Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Fire Brigade / Pollard, Pollard Street

Fire Brigade Inn, Pollard Street, Ancoats. (c) David Lever at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

Like its neighbour, the Auld Lang Syne, the Fire Brigade on the corner of Polland Street and Munday Street has been lost while the brick and timbered building - the old Hetherington's Dining Rooms - that separated the pubs remained standing defiantly until recently. The Fire Brigade, previously a pork butcher's, opened in 1865 and was a Longsight Brewery house before becoming a JW Lees pub [2].


Fire Brigade, Pollard Street, 1970s. (c) Neil Richardson [2].

The Fire Brigade was later overshadowed by the Pollard Street dwellings which look quite similar to the Victoria Square sheltered housing development over in old Ancoats. Mick Burke recalled the Fire Brigade: "...the customers were the mob out of Walton House [dwellings]. The cider barrels behind the bar were leaking and stinking the place out. The feller who was looking after the bar had a torn shirt and looked as if he'd just come off a 2-10 shift at Bradford Pit - he hadn't had a wash in weeks! [2]".


Fire Brigade, Pollard Street, 1986. (c) Miles Platting, Ancoats & Collyhurst, Manchester Facebook [3].

As mentioned above, the Fire Brigade is well-remembered as being a cider house. The evocative photo above from 1986 shows the Fire Brigade in its final days - the plain furniture, garish carpet, keg fonts and ashtrays hark back to a bygone era, though pub dogs are thankfully still popular. The pub was renamed the Pollard in the 1980s and was still open under Lees pub in 1987. But, like the Pollard Street dwellings before it, the boozer was pulled down and its footprint remains empty, though can still see the markings on the wall where the pub once was.

Former location of Fire Brigade, Pollard Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

But, like the Pollard Street dwellings before it, the Fire Brigade was pulled down and its footprint remains empty, though can still see the markings on the wall where the pub once was. The Hetherington's Dining Rooms was sadly demolished in October 2014 [3], taking it the last trace of the old Fire Brigade.


Hetherington's Dining Rooms, Pollard Street, 2014. (c) Complete UK [3].

1. www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterarchiveplus/14512389033.
2. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).
3. www.facebook.com/groups/272836182813205/photos.
4. www.complete.uk.net/?cat=2.

Richmond Inn, Syndall Street

Richmond Inn, Syndall Street, Ardwick. (c) David Lever at archiveplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

The Richmond Inn, shown at the archives in 1965 and 1970 as a Chesters house, stood at number 16-18 Richmond Street [2] in Ardwick. It was on the corner of the just-surviving (as Syndall Avenue) Syndall Street off Stockport Road. As shown in this fine 1969 photo, the sad sight of a pub left standing while the communities around it are demolished is an all-too-familiar one to pub historians.


Richmond Inn, Syndall Street. (c) Old Maps [3].

The impressive Nicholls Ardwick High School is in the distance in the above photo, which is from September 1971 [1]. The Richmond Inn and Richmond Street are both long-gone and this corner of Ardwick has seen the infamous and brutal Fort Ardwick come and go in recent decades.

1. www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterarchiveplus/14488888201.
2. http://pubshistory.com/Lancashire/ManchesterR/RichmondInnSyndal.shtml.
3. www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/383500/398500/13/100874.

St Andrews Tavern, Adair Street

Former St Andrews Tavern, Adair Street, 1970. (c) David Lever at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

The St Andrews Tavern or St Andrews Church Hotel opened on the corner of Norton Street at No. 29-31 Adair Street [2], just north east of London Road Station, in about 1870. It replaced an earlier St Andrews Tavern which stood on the corner of Travis Street and Back Crescent run by Robert Crosbie, lost when the Goods Station was built [3]. The pub was named after St Andrews Church on Travis Street down the road [4], and St Andrews Street, the churchyard wall and a cross remain today.


Former location of St Andrews Chruch, Travis Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

The St Andrews Tavern closed as a Hardy's pub in 1956, and Mick Burke remembers: "It was a busy pub. In the thirties the landlord was Bill Bunnage and he used to fence stuff knocked off by railwaymen from the yard across the road. He might say, 'D'you fancy a suit? There's one upstairs - go and try it on!' [3]." A few decades after it closed, the building was demolished and the site now boasts the Aeroworks development.

Former location of St Andrews Tavern, Adair Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Ellesmere Inn / Rob Roy, Liverpool Road


Ellesmere Inn, Liverpool Road, Patricroft. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

The first Ellesmere Inn on Liverpool Road stood on the corner of Ellesmere Street in Patricroft and was originally called the Rob Roy.  It opened at some point before 1872 and served for about a century before being demolished in 1965.  Its replacement estate-style pub opened in May 1966, set back off the main Liverpool Road [1], still close to the Black Boy. The top end of Ellesmere Street was lost during this redevelopment , but the new  Ellesmere Inn has since closed too.

Former location of Ellesmere Inn, Liverpool Road. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1982).

