Saturday, 27 February 2016

Duke Of Cambridge, 97 Bark Street, Bolton

The Duke Of Cambridge stood at 97 Bark Street, off Knowsley Street, and for many years it stood right next door to the Bolton Lads Club premises.

The first definitive record we have is in 1871 when James Smith appears on the 1871 Census as the licensee. It may well have dated back earlier. Although there were two other pubs on Bark Street – the Bark Street Hotel and the Bee Hive (on Duke Street, strictly speaking) - there was another un-named beerhouse on Bark Street dating back to the 1850s with Robert Richardson as the licensee until his death in 1856. Mr Richardson was also a mechanic. Given that Queen Victoria revived the Duke Of Cambridge title in 1850 it could possibly be that this was the pub at 97 Bark Street.

James Smith doesn’t appear on the 1869 Bolton Directory so it’s fair to assume he wasn’t there until around 1870. He was previously a straw sawyer in Lyndhurst Street. 

The Crook family were running the pub by 1891. William Crook was a hay and straw dealer at 52 Bark Street on the census records for 1871 and 1881, but the family moved to the Duke Of Cambridge later in the 1880s and were there for over 20 years. William had married a widow named Alice Myers in 1883. At the time she was living with her father Abraham Rostron at his pub the Middleton Arms on Charles Street. The Rostrons were a well-known pub-owning family in Bolton and this is likely to have a bearing on William and Alice taking over the Duke Of Cambridge.

A look at the 1905 Bolton Directory saw the kind of businesses neighbouring the Duke Of Cambridge. On one side of the pub, heading towards Knowsley Street, there is the Lads Club building. On the other side there was Chattwood’s Patent Safe and Lock Company which remained in Bark Street until 1919 when they sold the premises to Bromilow and Edwards. [1] Chattwood’s concentrated production at the Foundry Street site of the Lancashire Safe and Lock Works which they also later sold to Bromilow and Edwards.

The Duke Of Cambridge later became a Magees pub and became part of Greenall Whitley’s tied estate when they took over Magees in 1958. The pub lasted until 1967 when it was demolished to make way for a branch of Gregory and Porritts. The British Heart Foundation’s electrical store later occupied the premises.

[1] Made In Shrewsbury website. Accessed 27 February 2016.