikon) it benefited from passing trade on the way to the nightclub and was namechecked as such on Bob Williamson's 1975 album Superturn.

It was sold to Burtonwood’s in the 1990s and was owned by Admiral Taverns when it was sold and closed in 2015. The plan on closure was for conversion into flats.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Menai Bridge, 141 Bradshawgate, Bolton

The Menai Bridge was situated at 141 Bradshawgate close to the corner of Shifnall Street. The pub is first listed on the 1848 Bolton Directory as being an un-named beerhouse run by William Hilton, though the 1849 licensing listing has it as being named the Menai Bridge.

By 1851 William Hilton had gone and the pub was being run by George Birchby. George had previously been a baker on Bradshawgate but he would spend the next 37 years at the Menai Bridge. His son James was working as a brewer at the pub by 1871 having previously been a clogger and he appears to have taken over the running of the Menai Bridge as George got older.

George Birchby died in 1888.The pub became a Tong’s house with James Birchby living in the property next door. He later retired to Blackpool.

The Menai Bridge closed in 1901 when its licence was allowed to lapse. It was demolished a few years later to make way for Bolton Corporation Transport’s offices which opened in December 1906. A BMW dealership was later opened on the site after the transport offices were demolished in the 1980s. It can be seen below in August 2008 (copyright Google Street View) but has also closed down.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Lord Nelson, 121 Derby Street, Bolton

Lord Nelson 121 Derby Street Bolton

The Lord Nelson was the first pub on Derby Street and was situated on the corner of Shaw Street. It was certainly in existence by 1800 some 30-odd years after Derby Street was built and it pre-dated by about three years the second pub, the Pilkington Arms. The Corinthian masonic lodge were meeting at the Lord Nelson in 1800. [1]

The first landlord we have on record is John Stones who was at the pub in 1818. By 1836 it was under the control of Abraham Entwisle who had previously run the Cross Keys on Cross Street. However, by the time of the 1841 census it was occupied by Alexander Hardie. He sold the pub to William Maude in May 1842. [2] Maude was a brewer who ran the Derby brewery across the road from the Lord Nelson just a few doors up from the Derby Arms. But he didn’t last very long at the Lord Nelson. The 1843 Bolton Directory shows that Jonathan Kershaw was at the pub. Maude was declared bankrupt in 1849, though by 1853 he was back in business running the Britannia on the corner of Derby Street and Moor Lane. [3]  Meanwhile, Hardie moved into Back Derby Street where he manufactured cotton for a while, but he was hounded by his creditors and hauled before a debtors’ court in 1843. [4]

Jonathan Kershaw died in 1847 and his wife Betty took over as licensee, but she was up in front of the judge the following year after being found guilty of serving beer on the morning of Good Friday, 1848. Good Friday was treated as a Sunday – as it was until only fairly recently – and pubs were not allowed to open in the morning. Mrs Kershaw was fined £1 – the equivalent of over £100 today. She left the pub shortly afterwards. [5]

By 1861 the landlord of the Lord Nelson was James Flitcroft who  in 1854 had applied for a full public house licence at a previously unlicensed building on Derby Street. Not only was Flitcroft a pub landlord but he owned a construction business. He had eight children and all those old enough worked in his various businesses. Three of his sons were bricklayers while one of his daughters worked as a barmaid at the Lord Nelson.

For almost a decade from c 1875 onwards the Lord Nelson was run by Joseph Ashton, the son of the landlord of the nearby Halfway House. Joseph was to die in 1883 at the early age of just 41.

Frederick Morton Barker was at the Lord Nelson by 1900. Born at 33 Moor Lane in 1875, Fred Barker moved to the Lord Nelson shortly after his marriage to Hannah Brockbank in December 1899. He had moved across the road to the Derby Arms by the time Hannah died in 1914 at the age of 39 and he continued at the Derby for some years afterwards. Fred died in 1943 at the age of 68 by which time he had retired and was living in Harpers Lane. One of his daughters, Madeline Wadsworth (1903-1987), was Bolton organiser of the WRVS and was awarded the MBE in 1972.

