Saturday, 10 December 2016

Ormrods Arms, 51 Great Moor Street, Bolton




In his book Bolton Pubs 1800 – 2000, Gordon Readyhough claims the Ormrods Arms was a former name for the Railway Hotel on Great Moor Street. That isn’t true.

The 1849 list of Great Bolton beerhouses has both an Ormrods Arms and a Railway Tavern on Great Moor Street. Skip a few years and the 1853 Bolton Directory has the Ormrods Arms at 32 Great Moor Street and the Railway at 38 Great Moor Street so the two pubs were completely separate. In those days, streets weren’t numbered odds on one side and evens on the other. Quite often buildings were numbered starting from number 1 on one side up to the top of the street and then back down the other side of the street. Problems arose when streets were extended so a convention was established where odds were on one side – usually the left – and evens were on the other side of the street.

The Railway was later renumbered 63 Great Moor Street – it was numbered as such by 1871. If the Ormrods Arms was six doors down then it would have been renumbered 51 Great Moor Street.

But the Ormrods Arms was only a shortlived pub. The first mention we have is on the 1848 Bolton Directory when Jane Thompson is the licensee. In 1841, Jane Thompson was a shopkeeper along with her husband Michael on Great Moor Street just up from Dawes Street. The business wasn’t operating as a beerhouse on the 1843 Directory but Michael Thompson died in 1844. Either that was just as the decision had been made to sell beer at the shop or perhaps Jane Thompson converted the shop into a pub.

The pub’s name came from the nearby Flash Street Mills owned by Messrs Ormrod and Hardcastle.  James Ormrod and Thomas Hardcastle began a textile business in 1798. James Ormrod died in 1825 and was succeeded by his son Peter Ormrod. The family’s seat was Chamber Hall at the bottom of Deane Road.

John Wood was at the Ormrod’s Arms in 1851. He was initially a bleacher but got into the pub trade. He was 56 by this time. He had moved to the Crown Inn on Shipgates in 1861 and the Mill Hill Tavern on Mill Hill Street by 1871. His son Thomas Wood worked at each pub as a brewer.

The Ormrods Arms slips off the radar at this point. Number 51 Great Moor Street certainly wasn’t a pub on any subsequent directory listings. It was a tobacconist in 1905 and by 1924 it was a milliner.

But the building still stands. Many readers will be familiar with its incarnation as Syd’s Butchers which occupied the premises for many years. Syd’s (Butchers) Ltd was formed as a limited company in 1947 and was finally dissolved in 1997. But the premises remained empty for many years afterwards until the Scissor Art hairdressing salon opened there in 2012.

Ormrods Arms 51 Great Moor Street Bolton October 2009


The former Ormrod’s Arms was Syd’s Butcher’s on this image from October 2009 (copyright Google Street View). The building was empty for almost 20 years after Syd’s packed up and was even empty long after the business was liquidated. Note the ‘ghost’ advertising in red at the top of the building.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Waggon and Horses, 69 St Helens Road, Bolton




The Waggon and Horses was situated at 67-69 St Helens Road at the top of Bright Street. The was initially at number 69 but it soon expanded into the premises on the corner of the street.

The first mention we have for the Waggon and Horses is in an 1869 Bolton Directory when the landlady is Ann Owen and the address is just given as ‘Daubhill’. Directories were often soon out of date and this one was by the time it was published. But ‘Bernice’ on Rootsweb wrote in 2003 that her great-great grandfather, James Ormrod, started the Waggon and Horses but lost the pub in a bad business deal. [1]

James and Jane Ormrod are listed as running an un-named beerhouse in Daubhill in 1861. On the 1841 Census return they lived next door to the Rams Head further down Derby Street though they weren't in the licensed trade. Indeed, their premises later became part of the enlarged Ram's Head pub.

In 1861, Ann Owen was at the Sir Sidney Smith on Bridgeman Street with her husband John in 1861 but she seems to have moved to Daubhill a few years later. She married a local man, Paul Dootson, in 1867 and they had a son, also named Paul, in 1868. The senior Paul died in 1877. 

So, Ann Owen must have moved to the Wagon and Horses around the mid-1860s. There were huge social changes in Daubhill at this time. Henry Lee had bought a small weaving shed in the area in 1860. He joined forces with his brother Joseph Lee, Henry Tootal Broadhurst and Robert Scott to form Tootal Broadhurst Lee Ltd. Between 1862 and 1867 they built Sunnyside Mills which worked in the textile industry until 1980.

