Friday, 7 August 2015

Newport Vaults, 104 Newport Street


The Newport Vaults were situated at 104 Newport Street in premises that can still be seen today.

The first mention we have of the pub is 1869 when landlord James Crompton was placing advertisements in the Bolton Evening News advertising to 

his friends and the public generally that he has Opened a FREE and EASY for Singing and Reciting on Saturday and Monday Evenings at Six o’clock.” 

Mindful of the religious sensitivities if the time Mr Crompton advertised a programme of “Sacred Music” on Sundays. [1] 

Perhaps people didn’t flock to James Crompton’s ‘Free and Easy’ sessions because by the time the Bolton Directory of 1871 was published Joseph Hague was in charge.

In his book Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that the Newport Vaults was a Tong’s house.  [2] However, one of the landlords in the 1890s was Wilbraham Leach, who was there in 1891. Mr Leach was just 24 and was a member of the Leach family of brewers who ran the Albert on Derby Street. It begs the question as to whether the Newport Vaults was also one of Leach’s pubs. Mr Leach went on to run the Clifton Arms, just five doors away, a few years later.

By the turn of the twentieth century the Gavagan family were in control of the Newport Vaults. John Gavagan was born in County Roscommon, Ireland in 1874 and by 1901 he was at the Newport along with his wife Margaret (nee Waterhouse - born Bolton in 1880), their two children, John’s brother, who worked as a navvy, and a number of boarders.


John Gavagan died in 1912. Margaret took over the pub and remained as licensee for the rest of its existence as a pub. She married William Yates in 1914 and when the couple decided to leave the pub in 1924 Tong’s closed it down. The building became retail premises and have remained so ever since.

The image above shows number 104 Newport Street. A pub for over 50 years the premises were Planet Pizza when this image was taken in 2008 (copyright Google Street View). It is still (2015) a takeaway but re-named McIndian.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 21 January 1869.

[2] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

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