Sunday, 11 May 2014

New Inn, 34 Halliwell Road

The New Inn was situated at 34 Halliwell Road and dated back to around the 1870s. It was either the last pub on the ‘Halliwell Mile,’ (or first depending on where you started)  a crawl of the dozen or so pubs that once ran the length of the road. [1]

When the landlord of the New Inn, Thomas Robertson, died in June 1909 the event was of sufficient importance to merit an article in the Bolton Evening  News, though perhaps that was due to his membership of another organisation as well as his career in the licensed trade:


“For 32 years he had held a licence in Bolton, coming to the borough 50 years ago from Perth, of which town he was a native.
He was at one time a member of the District Beer and Wine Sellers’ Association.
He was also a Freemason, being a member of the Earl of Ellesmere, No 678 Kearsley Lodge.
Formerly he kept the Railway Shipping Inn, now the Brunswick Inn, Crook-st.
Mr. Robertson had been ailing for the last six months though death occurred rather unexpectedly from heart failure.” [2]

The New Inn was a beerhouse for much of its existence only obtaining a full licence in 1961. By then it was owned by Cornbrook, a Manchester brewery that became part of Bass Charrington later in the 1960s.

From 1980 the pub was run by a professional wrestler, Colin Joynson, who made many an appearance on the wrestling segment during ITV’s Saturday afternoon programme, World Of Sport.

Colin is still fondly remembered amongst aficionados of what were for many the halcyon days of British wrestling and the Wrestling Heritage website speaks warmly of the regard in which he is still held in the sport.

“The word professional surfaces fairly quickly whenever thoughts turn to Colin Joynson. He was, and still is, the ultimate professional. Colin was always protective of the image of professional wrestling, and was not afraid to stand up to whoever he felt may harm the credibility of the sport or bring the business into disrepute. He remains so to this day, twenty-odd years after leaving the ring, and whilst willing to discuss the sport in a mature, honest way remains protective of the wrestling heritage in which he played such an important part. And rightly so.” [3]

Colin also fought a lengthy legal battle with Bass over the company’s insistence that he only bought beer only from the brewery. That was despite his status having changed from a pub tenant to a lessee as happened to a great many pub landlords in the 1990s. [4]

Like all big brewers Bass sold off their pubs during the nineties and the early part of the millennium. Discovery Inns bought the pub and were then taken over by Enterprise Inns. The last owners of the New Inn were Admiral Taverns.

The New Inn closed in 2008. The pub was gutted and the front rebuilt. A chemist now stands on the site.

Mary Gray wrote on the Lost Pubs project about her memories of the pub:

“I remembered the New Inn as having Cornbrook Ales. It was near the bottom of the road and a little back ran below it to Progress Street. Opposite on the other side of Halliwell Road was the Windsor Castle on the end of the first row of shops. At the bottom end at the traffic lights was the District Bank on the corner of Moss street. All gone now of course. I was born in 17 Halliwell Rd and lived there until 1952.” [5]

[1] For the record the others were: Black Dog, Pedro's, Derby, Belle Vue, Lamb, Robin Hood, Lord Raglan, Peel, Crofters, Fox and Stork (or Stork and Fox) and The Ainsworth Arms. Some also counted Halliwell Road Conservative Club, the Portland and the Weavers Arms (the ‘Mop’)as part of the crawl. Older readers will add the Windsor Castle, opposite the New In. Most have now closed.

[2] Bolton Evening News, 22 June 1909. Retrieved 11 May 2014. Among the other pubs Mr Robinson held the licence of were: the Bridgeman Arms on Bridgeman Street and the Cotton Tree on the corner of Lever Street and Nelson Street (opposite the Tanners )
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/historyben/4450956.print/

[3] Wrestling Heritage.  Retrieved 11 May 2014.

[4] See the Bolton Evening News report of 5 August 1996 for the case. Link retrieved 11 May 2014.


[5] Lost Pubs Project. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 


The site of the New Inn pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View).

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