The construction of the mills led to a huge influx of new inhabitants into the area. Houses sprang up on the opposite side of St Helens Road and when the Bolton to Leigh railway line was diverted under Ellesmere Road further housing was built in Olive Street, Barbara Street and Florence Street. [2]

The 1891 Census returns for Sunnyside Street, a small row of houses at the bottom of Adelaide Street, shows that many of its inhabitants were born in Wigan. However, there were also people born in Blackpool and Cornwall and there was even the Lopes family from South America.

By the time of the 1871 census Ann was at the Waggon and Horses with her sons John Owen (born 1849), James Owen (born 1854) and the oddly named Owen Owen (born 1856). Paul Dootson was with his mother in Daubhill. 

In 1881 Ann Dootson was running the pub with her sons, Richard Owen and Owen Owen. Both were brewers at the pub. Ten years later, Ann had retired and was living with Owen Owen in nearby Joseph Street. James Owen was running the pub along with his wife Mary.

The family’s tenure at the Waggon and Horses was over by the end of the 19th century. The 1901 census shows James Owen as living in Bertwine Street. Anne Dootson had moved to Stewart Street in Halliwell where she died in 1902. Owen Owen appears to have gone back into brewing. By 1911 he was living at a house in Smethurst Lane but still gave his occupation as an ale and porter brewer.

The Waggon and Horses was taken over by Henry Maxfield who remained at the pub for the first 20 years of the twentieth century. Maxfield was living in York Street, off Bridgeman Street in 1871 and was working at that time as a blacksmith.  He remained in the profession after moving to St Helens Road later in the 1870s. He lived just across the road from the pub at number 76  St Helens Road in 1881 and was a few doors along at number 97 in 1891. It is highly likely that he was one of Ann Dootson’s customers and took over the pub when the family left.

Maxfield remained at the Waggon and Horses until he died in 1923 aged 72. The pub was then taken over by an Irishman, James Higgins, who was previously a coal miner living in nearby Southend Street. Higgins died in 1941.

The Waggon and Horses was taken over by Magee, Marshall and Co during Maxfield’s tenure.

In his reminiscences of the area, local historian Norman Kenyon said that he often drank at the Waggon and Horses although he and his father-in-law Bill Morgan occasionally drank at the Railway, further down St Helens Road which Bill thought was a better class of pub. [3] 

Wholesale redevelopment of the area bounded by St Helens Road, Adelaide Street, Barrier Street and the old Bolton-Leigh railway line took place in the early-1970s. All properties within those boundaries were demolished and light industrial units were built in their place.


Waggon and Horses St Helens Road Bolton


The entrance to Lantor’s car park was formed out of the former Bright Street. The Waggon and Horses was on the right-hand side at the top of the street. (Image copyright Google Street View, July 2016). These premises were occupied for many years by  Bentwood Brothers Ltd.

[1] Rootsweb. Accessed 9 December 2016. 
[2] There is a preponderance of streets with girls’ names in the area: Olive, Florence, Barbara, Adelaide, Georgina, Ivy, Bertha, Doris, Bella, Minnie, Daisy, Alexandra and Caroline are all represented. Most of the streets still exist.
[3] Bolton, Daubhill and Deane: A Sentimental Journey, by Norman Kenyon. Published by Neil Richardson (1998).

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Old Hen and Chickens, 90 Deansgate, Bolton



Not that Hen and Chickens! This was the original pub of that name. As we have written previously, it wasn’t uncommon for there to be two pubs of the same name, often within yards of each other. There were two Millstones, two Three Crowns, two Nags Heads and there were two Hen and Chickens, both on Deansgate.

It was quite common for the older of two pubs with the same name to add the prefix ‘Old’, ‘Olde’ or ‘Ye Olde’ and that’s what happened in this case. The Hen and Chickens that survives to this day is officially known as the Higher Hen and Chickens.

The Old Hen and Chickens was situated further down Deansgate at number 90 and appears on the licensing register of 1778.  Seth Hitcroft was the licensee.

By 1821, it had been joined by its neighbour further up Deansgate. However, both clubs were named the Hen and Chickens on local records. It was only in the 1830s that the more ancient of the two hostelries became known as the Old Hen and Chickens.

Around 1850 James Fletcher became the landlord of the Old Hen and Chickens. He was to remain at the club until he died in 1868.  James Fletcher’s wife Lydia took over the running of the pub on his death but by 1876 it was in the hands of Ralph Entwistle.