By 1924 the Lord Nelson’s landlady was Emily Briggs. She had recently succeeded her late husband John Briggs (1869-1922). The couple had previously been at the Farmers Arms in High Street, Turton and were farmers at Entwistle before that. [6]

The picture at the top of the page was taken in the late-1920s one of a series of images of Bolton pubs that had been taken over by the Leigh brewer, Shaw’s. In 1927 they had taken over Sharmans who owned 58 pubs in the Bolton area including the Lord Nelson. Shaws were bought out in 1931 by the Liverpool company of Walker Cain who also owned a brewery in Warrington. It was from this Warrington brewery that the Lord Nelson was supplied for the rest of its existence.

The Lord Nelson was demolished in 1966. The whole of those properties on Derby Street from Shaw Street to Hammond Street were cleared as part of slum clearances. More housing was built in its place.

[1] Lane’s Masonic Records. Accessed 15 January 2016.
[2] Manchester Courier, 7 May 1842.
[3] Manchester Courier, 20 October 1849.
[4] The London Gazette, 1843. 
 [5] Manchester Courier, 29 April 1848.
[6] There’s a great story about Doris Ann Lee, the daughter of the landlady who succeeded Emily Briggs in 1924. The story is on the Manchester Archive Plus website. Click here.  [Link accessed 16 January 2016).

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Kay Street Arms (Golden Lion), 159 Kay Street, Bolton

The Kay Street Arms began life as the Golden Lion in the 1850s. It was situated at the north end of Kay Street near the junction with Higher Bridge Street and Blackburn Road. The beerhouse appears to have been founded by Robert Atherton who ran it for over two decades from around 1853 until the mid-1870s. Robert became a widow in 1872 when his wife Jane died aged 70. He married again the following year though eyebrows were no doubt raised when his new bride was the 27-year-old Sarah Haslam. Robert died in 1878 by which time he had left the pub. Sarah married again the following the year, this time to Charles Septimus Fryer, but she died in 1888 at the age of 42.

By 1890 the pub was known as the Kay Street Arms and the landlord was Cornelius Maine. In 1894 it was one of three pubs raided by police looking for evidence of betting. The other pubs were Uncle Tom’s Cabin on Egyptian Street and the Milk Street Tavern. All three were raided the night before a big race meeting at Kempton Park. Inspector Rhodes found a grand total of 309 betting slips at the Kay Street Arms. There was a book containing 113 betting slips inside Maine’s coat; a cigar box contained 93 slips of paper relating to 212 bets; a teapot in the kitchen contained 53 slips relating to 119 bets and a satchel in the dresser contained 43 slips relating to 106 bets. Maine and his customers were frog-marched to the town hall where they were given bail. At his trial he was found guilty of allowing betting on licensed premises and fined £25 – the equivalent of almost £3000 today. The guilty verdict marked the end of Cornelius Maine’s stint in the licensed trade. He became a tobacconist 131 Higher Bridge Street (the building still stands and housed a tattoo studio until around 2010) and he later moved to Little Lever where he worked as a carter. He died there in 1904 at the age of 44.

By 1905 Samuel Unsworth was at the pub. He was a foreman lamplighter living in Ellesmere Street in 1901 but he moved to the Kay Street Arms a few years later and staying for over 20 years.

In the 1890s the pub was bought by Atkinson’s brewery before being sold to the J Halliwell and Co after the betting scandal. Halliwell’s were taken over by Magee, Marshall in 1910 and it remained a Magees pub until it closed in 1966. It was demolished soon afterwards. The St Peters Way extension runs through the site of the pub. An August 2015 image is below (copyright Google Street View).

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Cross Keys, 1 Cross Street, Bolton

The Cross Keys was one of Bolton’s oldest pubs. It stood at the junction of Cross Street and Kay Street for over 130 years. It was certainly in existence by 1800 and by 1818 it was owned by the Wallwork family. Joseph Wallwork was the licensee. 

Much later, in 1850, while Joseph was at the Rope and Anchor on Kay Street, his daughter Ellen married a bookkeeper named Evan Dixon. The couple ran the Cross Keys for a while and were certainly there by 1855.

