Saturday, 15 October 2016

Noble Street Tavern, 87 Noble Street, Bolton

Noble Street pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). The Methodist church dominates a truncated street that at one time ran all the way down to Deane Road but which now runs for barely a quarter of its former length. The Noble Street Tavern stood where the hedges are in the distance.

Once known as the ‘Hark Up To Glory’ the Noble Street Tavern dated back to the 1860s. A James Heywood is listed as the landlord of an un-named, un-numbered pub on Noble Street which is believed to have been the Noble Street Tavern.

By 1876 the pub was numbered 87 Noble Street and was known as the Noble Street Tavern. It was owned by Robert Grime. By then the Noble Street Independent Methodist church had opened nearby in 1872. For the four years prior to moving into its rather grand premises it had existed on Blackburn Street (later known as Deane Road) as a mission of the Folds Road Methodist church. A small street named Temperance Street separated the pub from the church’s Sunday school building.

The Noble Street Tavern was taken over by Robert Wood of the Prince Arthur brewery on St John Street in the 1880s. 

By 1906, the pub stood directly opposite the church’s Sunday School building with the church next door. Only a narrow thoroughfare named Temperance Street separating pub from church. Temperance Street and Noble Street Independent Methodist church still stand. The Noble Street Tavern had its licence refused in 1906. It was converted into a residential property before being demolished with much of the rest of Noble Street in the 1960s.

The site of the pub is now the Jehovah’s Witness church car park. Temperance Street and the Noble Street Independent Methodist church still exist.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Derby Hotel (Sharman Arms), 218 Halliwell Road, Bolton

Derby Hotel  Halliwell Road Bolton 1931

The Derby Hotel pictured around 1931. The image comes from a collection of former George Shaw pubs taken shortly after the brewery’s takeover by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool.

The Sharman Arms was situated at 218 Halliwell Road. The pub was known for most of its existence as the Derby Hotel. Part of Halliwell Road was known in those days as Derby Street and that gave the pub its original name.

The Derby was a small pub dating back to the 1860s and the first record we have is when Daniel Cain is listed as the licensee in the 1869 Bolton Directory. Daniel Cain was born around 1827, the son of Henry and Mary Cain of Back Oswald Street, Little Bolton. He was a cotton spinner lodging in Hulme Street in 1851 and in 1854 he married Alice Heyes at St John’s church, Little Bolton.

The couple were living on German Street – now Haslam Street off Derby Street – in 1861, but he got into the pub business and was at the Derby by 1869. The 1871 census shows and Daniel and Alice Cain at the Derby along with and two daughters aged 17 and 14. Daniel had retired to Winter Street, Halliwell, by the time of the 1881 census, but his address was given as 35 Wynne Street, Little Bolton when he died on 7 October 1881. The pub trade had been good to Daniel. He left an estate valued at £2293 – the equivalent of around £250,000 today.

Daniel Cain was replaced at the Derby by John Riley who spent over a decade at the pub.

The Derby was bought by Sharman’s whose Mere Hall Brewery was just a few hundred yards away from the pub. Through various brewery takeovers it was owned by Shaw’s of Leigh from 1927, Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool from 1931 and Tetley Walker from 1961.

In the 1980s this small, basic two-roomed boozer was renamed the Sharman Arms after its former owner. 

It closed around 2011.

A rather forlorn looking Sharman Arms pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View).

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Victoria Hotel, 33 Lum Street, Bolton

The bottom half of Lum Street pictured in 2008 (copyright Google Street View). The Victoria was situated on the right-hand side.

Lum Street was named after John Lum, a local industrialist responsible for the nearby Mount Pleasant mill. Lum was prone to singing hymns during production hours and insisting his employees join in. After he died in 1836 his widow built six alms houses on a part of Goodwin Meadow that was later named Lum Street.

The charity set up by Mrs Lum still exists and has as its aim:

“Almshouses For Poor Widows Or Spinsters Of Good Character Who Are Not Less Than 60 Years Of Age. Preference Shall Be Given To Those Who Attend Places Of Worship."

Lawrence Whittaker, a cotton waste dealer in Lum Street, Little Bolton, moved into a house on that street around 1854. He immediately applied for a full public-house licence at the Brewster sessions, the annual licensing hearing that sat at the Bolton Magistrates court in August of each year. The application was unsuccessful. The chair of the magistrates, Robert Walsh, a keen member of the temperance movement, rejected the application along with 22 others. He calculated that there was one alehouse for every 106 citizens – one for every thousand would do.

The 1861 Census shows an address for Lawrence Whittaker – 33 Lum Street – in what became the Victoria Hotel but which in those days was just a beerhouse. Despite his failure to obtain a full licence from the annual hearing, a beerhouse licence could be bought for just a couple of pounds. Not much now but a considerable sum in those days. The difference between a beerhouse licence and a full licence was that fully-licenced premises sold wine and spirits as well as beer.

The Victoria was bought in the 1880s by Atkinson’s, a local brewery based at Commission Street, just off Deane Road. Atkinson’s were bought out by Boardman’s United Breweries of Manchester in 1895 and Boardman’s were in turn taken over by another Manchester firm, Cornbrook, in 1898.

In 1913, Bolton Council instituted a ‘pub compensation scheme’. The idea was that pubs would be bought by the council and the business closed down with the building then sold off for alternative use. The idea was to reduce the number of pubs in the town.

Seven pubs were put before the licensing magistrates in April 1913 including the Victoria Hotel. Of the seven pubs, the owners of six of them – including another Cornbrook pub, the Black Lion on Turton Street – agreed to have their pubs referred to the compensation authority. But Cornbrook’s objected to the Victoria being closed. Representing the brewery, Mr A.F Greenhalgh argued that the Victoria was better adapted and structurally much better than the other six pubs and that it ought to remain as such. However, the police argued that there were two fully licensed premises and nine beerhouses within a radius of just 200 yards from the Victoria!

The Victoria closed soon afterwards. Its final licensee was John Ripley.

The building was demolished to make way for the Ribble Bus Depot.

[1] Manchester Courier, 25 April 1913.