Ralph Entwistle died in 1885 and the Old Hen and Chickens closed in 1888. Its full license was transferred to the Railway Shipping Inn on Crook Street. That pub was owned at the time by local brewers Atkinson’s which suggests that the Old Hen and Chickens was bought by them soon after Ralph Entwistle died. 

The Old Hen and Chickens had a full licence which made it attractive to Atkinson’s. It was also on the same row as two other pubs: the Kings Arms was next-door-but-one in one direction. The Blue Boar was three doors along in another. The Railway Shipping Inn’s proximity to Great Moor Street railway station also made it a prime candidate for a full licence rather than permission to sell only beer.

The Old Hen and Chickens premises were sold to a firm of dyers and cleaners named George Wright Ltd. By 1924 the building was occupied by a seedsman named William Southern.


The old pub building still stands. For some years it has been a furniture store as the image from 2015 shows (Google Street View).

Old Hen and Chickens 90  Deansgate Bolton


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Greyhound, 564-566 Manchester Road, Bolton




The Greyhound pictured in 2008 a couple of years before its closure (copyright Google Street View). Note the Greyhound weather-vane on the pub’s chimney. This was removed after closure.

The Greyhound was situated on Manchester Road between Green Lane and Moses Gate. This particular part of Great Lever enjoyed three pubs: the Bridgewater Arms  (also known as the Gravel Hole after its locality), and the Bradford Arms, on the same side of the road as the Greyhound and not far from the Bridgewater.

The first mention we have of the pub is in the 1869 Bolton Directory when Thomas Shaw is a provision dealer and beerseller on Manchester Road. Shaw grew up in pubs. At various times his father, John Shaw, was landlord of both the Bradford and the Bridgewater.

Thomas was initially a wheelwright. By 1856 he and his wife Harriet were living in Lever Hall Fold, a small settlement close to Great Lever Hall and situated in an area that was cleared in the 1960s for the construction of St Peters Way.

Some time in the 1860s, Thomas Shaw and his family moved across Manchester Road to open a provisions store and beerhouse in what became the Greyhound. He was to remain there for over 30 years.

Two of Thomas Shaw’s daughters married brothers from the Middlefell family of Starcliffe Street. Elizabeth Shaw married William Middlefell in 1881 and the family went to live in Shaw Street, which ran down by the side of the White Horse Hotel near Moses Gate station. Sadly, she died after giving birth to a son in 1885. Later, William Middlefell was to move next door to the Greyhound at 568 Manchester Road. He died there in 1913.

Another daughter, Mary Jane, married Edward Middlefell in 1882. They took over the pub when Thomas Shaw retired. Thomas died at the Greyhound in 1896 but the Middefells tenure didn’t last for much longer. By 1901, the landlord was William Kay, formerly a wine and spirit salesman who remained at the Greyhound until his death in 1919.

By 1922 the pub was being run by Thomas Hodson. In 1922, his daughter Constance married a professional cricketer, Charlie Hallows who played for Lancashire. In 1928 the Little Lever-born Hallows achieved the feat of scoring 1000 runs in the month of May which has only been matched by two other players. [1]

The Greyhound received a full licence in 1933 allowing it to serve wines and spirits as well as beer. The pub was owned by Liverpool brewery Walker Cain after a series of takeovers left the with a sizeable tied estate in Bolton. Walker’s decided to transfer the full licenses of the Old Robin Hood on Lever Street, the Three Tuns  on Chapel Street, and the Arrowsmith Arms on Mill Street, to three other pubs: the Greyhound, the Vulcan on Junction Road and the Nightingale on Lever Street. However, the council was also keen to cut down on the number of pubs and before allowing the deal to go ahead they insisted that Walker’s surrendered three beerhouse licenses, as well. The Merehall  on Lyon Street, the Greengate on Hammond Street and the Black Horse in Chew Moor were all axed.

Walkers merged with Tetley in 1961 to form Tetley Walker. As breweries disposed of their tied houses the Greyhound was sold to a Mr Grundy in 2000. He closed the pub in 2010 and converted it into living accommodation.

[1] Wikipedia. Accessed 19 November 2016.





Saturday, 15 October 2016

Noble Street Tavern, 87 Noble Street, Bolton





Noble Street pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). The Methodist church dominates a truncated street that at one time ran all the way down to Deane Road but which now runs for barely a quarter of its former length. The Noble Street Tavern stood where the hedges are in the distance.

Once known as the ‘Hark Up To Glory’ the Noble Street Tavern dated back to the 1860s. A James Heywood is listed as the landlord of an un-named, un-numbered pub on Noble Street which is believed to have been the Noble Street Tavern.

