Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Park Inn (Happy As A King), 39 Spaw Lane




The Park Inn was situated at 39 Spaw Lane (now Spa Road) in an area close to what is now Queens Park.

Queens Park itself was only opened in 1866 when it was known as Bolton Park. It was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  The land was previously known as Spaw Fields.

The Park Inn dated back to the early-1850s and was run for the whole of its existence by Thomas and Ann Rothwell. There is no mention of the pub on the 1851 census, but it does appear on the 1853 Bolton Directory.

In 1869, the Bolton Evening News reported that Thomas Rothwell had been suffering from dropsy – or edema, as it is often referred to these days - for the previous three or four years. Dropsy is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, located beneath the skin and in the cavities of the body and treatment in the nineteenth century involved draining the fluid from the afflicted areas. [1] In an article entitled Extraordinary Medical Case, the paper reported that Mr Rothwell had recently been treated.

“On Monday last the operation of tapping was performed for the fifty-first time. He has had 674 quarts or 1685lbs of water taken from him and yet, strange to say, is yet able to go about the house, and is in remarkably good spirits.” [2]

Six hundred and seventy-four quarts is the equivalent of over 1300 gallons; 1685lbs is three-quarters of a ton.

Perhaps that’s why the pub as nicknamed Happy As A King.

Sadly, Thomas Rothwell’s good fortune was unable to continue and he died the following year, in 1870. Ann Rothwell continued with the pub and her niece, Elizabeth Frey, was living with her on the 1871 census. The Park had closed by the mid-1870s.

[1] Wikipedia. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

[2] Bolton Evening News, 24 July 1869.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Fox and Goose, 160 Deansgate


The Fox and Goose stood at the top end of Deansgate, close to Marsden Road.

It was a beerhouse first mentioned in a marriage listing of 1847 when John Blackley (or Bleakley), a beerseller of Deansgate, married Elizabeth Crowther. Blackley was a widower, but eyebrows must have been raised at the union. The 1851 census return tells us that John Blackley was 62 years old; Elizabeth was only 29 – just four years older than one of John’s sons and 33 years younger than her husband.

By 1861 the Fox and Goose was in the hands of Henry Heyes. The pub brewed its own beer and by the 1870s, Henry was also the owner of the Egerton Arms on Lever Street. 

Henry Heyes was to run the Fox and Goose for over 20 years. His wife Martha died in 1877, aged just 44, and Henry himself died four years later in 1881. That year’s census showed five children living with him just months before he died, though some of them were of adult age.

The Fox and Goose was sold and it was being run by Luke Flaharty by 1891, but the pub’s licence was refused in 1897. Whether or not there were any misdemeanours or specific objections to the licence isn’t known. What is known is that the council were expanding the fire station on Marsden Road and wanted the small row of buildings that lay between Marsden Road and Grime Street (now St Edmunds Street). That included the Fox and Goose.


The pub was demolished before the end of the nineteenth century and the fire station extended into the former pub premises.

The pub was demolished before the end of the nineteenth century and the fire station covered the former pub premises. The old fire station came be seen here in 2000 just before it was demolished.

Below is an image of the area from 2012 (copyright Google Street View).



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).

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Eagle and Vulcan, 45 Folds Road


Vulcan. Ask anyone what a Vulcan is and their answer will no doubt include a reference to the late Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Mr Spock in the television series Star Trek. Vulcan was actually  the Roman god of fire and he appears in many pub names, not just in Bolton, though the town appears to have had more than its fair share. The Vulcan on Junction Road is still with us and is noted in the Dictionary Of Pub Names. [1]

The book also lists three other pubs of that name in Millwall, Derby and Wales. But on Bolton there was also the Vulcan Inn at the junction of Great Moor Street and Derby Street, the Horse and Vulcan off Folds Road and the Eagle and Vulcan at 45 Folds Road.

The Eagle and Vulcan dates back to around the mid-1840s and on the 1848 Bolton Directory it was being run by William Parkinson and his wife Alice. The 1841 census shows the Parkinsons living in nearby Smith Street where William worked as a spinner. The 1851 census has them at the Eagle and Vulcan. William was an umbrella maker as well as the licensee of a beer-house, though in reality it is likely to have been run by Ann.