The Cross Keys was also owned by the Entwisle family. Abraham Entwisle was there in 1828, but he was at the Lord Nelson on Derby Street by 1836 and his son John was running the Cross Keys.

The Entwisles were succeeded by Henry Lea who was at the pub in 1848. He had gone by the following year and according to the 1851 Census he was a journeyman brewer living in Howell Croft with his wife Elizabeth, who was a greengrocer. Henry died in 1853.

By 1909 the Cross Keys was owned by Tong’s Brewery and was run by Joseph Walkden. He died in 1909 and his widow, Sarah Ann married a local mill manager named James Pickering in 1912. She continued to run the pub for some years after at least until 1924.

The Bromley Cross brewer Hamers bought the pub from Tong’s. In 1935 the area around the Cross Street junction with Kay Street was earmarked for council housing and the Cross Keys was to be demolished. Hamers transferred the pub’s full licence to the Railway at the corner of Newport Street and Trinity Street. 

The St Peters Way extension onto Kay Street runs through the site of the pub.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Farmers Arms, 251 Derby Street, Bolton

The former Farmers Arms pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View)

The Farmers Arms stood at 251 Derby Street on the corner of Haslam Street (known as German Street until the start of the First World War).

The pub seems to have dated back to the early- to mid-1860s. There is no mention of it on the 1849 Bolton Licensing list [1] nor on the 1861 census. But by 1868, Richard Beckett was running the pub though he had gone by 1870 when Richard Walker was in charge. Richard was described as a “painter and beerseller” on the 1871 census.

Later in the 1870s the Farmers Arms was taken over by Isaac Openshaw. He moved from the Brewers Arms on Atherton Street, just off Cannon Street. Isaac was a brewer – he had named his previous pub after his trade – and like most pubs the Farmers had its own brewery. Certainly, Isaac Openshaw made his fortune at the Farmers Arms. He left shortly before 1900 and by 1901 he had retired to Southport. He died in 1922 leaving an estate valued at £8197 – the equivalent of over £400,000 in today’s money.

In the 1920s, the Farmers was run by Harry Fletcher. Harry was born into the pub business. His father Ellis Fletcher ran the Ninehouse Tavern off Rishton Lane for a number of years.

The Farmers was bought by the Bromley Cross brewery of Hamer’s and was a rare outlet for the company south of the town centre. The only other pub Hamer’s owned in the vicinity was Uncle Tom’s Cabin on Lever Street.

Hamer’s were bought out by Dutton’s in 1951. Dutton’s became part of the national combine Whitbread in 1964. The Farmer’s Arms closed in 2001 and was converted into offices.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton Town Centre 1900-1986, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (1986).

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Concert Tavern, 28 Churchgate, Bolton

The Concert Tavern was located on Churchgate on the site of what is now Churchgate House.

The pub dated back to the 1850s and by the end of that decade it was being run by Thomas Worsley. Thomas was born in 1812. He married Charlotte Howarth at Deane church in 1833 and by 1841 the couple were living in Bark Street where Thomas was employed as a cotton spinner. The family were in Halliwell by 1851. The 1861 census shows that Thomas was working as a cotton spinner as well as being a beer seller at the Concert Tavern, though it may well have been that Charlotte was running the pub.

Charlotte Worsley died in 1868, but in October of that year Thomas married again, this time to Nancy Dowling, a widow from Blackburn Street who was 11 years his junior.

By 1871, the Worsleys were still at the Concert Tavern. However, they are listed as lodgers with Thomas working as a chimney sweep. The house was owned by another resident, the 23-year-old Louise Waring. Thomas died the following year and the running of the pub was taken on by John Helm.

The Concert Tavern was owned by the Bolton brewery of Atkinson’s in the 1890s. It was later bought by Bolton Theatre and Entertainment Company Ltd who leased it to Tong’s who supplied the pub. But Bolton Theatre and Entertainment owned the nearby Grand Theatre which they opened in 1894. 