By 1876 the pub was numbered 87 Noble Street and was known as the Noble Street Tavern. It was owned by Robert Grime. By then the Noble Street Independent Methodist church had opened nearby in 1872. For the four years prior to moving into its rather grand premises it had existed on Blackburn Street (later known as Deane Road) as a mission of the Folds Road Methodist church. A small street named Temperance Street separated the pub from the church’s Sunday school building.

The Noble Street Tavern was taken over by Robert Wood of the Prince Arthur brewery on St John Street in the 1880s. 

By 1906, the pub stood directly opposite the church’s Sunday School building with the church next door. Only a narrow thoroughfare named Temperance Street separating pub from church. Temperance Street and Noble Street Independent Methodist church still stand. The Noble Street Tavern had its licence refused in 1906. It was converted into a residential property before being demolished with much of the rest of Noble Street in the 1960s.


The site of the pub is now the Jehovah’s Witness church car park. Temperance Street and the Noble Street Independent Methodist church still exist.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Derby Hotel (Sharman Arms), 218 Halliwell Road, Bolton

Derby Hotel  Halliwell Road Bolton 1931


The Derby Hotel pictured around 1931. The image comes from a collection of former George Shaw pubs taken shortly after the brewery’s takeover by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool.





The Sharman Arms was situated at 218 Halliwell Road. The pub was known for most of its existence as the Derby Hotel. Part of Halliwell Road was known in those days as Derby Street and that gave the pub its original name.

The Derby was a small pub dating back to the 1860s and the first record we have is when Daniel Cain is listed as the licensee in the 1869 Bolton Directory. Daniel Cain was born around 1827, the son of Henry and Mary Cain of Back Oswald Street, Little Bolton. He was a cotton spinner lodging in Hulme Street in 1851 and in 1854 he married Alice Heyes at St John’s church, Little Bolton.

The couple were living on German Street – now Haslam Street off Derby Street – in 1861, but he got into the pub business and was at the Derby by 1869. The 1871 census shows and Daniel and Alice Cain at the Derby along with and two daughters aged 17 and 14. Daniel had retired to Winter Street, Halliwell, by the time of the 1881 census, but his address was given as 35 Wynne Street, Little Bolton when he died on 7 October 1881. The pub trade had been good to Daniel. He left an estate valued at £2293 – the equivalent of around £250,000 today.

Daniel Cain was replaced at the Derby by John Riley who spent over a decade at the pub.

The Derby was bought by Sharman’s whose Mere Hall Brewery was just a few hundred yards away from the pub. Through various brewery takeovers it was owned by Shaw’s of Leigh from 1927, Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool from 1931 and Tetley Walker from 1961.

In the 1980s this small, basic two-roomed boozer was renamed the Sharman Arms after its former owner. 

It closed around 2011.



A rather forlorn looking Sharman Arms pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View).


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Victoria Hotel, 33 Lum Street, Bolton




The bottom half of Lum Street pictured in 2008 (copyright Google Street View). The Victoria was situated on the right-hand side.

Lum Street was named after John Lum, a local industrialist responsible for the nearby Mount Pleasant mill. Lum was prone to singing hymns during production hours and insisting his employees join in. After he died in 1836 his widow built six alms houses on a part of Goodwin Meadow that was later named Lum Street.

The charity set up by Mrs Lum still exists and has as its aim:

“Almshouses For Poor Widows Or Spinsters Of Good Character Who Are Not Less Than 60 Years Of Age. Preference Shall Be Given To Those Who Attend Places Of Worship."

Lawrence Whittaker, a cotton waste dealer in Lum Street, Little Bolton, moved into a house on that street around 1854. He immediately applied for a full public-house licence at the Brewster sessions, the annual licensing hearing that sat at the Bolton Magistrates court in August of each year. The application was unsuccessful. The chair of the magistrates, Robert Walsh, a keen member of the temperance movement, rejected the application along with 22 others. He calculated that there was one alehouse for every 106 citizens – one for every thousand would do.

The 1861 Census shows an address for Lawrence Whittaker – 33 Lum Street – in what became the Victoria Hotel but which in those days was just a beerhouse. Despite his failure to obtain a full licence from the annual hearing, a beerhouse licence could be bought for just a couple of pounds. Not much now but a considerable sum in those days. The difference between a beerhouse licence and a full licence was that fully-licenced premises sold wine and spirits as well as beer.