The family had five children and were living with one of William’s uncles, a servant and a lodger. It must have been a very crowded existence and while the 1853 directory shows the Parkinsons still at the pub, by the time of the 1861 census they had moved a few doors up Folds Road. William was still making umbrellas.

By 1869, the Eagle and Vulcan was under the control of Henry Shuttleworth. In September of that year a change in the law meant that all the beerhouses in Bolton had to re-apply for their licenses. Henry Shuttleworth appeared in front of the magistrates and was told his licence certificate would be granted. But he was back in court again a week later. Two pubs in Bolton were run by different men named Henry Shuttleworth: the Eagle and Vulcan and the Lodge Bank Tavern. But the licence granted the previous week was for the Lodge Bank. The clerk of the court stated that it wouldn’t be right to issue a licence and then withdraw it a week later. The chairman of the bench, Mayor James Barlow, agreed though he warned Henry Shuttleworth as to his future conduct as he had two licensing convictions against him. A huge number of beerhouses were closed as a result of the 1869 hearings and Henry was lucky especially as Mayor Barlow was a lifelong temperance campaigner. [2] The Eagle and Vulcan would most likely have been closed were it not for a clerical error. As it was, the pub continued for another 99 years.

Henry Shuttleworth was gone from the Eagle and Vulcan in little more than twelve months. He was succeeded by George Ryder who remained at the pub until his death in 1879 at the age of just 39.

It became a Magees pub and it was run by the Walkden family for a number of years. In 1901, James Walkden and his wife Ann were running a fish and chip shop on Folds Road. By 1905 they were at the Eagle and Vulcan. James died in 1920 at the age of just 49. Ann took over the pub and ran it until her death in 1933.

Eagle and Vulcan Folds Road Bolton


The Eagle and Vulcan was situated at the junction of Hulme Street and it was the needs of the motor car that led to its demise. St Peters Way was built along the path of the old Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal and as far as the junction of St George’s Street and Kay Street. That meant the demolition of a number of properties at the bottom end of Folds Road to accommodate a bridge for the by-pass.


The Eagle and Vulcan closed in 1968, by which time it was a Greenall Whitley pub.  It was demolished shortly afterwards.

[1] Dictionary Of Pub Names (2006)

[2] Bolton Evening News, 16 September 1869.



Folds Road in September 2012 (copyright Google Street View). Hulme Street ended in between the motorway bridge and the slip road. The Eagle and Vulcan was situated on the corner of Folds Road and Hulme Street.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Boneyard Club - Caroline Lounge, 21-23 Manchester Road




The World Of Wicker premises on Manchester Road pictured in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View) looking most unlike the venue for a gig by mid-sixties rockers The Pretty Things, a band still going in 2015.

More a club than a pub, the Boneyard – or the Caroline Lounge as it was also known – is one of Bolton’s lesser-known licensed premises and it was in existence for just a few years. A number of comments appeared on the Manchester Beat website about the Boneyard in 2012. [1]

Numbers 21 and 23 Manchester Road date back to the late-nineteenth century and other than their time as the Boneyard they have been either commercial or retail premises for the whole of that period. For instance, by 1905, number 21 was occupied by a warehouse owned by Henry Coates and Sons, while the printing firm of Ferguson and Sons was at number 23. Three more buildings, numbered 25, 27 and 29, went down to the junction with Lower Bridgeman Street. They included smallware dealers Gregory & Porritts at number 25 which also housed the Bolton offices of the Manchester Evening Chronicle. In 1924, Coates and Sons were still at number 21 and a cotton waste dealer named Charles Crook was at number 23. Gregory & Porritts had moved on, though the Chronicle office was still there.

Maps of the area in the 1950s show that 21 to 25 were all one premises and at some stage in the early sixties it became the Boneyard Club.

Writing on Manchester Beat in 2012, one of the Boneyard’s bouncers, Jack Stokes, says that the club's owners were Terry and Pauline Allan. For Jack, the most memorable night was a gig by the Pretty Things. 