Royal Oak, Oldham Road

Royal Oak, Oldham Road, Failsworth. (c) Rob Magee [1].

Not to be confused with the old Royal Oak further along Oldham Road in Newton Heath, this was the original Royal Oak of Failsworth. Shown above in 1890, the first Royal Oak dates back to about 1812 and stood on the corner of Oldham Road and Pole Lane. The pub had a brewhouse, two hotel rooms and stabling. In 1929 Cornbrook Brewery bought the Royal Oak and rebuilt it on the same site as the gabled pub which still serves today.

Royal Oak, Oldham Road. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. Failsworth Pubs 1731-1995 and their licensees, Rob Magee (1995).

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Oldham Arms, Belle Vue Street

Oldham Arms, Belle Vue Street, West Gorton, 1971. (c) David Lewis at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

The Oldham Arms stood on Belle Vue Street, on the corner of Sussex Street, with Queen Street just starting to the right, in West Gorton. It stood at No.39 Belle Vue Street and dated back to at least 1876 [2]. Pictured above in August 1971, and also here in 1971 [3], the Oldham Arms was next door to "Valerie's" - what this little establishment was is anyone's guess.

Future location of the Oldham Arms, Belle Vue Street. (c) Old Maps [4].

The pub was originally a Cornbrook Ales house [5] and ended up with Wilsons Brewery as seen here. Belle Vue Street still runs today from Gorton Lane to Hyde Road. The street layout around here is much-changed with this spot being roughly the old location of the Oldham Arms.

Elephant / Anglers Tavern / Albion Mills Tavern / Sherwood Inn / Dumfries & Galloway Arms, Green Street


Former Elephant, Green Street, 1970. (c) David Lewis at archivesplus flickr at Creative Commons [1].

The pub that once stood on the corner of Tib Street and Green Street has been known as the Dumfries & Galloway Arms, Sherwood Inn, Albion Mills Tavern, Anglers Tavern and lastly the Elephant. Pictured here in July 1970, the Elephant was a distant memory already.


Former Elephant, Green Street, 1970. (c) David Lewis at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

Green Street used to link Tib Street and Oak Street, but since the building of the odd little city centre council housing estate here, it has been renamed Dorsey Street (later becoming the pedestrianised Brightwell Walk).

Dumfries & Galloway Arms, Green Street, 1849. (c) Alan Godfrey [2].

Dorsey Street is best known for Cord Bar on the other side of the road and the Tib Street Tavern (former Centro) faces the old location of the beerhouse. The old four-storey building has been demolished replaced with a new-build and today houses a handbag shop.

Former location of Dumfries & Galloway / Sherwood / Albion Mills Tavern / Anglers Tavern / Elephant, Dorsey Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterarchiveplus/sets/72157644916552829.
2. Manchester (New Cross) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Shepherd Inn, Chapel Street

Shepherd Inn, Chapel Street. (c) David Lewis at archiveplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

The area just north-east of Piccadilly Station bounded by Store Street, the Mancunian Way and Great Ancoats Street was heavily populated before slum clearance in the 1930s. The area with Chapel Street (now Chapeltown Street) running through it was nicknamed "The Dardanelles". This part, close to the station, was described as: "a commune, and some of the chief pubs were the Shepherd on Chapel Street, 'Harry Horner's' (the King Billy on Boad Street) and 'Betsy Royle's. The Railway on Chapel Street near Hetherington's works was always called Abigail's [2]."

Shepherd Inn, Chapel Street (top right). (c) Old Maps [3].

The Shepherd "was a Chesters house and all the rough characters used to go in the side vault called the Carrot Yard which was supposed to be a women's room." The Carrot Yard was probably named because the railway horses were stabled around the corner and carrots would be delivered to them here. As Mick Burke remembers: "Chesters beers had a big following in those days.  It used to be mentioned that you got a pension from the brewery if you could remember the number of pints you'd drunk at the age of sixty.  There was a special ward for Chesters cases in Crumpsall Hospital!  It was terrible stuff, black as Spanish (liquorice) [4]."

Former location of Shepherd Inn, Chapeltown Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

4. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Kings Arms, Tipping Street

Kings Arms, Tipping Street. (c) David Lewis at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

Pictured above in March 1964 by David Lewis, the Kings Arms Hotel stood on Tipping Street on the edge of Ardwick and the city centre, a location that has been swallowed up by the Mancunian Way ring road.  The Kings Arms was a Threlfalls house, as seen in this 1959 archive photo.  The pub was on the Downing Street corner of Tipping Street, so it was opposite the Royal Oak.


Kings Arms, Tipping Street. (c) david Lewis at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons [1].

The Royal Oak can be seen on the other side of Tipping Street, on the right, in the above picture of the Kings Arms.  The former site of the Kings Arms Hotel is today the shadow of the huge MacDonald Hotel (the old Victory House and Telecom House), opposite the skate park beneath the Mancunian Way flyover.