The Victoria was bought in the 1880s by Atkinson’s, a local brewery based at Commission Street, just off Deane Road. Atkinson’s were bought out by Boardman’s United Breweries of Manchester in 1895 and Boardman’s were in turn taken over by another Manchester firm, Cornbrook, in 1898.

In 1913, Bolton Council instituted a ‘pub compensation scheme’. The idea was that pubs would be bought by the council and the business closed down with the building then sold off for alternative use. The idea was to reduce the number of pubs in the town.

Seven pubs were put before the licensing magistrates in April 1913 including the Victoria Hotel. Of the seven pubs, the owners of six of them – including another Cornbrook pub, the Black Lion on Turton Street – agreed to have their pubs referred to the compensation authority. But Cornbrook’s objected to the Victoria being closed. Representing the brewery, Mr A.F Greenhalgh argued that the Victoria was better adapted and structurally much better than the other six pubs and that it ought to remain as such. However, the police argued that there were two fully licensed premises and nine beerhouses within a radius of just 200 yards from the Victoria!

The Victoria closed soon afterwards. Its final licensee was John Ripley.


The building was demolished to make way for the Ribble Bus Depot.

[1] Manchester Courier, 25 April 1913.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Horse and Vulcan, 59 Deane Road, Bolton




The word ‘Vulcan’ keeps cropping up in our research into Bolton’s pubs. The name still exists at the Vulcan on Junction Road, Deane and in Walkden at the Vulcan on Bolton Road, but there aren’t many other examples of the name. WhatPub – not a comprehensive list but a decent enough guide – lists just 12 in the whole of the country.

The name comes from the Roman god of fires, volcanoes and metalworking and with the number of foundries and steelworks in the area it isn’t difficult to see why variations have cropped up at a number of pubs in Bolton. There was the Vulcan Inn on Derby Street, the Eagle and Vulcan on Folds Road, the Old Vulcan on Croasdale Street and this, the Horse and Vulcan on Deane Road.

Edward Kearsley was a butcher in Blackburn Street in 1841. By 1843 he is a beerhouse keeper, also in Blackburn Street. It wasn’t unusual for premises to be used for dual purposes and it is likely that Edward Kearsley was also serving beer at his butcher’s shop.

Edward Kearsley died in 1848 and the pub was taken over by his brother, Wright Kearsley. Wright was a carrier living in Chancery Lane in 1841 and he carried on in that trade even after he moved to the pub. It is entirely possible that he named the pub the Horse and Vulcan, perhaps as a nod to his profession but also to the presence not far from the pub of the Union Foundry on Blackhorse Street and the Soho Foundry on Crook Street, which later became Hick, Hargreaves.

Wright Kearsley eventually went back to being a courier. He left the Horse and Vulcan in the late-1850s and by 1871 he was 60-years-old, working as a courier and living in Kirk Street, the next street off Blackburn Street, as it still was.

Ellis Boardman succeeded Wright Kearsley and spent over 15 years at the Horse and Vulcan. A native of Deane and a former miner he moved to the pub along with his wife Jane and was there until the mid-1870s.

Like many pubs, the Horse and Vulcan brewed its own beer in the early days, but by the end of the 19th century it was owned by a local brewery, Joseph Sharman.

The 1905 Bolton Directory shows Walter Copple as the licensee. He married in to the pub trade – his father-in-law ran the Mill Hill Tavern on Mill Hill Street – and Walter would later go on to run the Swiss Hotel at Halliwell. But it was the occupant in 1905 of number 57 Deane Road - the premises next door to the Horse and Vulcan- that was to be key to the pub’s future. Joseph Foster had been making his ‘running pumps’ since 1895 and his business was expanding. There is no record as to what the catalyst was behind the Horse and Vulcan’s closure in 1912, but Joseph Foster was looking to expand his business. He bought the Horse and Vulcan and opened what is believed to be the world’s first athletic shoes factory in the enlarged premises.


The former Horse and Vulcan is pictured here as part of the enlarged Joseph Foster premises, the Olympic works, shortly before it was demolished in 1966 to make way for the Bolton Institute Of Technology. It was situated on Deane Road in the block between Ebenezer Street and John Street.

Union Arms, 63 - 65 Deane Road, Bolton



The Union Arms on Deane Road, close to the junction with John Street which later became College Way (now University Way).

The Union Arms was a beerhouse situated at 65 Deane Road. the road was known as Blackburn Street until the 1880s.

The first record we have of the Union Arms is when it was run by John Allen. Born in 1829, John was a confectioner by trade. He married Jane Gibson in 1852 when he was already in the business of selling – and perhaps even making – sweets.

