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|The Welcome Inn pictured around 1965 from the bottom end of Hartley Street. The pub was originally two separate buildings that were eventually linked together by a small entrance built between them.|
The Welcome Inn was situated on the corner of Victoria Street and James Terrace, off the bottom end of Blackburn Road.
Although Gordon Readyhough gives the address as 14 Victoria Street in his book Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, the 1905 directory gives the address at 16 James Terrace.
Moss Street, with its baths that opened in 1924, ran parallel with Victoria Street. Short thoroughfares such as Stirrup Street, Hartley Street, Rutter Street and Aspden Street, along with Back Rutter Street and Back Aspden Street linked Victoria Street and Moss Street.
St Matthews Mission Rooms were at the other end of James Terrace. Victoria Mill was nearby. In 1891, the mill was owned by Nathan Pickering who lived in nearby Arkwright Street.
Early records of the pub are hard to pin down and the first record we have is from the 1905 Bolton Directory when William Mason is the landlord. However, it is likely that the Welcome Inn was going for some years before that.
The building is shown on maps from 1891 but at that stage it only consists of the property on James Terrace. It appears to have been extended into the adjoining property on Victoria Street by the early part of the 20th century.
By 1924, Andrew Pendlebury was in charge. Next door to the pub on the Victoria Street side was a firm of printers called Pendlebury and Sons Ltd. It seems likely that Andrew Pendlebury was a member of that family.
The pub was originally owned by the John Halliwell's Alexandra Brewery which was situated on Mount Street just a few hundred yards away from the Welcome Inn. Halliwell's went out of business in 1910 and the pubs were taken over by Magees. Like a lot of Bolton pubs, the Welcome Inn kept its Magees signage even after the brewery was taken over by Warrington-based Greenall Whitley in 1958.
The whole area was cleared in the early seventies and the Welcome closed around 1971.
Kentford Road roughly – though not exactly – follows the path of Victoria Street. Similarly, Kingsdown Gardens was built roughly on the site of James Terrace. The Welcome Inn was situated at the junction of those two streets as can be seen below on this view fro September 2014 (copyright Google Street View).