In 1908, they closed the Concert Tavern and incorporated the pub into an extension to the Grand. The final landlord was Ethelred Black who had been at the Town Hall Tavern in 1901.

The theatre was demolished in 1963 and Churchgate House was built on the site. See the August 2015 image below (copyright Google Street View).

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Derby Hotel, 2-4 Chorley Street, Bolton

The Derby Hotel was situated at 2-4 Chorley Street, directly opposite the Bridge Foot Inn. Chorley Street begins after the bridge over the River Croal. The thoroughfare from Spa Road down the bridge is White Lion Brown.

The 1861 census shows a beerhouse at 2-4 Chorley Street being run by William Cross who was previously at the Wellington in nearby Gartside Street. Cross died in 1866 and the pub was taken over by Jonathan Waddington, previously a cotton spinner living in Halliwell.

Waddington found his licence in peril when he has to re-apply for it in September 1869. It didn’t help that he had been fined on four occasions, that there had been general complaints about the house, that there were cottages in the yard where customers could go and drink when the pub was not supposed to be open – usually Sunday mornings. [1] The licence was refused, but it was awarded on appeal at the end of October. [2]

The pub’s name in the second report is given as the Original Bridge Foot. That suggests that this was an alternative name for the Derby and that there were two pubs in the area known as the Bridge Foot.

Wiliam Ainsworth succeeded Jonathan Waddington in the mid-1870s. He was at the Star Inn on Churchgate by 1881 by which time James Paisley was at the Derby. He was later at the Rope and Anchor on Deansgate as well as the Halliwell Lodge.

Gordon Readyhough writes that the Derby Hotel closed in 1921. [3] However, the 1924 Directory reports that Henry McAndrew was still on the premises as a beer retailer. Either the directory was out of date or the Derby was operating as an off-licence.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 2 September 1869.
[2] Bolton Evening News, 30 October 1869.
[3] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, published by Neil Richardson (2000).

Chorley Street pictured in August 2015. The Derby Hotel was situated where the trees are on the right-hand side.

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.

Jolly Sportsman - Sportsmans Arms - Museum, Cromwell Street, Bolton

The Jolly Sportsman was situated on the corner of Gas Street and Cromwell Street, off Moor Lane. The pub was run founded by and run by Richard Rothwell and his family. Richard was a gas maker in 1841, but he had previously been living in Great Moor Street and the 1836 Bolton Directory tells us he had run a beerhouse there. He bought a beerhouse licence and opened the Jolly Sportsman  at his home around 1842.

The pub was later known as the Sportsman’s Arms and then the Museum.

Richard Rothwell died in 1866 and the pub was taken over by his grandson, James Entwistle. James was working as a warehouseman but was already living at the pub which was probably run by his wife Hannah. James died in January 1878 leaving Hannah and four children aged between 7 and 20 years of age. Hannah continued to run the pub, but it closed down and was demolished in 1883 as part of the construction project for the nearby Spa Fields gas station.

Hannah Entwistle was living at Hill Mill Cottages, West Street, Sharples by 1891. She died in 1897.

Cromwell Street still exists and can be seen below. The pub was situated on the near corner as we look, The Spa Fields gas station also exists though with one fewer gas holder than when it was completed in the 1880s.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Peacock Inn, 72 Kay Street, Bolton

The Peacock Inn on Kay Street dated back to the 1840s. William Fletcher is listed as the licensee on the 1849 listing of Little Bolton beerhouses. Fletcher was a blacksmith according to the 1841 census and was already living on Kay Street. It may well have been that, like so many beerhouses that sprang up at the time, he converted one room of his dwelling into licensed premises.

William Fletcher ran the Peacock until around 1870 when the pub was taken over by his son James. However, James lasted only a few years and by 1876 the Peacock was being run by Samuel Davenport, formerly a cooper in nearby Charles Street.

By 1891 the pub was in the hands of Thomas Witter, formerly the landlord of the Nightingale on Lever Street. When he died in 1891 the pub was bought by the Bolton brewery of J Atkinson and Sons in the 1890s. Atkinson’s were bought out by Boardman’s United Breweries in 1895 and it became a Cornbrook pub when they took over Boardman’s in 1898.