The couple had a shop not far from Blackburn Street in 1861 but the 1869 Bolton Directory had him down as a beerseller at 65 Blackburn Street. Selling sweets alongside beer wasn’t exactly common but it wasn’t unique. At about the same time another confectioner, Miles Pollitt, had turned his sweet shop on Folds Road into a beer house, the Duke Of Bolton and was selling confectionery alongside beer.

John Allen continued at the Union Arms until the late-1870s. By 1881 he was widowed and running a confectionery business in Church Street, off St George’s Road – though without the sideline of selling beer.

By October 1899 the Union Arms was owned by Walker’s Bolton Brewery Ltd whose Park View Brewery was situated on Spa Road. (Walker Street next to the Magnet kitchen outlet takes its name from the site’s former occupant). 

Walker’s were in trouble and they decided to sell up in order to pay off the company’s debts. They owned the brewery on Spa Road along with 19 pubs situated in Bolton, Preston and Walkden. The Red Lion at Four Lane Ends, the Three Pigeons on Wigan Road and the Church Hotel in Kearsley were among the company's other Bolton pubs. [1]

The auction was not a success. Despite a large attendance at Manchester’s Albion Hotel the sale was pulled. Bidding started at £50,000 and continued up to £73,000, but Walker’s owner, George Walker – who despite having built up a sizeable brewing business was still the landlord of the Wheatsheaf Hotel on Great Moor Street – decided not to proceed. [2]

The Union, its 18 stablemates and the Park View brewery remained in George Walker’s hands for a few more months until in June 1900, Walker was a shareholder in the Spa Wells Brewery Company Ltd, newly registered to take on the former Walker’s business. [3]

The Union was owned by Spa Wells for four years until the brewery and its pubs was taken over James Jackson & Co Ltd in 1904. The landlord of the Union at this time – paying the princely sum of £35 a year – was Joseph Goodlad who later moved to the Junction Inn  on Egyptian Street and the Windsor Castle on Halliwell Road. 

The Union became a Shaw’s house when that company took over Jackson’s in 1927. Shaw’s were themselves taken over by Walker Cain of Liverpool (no relation to the Walker’s on Spa Road).

It was during a review of pubs taken over by Walker Cain that the Union was deemed as surplus to requirements. Stand at the front door of the pub and you could see the Wheatsheaf on Deane Road,  the Weavers, the Gladstone  and Derby Ward Labour Club – all within 50 yards.

The Union closed in 1933 although the building survived as retail premises until the area was cleared in the mid-sixties. 

[1] Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 14 October 1899.
[2] Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 14 October 1899.
[3] Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 June 1900.


Friday, 9 September 2016

Jolly Sailor, 5 Kay Street, Bolton




The Jolly Sailor lasted for about a decade in the middle of the 18th century. It was a beerhouse situated at number 5 Kay Street, just two doors away from the fully-licensed Roebuck Hotel.

The Jolly Sailor was run by Richard Cashmore. Born in Warwickshire in 1766, Mr Cashmore was running a pub in Great Moor Street in 1836. By 1841 he was at the Jolly Sailor along with his wife Ann. However, despite being some twenty years younger than Richard, Ann died in 1846.

Richard was described as a Chelsea pensioner on the 1851 census which suggests he may have had a previous career in the armed forces. He died later that year and the Jolly Sailor was certainly closed by the time the 1853 Bolton Directory was compiled.

In the early part of the 20th century number 5 Kay Street was part of Mrs Anne Bentley’s bakery which was certainly up and running by 1905 and was still in business almost twenty years later.

All Saints Street car park now occupies the site.


The bottom end of Kay Street on this August 2015 image (copyright Google Street View). The Jolly Sailor was on the left-hand side.

Brinks Brow Tavern, Chorley Street, Bolton



The Brinks Brow district of Bolton was the top of the hill around the Chorley Street/St George’s Road area. The name has long since fallen out of use with the exception of Brinks Place, a short thoroughfare leading off Chorley Street to some industrial units to the rear of Sherrington’s solicitors’ offices.

The Brinks Brow Tavern is shown on the 1849 listing of Bolton licensed premises. The landlord at that time was Robert Crawford. A beerhouse run by John Hurst is on the 1841 census as being close to the top of Chorley Street and may have been the same premises. But by 1853 the pub has gone and there is no further mention.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Windsor Castle, 37 Halliwell Road, Bolton




On the right of this image taken in August 2015 is the pharmacy built on the site of the New Inn. The Windsor Castle was opposite the New Inn on the corner of Lune Street. Adisham Drive was built in its place following the redevelopment of the area in the early seventies and can be seen here with the white car waiting to turn out. The Windsor Castle was on the corner nearest the camera. Image copyright  Google Street View.