“Viv Prince on drums was amazing. I had my back up against his bass drum to stop it falling off. The crowd was going wild in front of me, he was lathered in sweat, so was I.”

The Pretty Things were formed in London in 1963 and began to have chart hits in 1964 which is possibly when the Bolton gig took place.

There were two rooms at the Boneyard. A large room where punters would just sit on the floor and a smaller room which had coffins for tables. The venue was used by mods who would park their scooters outside and it was noted for its all-nighters which began at midnight and ended at 8am.

Boneyard Bolton ticket
Dave Evans points out on Manchester Beat that the Boneyard had coffins for tables and that he often wore a coffin-shaped necklace that he made itself. But it didn’t go down well with the door staff when the Boneyard became the Caroline Lounge after a change of ownership.

An entry on the Soulbot website adds: “Although it was not a cellar dive, you reached it by a set of stairs going up and over a musical instruments store, it was one of THE places to go to.” [2]

The name was perhaps inspired by the success of the Radio Caroline pirate radio ship which pre-dated Radio 1 and introduced popular music radio into the UK from 1964 onwards. However, the Manchester Soul website claims the Boneyard was a nickname and that the Caroline Lounge was the club’s real name for the whole of its existence. [3]

We don’t know when the Boneyard/Caroline Lounge closed. The musical instrument store referred to was Woods which remained at the premises until the late-eighties. World Of Wicker then took over  before moving to Falcon Mill, Halliwell in November 2013.

There’s very little information about the Boneyard or the Caroline Lounge. Any memories would be welcome.

[1] Manchester Beat. Accessed 5 August 2015. The site also contains contributions on a number of other Bolton club venues in the sixties including the Cromwellian, the Blue Lagoon and the Bolton Casino. Click here for the full list. 

[2] Soulbot. Accessed 5 August 2015. Soulbot is another excellent historical resource dealing with sixties soul and the later Northern Soul cultural phenomenon. Click here for more details. 


[3] Manchester Soul. Accessed 5 August 2015.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Black Horse, 91 Kay Street


A Methodist preacher on Kay Street in the early years of the twentieth century. The Falcon is on the right, but the Black Horse can be seen on the other side of the street. It is the second of the two buildings on the left-hand side of the road as we look. This small ‘row’ stood between Falcon Street and Dale Street. The pub’s name board is empty which suggests the photo was taken after 1901 which was when the Black Horse closed.

The Black Horse was situated at 91 Kay Street, across the road from the Falcon Hotel

The pub’s first mention is in the 1848 Bolton Directory when John Bates is the licensee. By 1851 John Bates had moved up in the world and was running a fully licensed pub on Churchgate along with his wife, Sarah. He later became a wheelwright. In 1861 the licensee of the Black Horse was Joseph Stockton, who had moved to the nearby Foresters Arms by 1869.

The difficult nature of the licensed trade is illustrated by Henry Brownlow who was at the Black Horse by 1871. He was an iron planer on Todd Street in 1861, by 1881 he was back working in an iron foundry.

Samuel Scowcroft, who was the licensee in 1881, is described as a ‘publican and out-of-work mechanic’ but he and his relatives ran the pub until its close. He presumably found work back in his chosen trade and transferred the Black Horse’s licence to his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Brindle. She ran the pub until she died in 1893. Samuel had died in 1892 and so after Elizabeth died the pub was run by Samuel’s widow, Mary Anne Scowcroft and their daughter, Mary.

The Black Horse closed in 1901 when it was a Sharman’s pub. It subsequently became retail premises and was occupied by Mrs Helen Ainscow, a wardrobe dealer,in 1905. It was demolished in the fifties and the Britannia Service Station was initially built on its site.


 The same view of Kay Street taken in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). The dual carriageway runs roughly where the Black Horse once stood. The Falcon has given way to a filter from the by-pass into Turton Street.

Cattle Market, 38 Foundry Street


A shot of the Orlando Village student accommodation taken from Thynne Street in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). The building beyond the fence stands on a site that was once  occupied by the Cattle Market on Foundry Street.

