The Nailmakers Arms was situated at 65– 67 Folds Road and the pub was, indeed, named after a nailmaker.
The nailmaker in question was Thomas Hatton who described himself as a ‘master nailmaker’ despite his income then mainly coming from the sale of beer.
Hatton was born in 1810 in Atherton, a town renowned for the manufacture of nails for some 600 years from the 14th century onwards. (The Jolly Nailor pub in the town is perhaps the only reminder of part of its industrial industry).
Hatton began the Nailmakers Arms around 1870, and it is listed as a beerhouse in directories for 1871 and 1876, but he had left by the time of the 1881 census. By then the pub had expanded into the adjoining property and was being run by the 29-year-old William Ashworth.
The Nailmakers was a rare Bolton outlet for Seeds brewery of Radcliffe, but they sold it to William Tong’s in the early years of the 20th century.
The pub maintained a regular turnover of licensees and that suggests it struggled in what was a very competitive market. There were numerous pubs on Folds Road itself as well as on the maze of streets behind, streets like Charles Street, Hulme Street and Lark Street.
Houses in the area were demolished in the late sixties. An industrial building was built on the site of the pub. For a number of years it houses a branch of WH Smith’s wholesale newspaper division but it is now the headquarters of electronics repair company Maggi and Maggi.
A view of the area from September 2014 is below (copyright Google Street View).