Saturday, 6 June 2015

Albert, 30-32 Progress Street



Back Progress Street pictured in 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The former Prospect Mill No 3 is on the left and the Masjid –E-Noor-Ul-Islam mosque on the right where Progress Street once stood. The rear of the Albert pub backed onto this thoroughfare about half-way down the street on the right-hand side.  

The Albert was situated at 30-32 Progress Street, off Prospect Street.

The first record we have of the pub is William Casstles running a beerhouse in 1870 until his death in 1873. That area at the bottom of Halliwell Road was just being developed at the time. Prospect Mills opened in 1867. On the other side of Halliwell Road, Waterloo Mill was already in existence. Progress Street was a row of some 50 or so cottages built in the 1860s.

Halfway down Progress Street there was a break in the terrace with Linen Street connecting Progress Street with Back Progress Street. On the corner of Progress Street and Linen Street was the Albert.

Sometimes, having a pub on a residential street was a smart move. However, the fact that the Albert closed soon after the turn of the 20th century suggests that wasn’t always the case. Over on the other side of Blackburn Road, Buxton Street supported two pubs, but Progress Street struggled to support one. It was a tough market and perhaps people gravitated towards the bright lights of Halliwell Road. Never mind the ‘Halliwell Mile’. The New Inn, the Windsor Castle, the Ship Royal George and the Black Dog weren’t much more than 100 yards away and all were competing for the same custom as the Albert.

In 1901, the pub’s owners, Magee, Marshall & Co, applied to have the beerhouse licence converted into an off-licence. The pub’s final licensee was Simeon Rigby (1840-1912) who left the Albert to go and live on Gibbon Street just off Derby Street where he worked as a coachman. The former pub premises were occupied by William Fallows in 1924.

Progress Street was demolished in the 1970s. The Masjid –E-Noor-Ul-Islam mosque stands on its site. Oddly, Back Progress Street still exists.

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