The Peacock closed in 1911. By 1924 it was a common lodging house run by Mrs Annie King. The building was demolished when Kay Street was widened in 1959. The St Peters Way extension (built 1987) now occupies the site.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

British Oak, 37 Union Street, Bolton

The British Oak was situated at 37 Union Street, Bolton, a street that ran parallel with Kay Street. The pub was founded in the late-1860s by Sophia Nicholson. The area around Little Bolton was a tough area of slums and beerhouses. Licensees came and went but the fact Sophia survived for over a decade as an unmarried pub landlady in one of the roughest parts of the town points to a formidable woman.

Sophia Nicholson was born in 1829. Her mother died when she was a small child and the 1841 census has her living in Bold Street in the Mill Hill area of town (not to be confused with the Bold Street that still exists just off Newport Street). She lived with her father, John Nicholson,  and six siblings. John, along with three of Sophia’s elder brothers and one of her sisters, worked in the textile trade. The men worked as weavers, the women in the area were spinners. By 1851, Sophia lived with her brother Thomas and sister Nancy in Back Bare Street where all three worked as cotton weavers.

But by 1861 Sophia, now aged 32, was in the pub trade. She ran a beerhouse in Lark Street and by the end of that decade she had an interest in at least two other pubs. The 1869 licensing round renewed the licences of two un-named beerhouses where Sophia was the landlady: a pub in Lark Street along with one in Union Street. Neither were named though this wasn't unusual.The 1869 Directory had her down as the landlady of the Middleton Arms on Charles Street. 

The 1869 round was the first where beerhouses had to re-apply for their licences. The police were looking for any excuse to reduce the number of drinking establishments and it was a testament to Sophia Nicholson’s running of her two pubs that both applications were nodded through without objection.

The un-named beerhouse on Union Street became the British Oak. The 1871 Census has Sophia Nicholson at 37 Union Street – the address of the British Oak – along with her sister Nancy and two of her brothers.

But a few years later Sophia’s life was to change and she was able to give up the licensed trade. In August 1874, at the age of 45, she married John Knowles, a man whose profession was given as a ‘gentleman’. Although his wedding certificate gave the British Oak as his address he sounded as though he was a man of means. It signified the end of life as a landlady of two beerhouses for Sophia. She handed over the running of the two pubs to her sister Nancy. By 1881 Sophia and John Knowles was running a farm at Dry Hill, Breightmet. By 1891 she was a widow living alone at Montserrat Cottage on Chorley Old Road.

Nancy had given way to John Greenhalgh at the British Oak by 1895 and in 1905 the pub’s final landlord was Joseph Sheard. By then it was owned by local brewer Joseph Sharman’s.

The British Oak closed in 1905 and the building was demolished in the 1930s. Nothing remains of Union Street which ran from Folds Road to Turton Street. Some readers may recall the row of houses that ran from the junction of Turton Street down the side of Kay Street. The British Oak was on the opposite side of the road to these houses.They were demolished in 1987 for the St Peters Way extension. The August 2015 view (copyright Google Street View) of that site is below.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Oak (Royal Oak), 73 Bury Old Road, Bolton

The Oak – also known as the Royal Oak – was situated at 73 Bury Old Road. The first mention we have of the pub is in 1869 when the landlord, Thomas Brooks, was re-applying for his beerhouse licence. The police raised a number of objections. Mr Brooks, they said, had been fined twice: once for 10 shillings, the second time for £5 plus costs. There was a gang of drunken men constantly in the vicinity of the pub many of whom occupied a private house next door. The pub was in the habit of serving on Sunday mornings and on one occasion Mr Brooks’s wife Jane had been seen taking a jug into the house in question one Sunday. But despite Mr Brooks’s application being rejected he won an appeal and was allowed to continue trading.

By the 1890s the Oak was run by Nathaniel Sharples. Born in 1832 he was living further down Bury Old Road at number 81 in 1901 having retired, but by 1911 he was working again as a jobbing gardener at the age of 79. He died in 1913.