Drinkers of a not-too-distant vintage will remember the Cattle Market on Orlando Street which was demolished in 2014, but for a number of years there was another pub by that name less than a hundred yards away in Foundry Street.

This Cattle Market dated back to the 1870s. We know that its counterpart on Orlando Street was known as the Craven Heifer in 1870 after being known as the Cattle Market certainly by 1861. It could be that this pub on Foundry Street took on the name the Cattle Market after it was initially discarded by its neighbour.  

The name from the nearby cattle sales that took place in the area, first of all on Lever Street and then to the rear of the Orlando Street pub on land now occupied by a motor dealership.

There were a number of pubs on Foundry Street. The Cattle Market was at number 38 close to the junction with Providence Street. That street still exists; it runs off Thynne Street down by the side of the office block near to the roundabout, but in the nineteenth century it crossed Thynne Street to meet Foundry Street.

There was also a pub at number 40 Foundry Street in the 1871 directory which could possibly have been the Cattle Market.

The pub was owned by John Leach who built up a small tied estate from his brewery at the Albert on Derby Street. 

Richard Longworth and his wife Emma were the licensees according to the 1891 Census. By the time of the 1895 Bolton Directory, John Chorlton was in charge. He was still there by the time of the 1901 census but had left the pub by 1905 when it was being run by the Norfolk-born Fred Bayfield.

The Cattle Market’s licence was refused in 1909 and Fred Bayfield went off to run the Villiers Hotel (much later the nightclub known as Maxwell’s Plum, amongst others). The pub became a residential property and along with the rest of Foundry Street it was demolished in the early-fifties. The land was bought by Edbro who had moved into the engineering works a little further down Foundry Street in the 1930s. The Orlando Village student complex was built on the site in 1996.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Oddfellows Arms, 93 Bradshawgate


Metrolands House, built in the mid-sixties on the site of the row that included the Oddfellows Arms. The Laibaz Indian restaurant is now number 93 though the size of each of the units on the ground floor of Metrolands House won’t necessarily correspond to its predecessors, so the Oddfellows may not have occupied that space.  

There were a number of pubs in Bolton named the Oddfellows. The Ancient Shepherd on Bold Street was initially named the Oddfellows and a pub by that name still stands on St Helens Road. But the one at 93 Bradshawgate – across the road from the Balmoral - has a claim to be the original Oddfellows Arms.

The Oddfellows was a beerhouse that dated back to the early 1850s. In August 1854 the pub’s owner, Mr J.F Ha.rgreaves, applied unsuccessfully for a full licence enabling him to sell wine and spirits as well as beer. It was one of a number of beerhouses that applied to have their licences upgraded, but they were faced with a petition signed by 3000 ratepayers objecting to the granting of any new licences. The majority of ratepayers – by and large the middle- and upper classes – rarely drank in beerhouses, but they claimed that licensing breeches were rife and that many beerhouses sold stronger alcoholic drinks, anyway. The chairman of the magistrates, Mr Robert Walsh, dismissed the petition as no-one had come forward to substantiate the allegations. But Mr Walsh had calculated that there was licence in Bolton for every 106 inhabitants. One for every thousand was enough in his view. He couldn’t close down the beerhouses without good reason, but he could prevent them from being licensed to serve anything but beer. He threw out the application from the Oddfellows and 22 other beerhouses for full licences and it remained a beerhouse for the rest of its existence.

By 1871, the Oddfellows was in the hands of 35-year-old William J Savage. An Irishman from County Down, he lived at the pub with his Manchester-born wife Martha. Sadly, Martha died in 1877. William re-married the following year and on the 1881 census return he is living with his wife Bridget T Savage and their newborn daughter. Bridget was only 24, but ten years on from being 35 William was giving his age as just 40. Presumably, that’s what he was telling his wife. Then again she wasn’t being truthful about her age. When she died in 1929 her age was given as 70 so she would have been 23 years younger than William rather than 16. William Savage died in 1885. Bridget married Henry Parkinson and moved to Halliwell. Henry died in 1891 but Bridget never married again.

