Saturday, 27 September 2014

Joiners Arms, Deansgate

Joiners Arms Deansgate Bolton 1870s
The Joiners Arms was situated on Deansgate, opposite the Old Three Crowns.

The pub was one of Bolton’s oldest and appears on a 1778 list of Great Bolton licensed premises when Robert Yates was the licensee. [1]

By 1839 the Joiners Arms was in the hands of a wine and spirit merchant, Henry Bathe, and was nicknamed ‘Bathe’s Vaults’ – so called because of the area at the back of the pub where Bathe kept his stock. 

Bathe was there  until the 1860s and later retired to Wiltshire where he died in 1894.

The pub was later known as ‘T’Big Tub’.

The image above purports to show the Joiners Arms around 1870. It shows the landlord as being ‘R.Wright’. Richard Wright was the landlord in 1871, according to the local directory of the time. The modern-day image below shows architecture dating from the 1870s when the pub was rebuilt.

The Salford brewery Threlfalls took over the Joiners in 1891. Early in the twentieth century they sold off part of the front of the building to be converted into retail outlets. That left just the front entrace along with the rear of the building to continue to be used as a pub.

Joiners Arms interior 1937
In 1937 the photographer Humphrey Spender took a number of photographs of the interior of the Joiners for the Mass Observation project. This is one of them. It’s from the Bolton Worktown website and is copyright Bolton Council. There are other examples of the inside of the pub here, here, and here






Threlfalls closed the pub and sold off the building in 1958. It continues to be used for a number of retail outlets.

The image below is of the building in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The entrance to the Joiners was at number 15, where Vision Express now is. 

The alleyway to the right of the building has been in existence since at least middle of the 19th century and possibly earlier. At one time the thoroughfare led to a small street known as The Shambles, one of a number of small courts and alleyways in existence at that time in the centre of Bolton.


[1] Pubs Of Bolton Town Centre 1900-1986, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (1986).


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