The Windsor Castle was situated at the bottom of Halliwell Road on the corner of Lune Street. Most pubs on the infamous ‘Halliwell Mile’ pub crawl were situated on the right-hand side of the road as you head out of town. The Windsor Castle was on the left and, along with the New Inn, was one of the first pubs you walked into – or the last if, as tradition appeared to dictate, you started from the Ainsworth Arms at the top of the road.

Writingon the Closed Pubs website, Mary Gray says: “The Windsor Castle was on the end of the first row of shops. At the bottom end at the traffic lights was the District Bank on the corner of Moss street. All gone now of course. I was born in 17 Halliwell Rd and lived there until 1952.”

The Windsor Castle dated back to at least the 1850s although the row of properties that included the pub was standing as early as the 1840s.

James Beddows owned the pub from the late-1850s until his death in 1882. James was originally from Deane.

By 1895 the licensee was William Rogerson. Originally from Dunscar he left for the Cheetham Arms on Blackburn Road where he died in 1913 aged 62.

Joseph Goodlad, formerly of the Junction Inn on Egyptian Street and the Union Arms on Deane Road was another career publican who ran the Windsor Castle. He certainly made a good living out of it. When he died in 1920 he left an estate valued at over £5700 – the equivalent today of almost a quarter of a million pounds. He was succeeded by his son, George, who had previously worked as a joiner.

The Windsor Castle became a Sharman’s pub in the early part of the 20th century. Through various takeovers ownership passed through George Shaw’s of Leigh in 1926, Walker Cain of Liverpool in 1931 and Tetley Walker of Warrington in 1961. The pub received a full licence in 1962.

The end for the Windsor Castle came in the early seventies when it was demolished along with much of the immediate area. Practically the only building to remain following those clearances was Moss Street Baths situated in a street to the rear of the pub. That has since made way for a health centre.


Friday, 2 September 2016

Junction Inn - Smoothing Iron, 77 - 79 Egyptian Street, Bolton




The Junction Inn was situated at the meeting of three thoroughfares: Egyptian Street, St John’s Street and the northernmost part of Higher Bridge Street close to where it meets Blackburn Road and Kay Street.

The building was used as a pub in at least the 1860s. The first record we have of it as licensed premises is from 1869 when the licensee, George Pownall decided to sell the lease. [1]

However, the advertisement suggested that the lease agreement dated back to 1837, the likely date of construction although it may not necessarily have been a pub right from the start. At that time of the 1869 sale the pub was known as the Smoothing Iron due to its unusual rectangular shape and it was still known by that name as late as 1876.

For over ten years, the Junction was in the hands of Martha Cope and it seems to have taken on that name under her tenure. Born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1859, Martha moved in to the pub in the 1880s with her first husband, Joseph Smith. He died in 1890 leaving Martha and three children and she took over the running of the pub.

In 1893, Martha married the pub’s barman, the Nottingham-born William Henry Cope, who was already living at the pub according to the 1891 census. They went on to have two children together, but in March 1898 on a visit to his home town, William died at the age of just 26.

Martha Cope died in 1901. By the time of the 1911 Census the eldest child, Minnie Smith, was married to William Kirkman. The two other children she had with Joseph Smith were living with their aunt and uncle in Darbishire Street. Two other children, Ethel and Martha, later emigrated to Canada.

Martha Cope was succeeded by Joseph John Goodlad, a career licensee who had previously been at the Union Arms on Deane Road. At the time of his death in 1920 he had moved on again, this time to the Windsor Castle at the bottom of Halliwell Road.

By then the Junction Inn was in the hands of Magee’s brewery after their takeover of previous owners, Halliwell’s Alexandra Brewery in 1910. Although Greenall Whitley were the owners when the pub closed in the 1960s it was still being supplied by beer brewed by Magee’s Crown Brewery just off Derby Street.


 [1] Bolton Evening News, 12 May 1869.



Blackburn Road goes off to the right and Egyptian Street to the left in this August 2015 image (copyright Google Street View). The Junction Inn stood where the trees are in the middle distance. The short thoroughfare heading off to the right of where the pub stood was once the bottom end of St John’s Street.

Black Cock, Harwood





The Four Lane Ends area of Harwood where the Black Cock stood for over 30 years.