Patrick Closick was in charge of the Oddfellows by 1895. By then it had expanded into the premises next door. At the start of the 20th century the pub was in the hands of Samuel Stott.

The Oddfellows was owned by Seeds Brewery of Spring Lane in Radcliffe but was sold to Magee Marshall and Co. Magees closed the pub in 1938 and it later became retail premises.

In Bolton Pubs 1800 – 2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that 93 Bradshawgate housed Marie’s hairdressers in its final days. Along with the rest of the row the building was demolished in 1962 and Metrolands House now stands on the site.



Saturday, 1 August 2015

Bus Drivers Inn, 77 Bradshawgate



McCauley’s Bar in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The Bus Drivers Inn was situated here until 1883 though not in the same building.

The Bus Drivers Inn was situated at 77 Bradshawgate close to the junction with Silverwell Lane. It was a beerhouse that once belonged to Frazer Finley and was transferred to Hugh Bamber in 1869. Mr Bamber formerly ran the nearby Horse and Groom.

On the 1871 census Hugh Bamber is described as a coachman and a beerseller. Indeed, at the 1869 licensing sessions at which all beerhouses had to re-apply for their licences, he claimed to have been a coachman for the local firm of Holden’s for over 20 years. That perhaps wasn’t quite correct as he was only 35 in 1871 and would have been driving a coach in his early teens if that was true.

Hugh Bamber left the Bus Drivers Inn after only a few years and Nathaniel Lomax was the licensee according to the 1876 Directory.

The pub lost its licence in 1883. The premises later became a tobacconist’s and was run for many years by Walter Toole. The original building was demolished in the 1930s and was replaced by the art deco-style building that can still be seen today. It was a branch of UCP for many years before becoming the Pizzeria Sorrento, the Toscana Ristorante. From 2004 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2017 it was McCauley’s bar; however, a mass brawl at 6.30 on the morning of Sunday 14  May 2017 led to its licence being revoked.


Belle Vue, 242 Halliwell Road



The Belle Vue pictured in October 2009 less than two years before it closed (copyright Google Street View).

Part of the famous ‘Halliwell Mile’ the Belle Vue Hotel was situated at 242 Halliwell Road. If you started the crawl at the top of Halliwell Road it was one of the last pubs - or one of the first if you started at the bottom.

The first mention we have of the pub was on the 1871 Directory. At that time it was being run by 44-year-old Mathias Stones who lived at the premises along with his Hannah and their six children. The family had lived on Gaskell Street in 1861 where Mathias worked as a buttonmaker.

Mathias Stones died in 1886 and his widow Hannah Stones took over the running of the Belle Vue. She was aided by her son Matthew who brewed the pub’s beer. By 1901 Hannah had retired and was living with her daughter Emma Brownlow who was a brewer and beerseller at the Lord Raglan further up Halliwell Road. Hannah died in 1904.

David Rostron was running the Belle Vue by 1905. He had previously been at the Lodge Bank Tavern on Bridgeman Street. By 1911 the pub was in the hands of the Oliver family. William Oliver (1876-1913) ran the pub until death and his widow Mary Jane Oliver succeeded him as licensee.

By the 1930s the pub later became part of the small tied estate owned by Samuel Smith – not the Yorkshire firm but a Bolton brewer who also ran the Dog and Snipe on Folds Road along with a small tied estate of pubs in Bolton and Horwich.

The Belle Vue later became a John Smith’s pub. John Smith’s Smooth is sold in many Bolton pubs today but before that the brewery’s Magnet Ales – as they were known – were a rarity in the town. Perhaps as well as they didn’t have a great reputation.

John Smith’s got out of the pub-owning business in the 1990s and the Belle Vue ended up in the hands of Enterprise Inns. It closed in the early part of 2011 the final licensee being Zoe Eckersley.  It was delicensed on 14 July that year. The premises are now [2015] a bedroom showroom. 

Belle Vue Halliwell Road Bolton


The former Belle Vue pictured in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View).