Mr Sharples was succeeded by Thomas Hulme who ran the pub along with his wife, Mary. He died in March 1905. Mary re-married just three months later, this time to John Kirkman a widower who lived next-door-but-one.

The Oak had its own brewery in the nineteenth century, but it was taken over by Watson, Woodhead and Wagstaffe, a company whose former brewery premises later became a jam factory and is now the Ainscow Hotel on Trinity Way in Salford.

Watson, Woodhead and Wagstaffe had few other outlets in the Bolton area. They were taken over by another Salford brewery, Walker and Homfray’s, in 1912. Walker’s closed the Royal Oak in 1922. 

The building was converted to residential use, but it was demolished in the late-1970s and the whole of that end of Bury Old Road is now occupied by the RRG Toyota garage.

What is now the end of Bury Old Road can be seen on this May 2012 photograph (copyright Google Street View). Mule Street runs across the middle of the image. The entrance to the RRG Toyota garage now occupies what was once the continuation of Bury Old Road as it headed down to meet Bury New Road. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Old House At Home, 40 Old Acres, Bolton

The Old House At Home was situated at 40 Old Acres, a street that was actually the bottom end of Great Moor Street heading towards Bradshawgate.

John Bridge appears as the licensee according to the 1848 Bolton Directory listing. The Old House At Home had a full licence, but according to the 1851 census John Bridge was described as a shopkeeper and beerseller so at some stage he must have decided that it wasn’t worth his while selling wines and spirits alongside general provisions.

John Bridge later moved on Balshaw Street, off Deane Road. By 1881 he was 74 years old and still working as a beerseller in Bamber Street, off Cannon Street, though the premises appear to have been an off-licence instead of a pub or beerhouse.

By the late 1860s Charles Barrow was running the Old House At Home. The 1861 census has Charles as a house painter living on Chantlers Court, but he got into the pub game though he was to be the Old House At Home’s final landlord.

Mr Barrow had to re-apply for his licence in September 1869. A change is legislation gave licensing magistrates the power to force beerhouses to go through the same annual licensing procedure that public houses had to. The application didn’t go well. Mr Barrow had been charged twice; the house was troublesome to the police and it had facilities for illegal sales. PC Dearden – the bane of so many Bolton landlords in the late 1860s – was called and said that a good many objectionable persons congregated about the house on a Sunday morning, a time when the pub ought to have been closed. [1] 

However, Mr Barrow was one of a number of licensees who appealed against the decision to strip them of their licences and he granted a licence at the end of October.

But the Old House At Home lasted for only a few more years. The council decided that Old Acres was a bottle-neck on Great Moor Street. They demolished the street and extended a widened Great Moor Street down to Bradshawgate.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 2 September 1869.

The bottom end of Great Moor Street pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). Up to 1875 this was a narrow thoroughfare known as Old Acres.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Black Dog, 82 Halliwell Road, Bolton

The former Black Dog pub pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View)

The Black Dog was situated at 82 Halliwell Road, a stone building that still stands today.

Ellis Howarth lived at the house in 1851 along with his wife Ellen, four children and a lodger. Howarth had only recently left the Bulls Head in Farnworth and he was at the Crown and Cushion in the mid-1840s. He decided to turn his house into licensed premises so he spent two guineas on the necessary licence to open a beerhouse and the Black Dog was in business. The Howarths remained at the pub until Ellis died in 1873.

James Patterson was at the Black Dog for over a decade from the early part of the 1890s. James was a cotton spinner living in Darbishire Street in 1891 and had moved to the pub by 1894. He was later at the Stanley Arms on Egyptian Street.

By the 1920s the landlord was Ernest Rycroft whose parents had run the Cotton Tree on Lever Street.

The pub was later sold to Magee’s and it became a Greenall’s pub when they took over Magee’s in 1958.

The Black Dog closed in 1984. Any reminiscences of the pub from the sixties to the eighties always point out that it was very popular with darts players.

The building is now used by the nearby Noor al Islam mosque.

A photo of the side of the Black Dog taken in the 1950s. Note Moorlands Mill on other side of the road.

An image taken from the same position - Prospect Street - in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View).