The Black Cock was situated at Four Lane Ends, Longsight, Harwood at the junction with Brookfold Lane, Hardy Mill Road and Ruins Lane.

The pub was established in the middle of the 19th-century by John Greenhalgh and it was run by the family for almost all of its existence. 


John Greenhalgh was already noted as the licensee of a beerhouse according to the 1853 Bolton Directory, but this is not believed to be the Black Cock. In his diary Samuel Scowcroft notes that on 6 October 1860 that Mr Greenhalgh had opened a ‘jerry shop’ at premises named the Black Cock. A ‘jerry shop’ was a name for a low-grade beerhouse. [1]


John Greenhalgh – ‘Black Jack’ to natives of Harwood – died in 1881. The Black Cock continued until 1894 when its licence was revoked. At the Brewster session hearing in September 1894 the police objected to the renewal of the licensee, Patrick Riley, claiming he was not a person of good character. Furthermore, the house had been run in a disorderly manner and that the licensee had twice been charged with permitting drunkenness and gaming on the premises. [2]


The Black Cock closed shortly afterwards.


[1] The Scowcroft diaries. Transcribed by AW Critchley for British Isles Family History Of Greater Ottawa.


[2] Manchester Courier, Saturday 29 September 1894.






Monday, 22 August 2016

Railway Tavern, Bradshawgate




A short-lived pub on Bradshawgate, the first evidence we have of the Railway Tavern is on the 1849 list of Bolton beer houses when Edmund Harwood was the licensee. 

It seems the business’s days as a beerhouse were limited even then. It didn’t appear in the 1848 Bolton directory and by the time of the 1851 census Edmund Harwood is listed as a confectioner. It seems likely that the pub had closed and Mr Harwood and his wife Ann were now selling sweets.

By 1861, the premises were numbered 60 Bradshawgate, which puts it somewhere near to where the Pack Horse was. Edmund is a provision dealer and confectioner and lives with a servant and three lodgers.

Edmund Harwood died in 1864. 

Little John, Ashburner Street




The Little John was situated in Ashburner Street and was a short-lived beerhouse in the middle of the 19th century.

The 1848 directory shows James Nuttall as the licensee of an un-named pub in Ashburner Street. By the time the licensing magistrates compiled their list of Bolton beerhouses in 1849 it had a name – the Little John.

Quite why it was named the Little John isn’t given, but a clue can be gleaned further down Ashburner Street where the Robin Hood was situated. Two pubs in Lever Street later pulled the same trick with a Robin Hood and a Little John just yards away from each other.

By 1851 James Nuttall had moved on to a pub on Crook Street. The Little John on Ashburner Street either changed its name or had closed down.

The 1861 census shows James Nuttall working as a cotton waste dealer at 13 Crook Street and ten years later in 1871 he is at the same address but is described as a clock dresser.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Old Cock Tavern, 13 Green Street, Bolton





The Old Cock Tavern dated back to the 1830s. It was originally known simply as the Cock Tavern. There was also a pub by that name on Churchgate just a few hundred yards away, but while pubs with the same name – and there was more than one pub in Bolton named the Hen and Chickens, the Millstone and the Nags Head to name but three – often differentiated themselves with the longer established pub as naming itself ‘Old’ that wasn’t initially the case with the Cock. The Cock on Green Street eventually re-named itself as the Old Cock despite the fact that its contender for the title was open from at least the 1700s until the 1830s.

In 1848 the landlord of the Cock was George Bromiley. He was hauled before the court in April of that year “on police intelligence” according to a newspaper report at the time. The main reason for pub landlords appearing in court was a breach of Sunday drinking laws which prohibited alcohol being served before 12.30 on a Sunday lunch time and between 3.30 and 6 on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday mornings and late Sunday afternoons were the time for Divine Service and Evensong respectively. [1]

The pub was run for many years by Mary Shepherd, also known as Mary Warburton. Mary and her first husband John Warburton first moved into the Old Cock in the mid-1860s. John Warburton died in 1873 and Mary married a weaver named John Shepherd in 1877. John and Mary Shepherd then ran the Old Cock for a number of years afterwards.

The pub became a Tong’s house and remained so until it shut in 1935. By then, Tong’s tied estate was in the hands of the Warrington brewery of Walker Cain. After a review of their local pubs the Old Cock was closed down. The building remained standing for a number of years afterwards until it was cleared along with the rest of the area in the 1960s.
Fold Road car park now stands on the site.

[1] Manchester Courier, 29 April 1848.