Thursday, 20 April 2017

White Hart (Carringtons), 155 Deane Road, Bolton

The White Hart in a picture taken as part of a survey of Tetley pubs in Bolton around 1974. Image: Gerard Fagan/Bolton Lancs Bygone Days Facebook group.

The White Hart was situated at the corner of Deane Road and Cannon Street. According to Gordon Readyhough's book Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, the pub dated back to 1808. It was one of the principal inns on the road leading out of Bolton towards Deane, Westhoughton and Wigan.

In 1818 the licensee was James Pendlebury who owned the pub for at least a decade. It was during Mr Pendlebury's tenure that a bowling green was opened on land behind the pub a little further up Cannon Street. It was used as such for around 50 years until the land was sold for housing. Houses to the north of Royle Street were built on the old green.

By the time of the 1836 directory Thomas Welsby was the landlord and according to the 1841 census it was owned Thomas Johnson. However, both Mr Johnson's predecessors still lived in the area. Thomas Welsby was in business with his son on nearby Cannon Street where they described themselves as 'manufacturers'. However, James Pendlebury appeared to be operating in somewhat reduced circumstances. Now aged 65 he was a cotton spinner living behind the pub on Back Blacburn Street, as that part of Deane Road was then known.

One former landlord had even less luck. John Forshaw was at the pub in the late-1840s, but he was hauled in front of a debtors' court in 1851. He had left the White Hart – a fully-licensed public house – to run the St Patrick's Tavern, a beerhouse in Great Moor Street. However, he had since gone out of business and was now living in lodgings at the Man and Scythe on Churchgate.

Like many pubs at that time, the White Hart had its own brewery. John Cooper was an experienced brewer and came to run the pub in 1852, but he had gone by the end of the 1850s to be replaced by John Proffitt.

The Proffitt family were in charge for around 20 years. John's son Peter Proffitt lived in Cannon Street and worked as a brewer at the pub. By 1875, John had retired and was living with another of his sons in Mayor Street opposite Queens Park. Peter Proffiit then took over the running of the pub until he retired and went to live with his son in Wellington Street. The two pub-owning Proffitts died within a year of each other: John in 1896 and Peter Proffitt in 1897.

Many prominent local societies met at the White Hart. One such was the Derby Lodge of Ancient Shepherds. At their anniversary meeting at the pub in 1869 the lodge's chairman Thomas Unsworth gave a speech in which he advised all young men to join some order and provide for themselves against some unavoidable calamity. [1] The Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds was – and still is - a friendly society set up to help families against hardship brought about by illness or death.

William Wood was at the White Hart by 1891. He had previously been at the Brewers Arms in nearby Atherton Street and by 1895 he had moved to another local pub, the Noble Street Tavern. By then, Daniel Duke, a former landlord at the Hen and Chickens, was in charge at the White Hart.

Tong's Brewery, situated just a little further up Deane Road on the corner of Blackshaw Lane, took over the pub in the early part of the 19th century when James Guffogg was the licensee. By 1924, Charles Makin Rothwell was landlord. Formerly a cotton spinner from Sunninghill Street, off Derby Street, he later moved to Blackpool where he died in 1947.

Tong's sold out to Shaw's of Leigh in 1927 with the White Hart being part of a considerable local tied estate that formed part of the deal. In 1931, Shaw's were bought out by Walker Cain of Liverpool. They merged with the Leeds firm of Joshua Tetley to form Tetley Walker in 1960. That in turn became part of Allied Breweries Ltd the following year.

By 1960 the old White Hart building was over 150 years old so Tetley Walker decided it was time for it to be rebuilt. To ease the transition the brewery bought buildings to the rear and side of the pub, in particular houses numbered 1 and 3 Cannon Street plus a small engineering works fronting Defence Street which ran parallel to Cannon Street on the other side of the pub. Those buildings were all demolished around 1961 and the new White Hart pub was built on the site. When that was completed the old building was closed down and demolished with the land turned into the pub's car park.

The new White Hart was built in the same design of other estate pubs built by Tetley Walker around that time. The Prince Rupert off Lever Edge Lane was another example. Whereas the old White Hart had a central entrance with equal-sized lounge and vault on either side of the front door, the new pub had its entrance somewhat off-centre. That meant a much smaller vault but also a much bigger lounge where there was more comfort as pubs tried to make themselves more attractive to couples – particularly females. It also led to increased profits as lounge prices were a penny or two a pint more than in the vault.

These estate pub designs of the fifties and sixties were functional but have been much-maligned for their architectural qualities and it is only now, as many of these pubs disappear, that the style has found some appreciation. See here for a collection of images of estate pubs in Manchester and surrounding towns, including Bolton. 

But having a larger lounge meant pubs could take on the local political clubs in offering live entertainment. At the beginning of 1964 a young singer named Michael Haslam took up a residency at the White Hart where he sang songs by the likes of Roy Orbison. He built up a decent local following, so much so that Beatles' manager Brian Epstein travelled from Liverpool in May of that year to watch Michael perform and immediately signed him up to a mangement deal.

Michael is ready to move into the centre of the entertainment business,” said Epstein. Haslam recorded two singles and he toured with the Beatles, Gerry And The Pacemakers and Billy J Kramer. But that was a good as it got. He went back to obscurity and died in 2003. [2] [3] His sister, Annie Haslam, went on to enjoy a successful career as vocalist with prog-rock band Renaissance.

When the White Hart was rebuilt it went over to keg beer which replaced traditional, cask-conditioned ale in many pubs in the sixties. But in 1978, real ale drinkers noted with some glee that handpumps had been re-installed at the pub. [4] The reason only became apparent the following year [5] when a new Tetley beer called Walker's Warrington Ale was introduced at a small number of local outlets. As well as the White Hart these included the Bradford on Bradford Street, the Church on Crook Street, the Crofters at Bradshaw, the Gaiety on Bradshawgate and the Prince Rupert on Holmeswood Road. However, the new beer didn't last very long. In April 1980, the local beer magazine What's Doing announced that the handpumps had been ditched in favour of fast-flow dispenserettes.

The White Hart was renamed Carrington's around 1986 as a nod to the family of that name from the American television series Dynasty. It was attempting to appeal to a younger audience. By this time the live music had long since ended largely due to the presence of Derby Ward Labour Club which had been rebuilt in the late-sixties just a few yards away from the White Hart. Derby Ward boasted a huge concert room which singers – and customers – preferred to the much smaller lounge at the White Hart.

The Carrington's experiment didn't last long and the White Hart closed in 1990. It was converted into the Deane Medical Centre the following year. The building still exists though the frontage was altered in 2011. [6]

The former White Hart premises pictured in July 2016 (copyright Google Streetview). Note the extension on the left-hand side of the building, constructed in 2011.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 28 July 1869.
[2] Bolton News. Original article 17 January 2005. Accessed 19 April 2017.
[3] Manchester Beat. Accessed 19 April 2017. 
[4] What's Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers monthly magazine, April 1978.
[5] What's Doing, November 1979.
[6] Accessed 19 April 2017. 

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