Former location of Kings Arms, Tipping Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street, Stockport. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.


The Vernon Arms stood on the corner of Vernon Street and Warren Street in Portwood, Stockport. It has long been lost to the new ASDA development at the start of the Merseyway shopping precinct, but this lost Robinson's pub is fondly remembered. Jim Phelan, grandson of a former landlord of the Vernon Arms, James Sheehan, takes up the story.


James Edward Sheehan, born 1878, was landlord of the Vernon Arms before, during and after World War I. He was previously a pawnbroker and insurance agent before taking on the tenancy around 1912. In 1915 he enlisted in the Irish Guards for war service despite being 37 years old at the time. James fought at Passchendaele and was wounded in his knee and left hand. The photo of James standing in the doorway of the Vernon Arms was taken in 1913. The vehicle in the picture is a 1910 Napier 15HP Landaulette Taxi, registered in Sheffield.

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission. 

When his wife, Lavinia, died during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, James returned to look after his two young children. In the early 1920s, there was a post-war depression and supplies being hard to obtain, the business gradually declined. Rather than accept bankruptcy, James walked away from the Vernon Arms leaving all his possessions behind, and with his children, went to live with his elderly mother in nearby Edgeley.

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission. 


The wedding photograph was taken in the yard of the Vernon Arms circa 1918. James is standing in the back row, his daughter (Jim's mother), Kathleen (born 1912), is the little girl front right, and her brother Jim (1914) is the little boy on the left. Behind Jim is a Mrs Slattery who was the cleaner, childminder, barmaid and general dogsbody at the pub.


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.

The black and white photograph shows the Vernon Arms in relation to the electricity cooling towers with the courthouse on the right and probably dates from the 1960s. Confusingly, this area is known as Portwood, Brinksway and Underbank, the street on the right, Vernon Street, leads up to the market. The pub was demolished in the 1980s to make way for the ASDA supermarket.


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

An odd looking new-build has replaced the corner on which the Vernon Arms stood, which is today occupied by a loans company. However, the old courthouse building opposite on Vernon Street remains and houses a coffee shop. Wonder what James Sheehan would have made of today's Stockport town centre?


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Grey Mare / Mare & Foal, Back Lane

Mare & Foal, Back Lane, Failsworth. (c) Rob Magee [1].

Back Lane was an old name for Ashton Road West which runs off Oldham Road in Failsworth. On the first bend of the road close to where the current Mare & Foal stands today, used to be a farmhouse, part of which was the original Mare & Fold beerhouse. The farmhouse, which stood where a lane, Bardsley Fold (now Clive Road) ran off Back Lane, was owned by Ralph Ogden who opened what was originally the Grey Mare in 1833 [1].

Former location of Gray Mare, Back Lane. (c) Alexander P Kapp at geograph under Creative Commons.

By 1887 both beerhouse and lane had changed name, to the Mare & Foal, Ashton Road West. Rothwells Brewery took over the beerhouse in the 1920s when it had a lobby, pubic bar, serving bar and bar parlour, so was a fairly big boozer. In 1935-36 Rothwells rebuilt the Mare & Foal and the new pub was fully licensed by 1949. Marstons took over in 1961 and still own the building, which sits almost exactly on the same spot as the original [1].

1. Failsworth Pubs 1731-1995 and their licensees, Rob Magee (1995).

Monday, 9 March 2015

Unicorn, Liverpool Road

Unicorn, Liverpool Road, Eccles. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

The original Unicorn on Liverpool Road dated back to the early 1800s and in the early days was nicknamed "Pretty Margarets" after landlady, Margaret Greaves. An intriguing find was made behind the pub in 1875 when a 3-foot wide pathway lined with boulders was found 5 feet below the surface along with a set of stag's antlers [1]. 

In 1878 Robert Harrison bought the Unicorn for £4,105 and the street behind where the pub stood is still named Harrison Street today. In the same year the Unicorn became a John Twigg Manor Brewery house, who themselves merged with the Rochdale & Oldham Brewery Company in 1895 who then rebuilt the Unicorn as the pub which stands today [1].


Unicorn, Liverpool Road. (c) Sale Supporters.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1980).

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pikefold / Pike Fold, Plant Hill Lane

Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane, Blackley. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Pike Fold (or Pikefold as it was called later) was a late 1960s estate-style boozer [2] at the bottom off Plant Hill Lane, just off Chapel Lane near Plant Hill Police Station, in Blackley. 


Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

Shown in 1968 as a Charrington house, by 1985 under Bass its named had been truncated slightly, even though the area is "Pike Fold". The Pikefold closed some time in the last decade or so and today is in use as a nursery.

Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane, Blackley. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.


The Pikefold has clearly had some significant external alterations, with the old entrance extended over and two roof extensions added to the nursery. At least this old estate pub is still of some use the community.

Former Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map (2015).

1. http://images.manchester.gov.uk.
2. http://manchester-estate-pubs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/pikefold-plant-hill-road.html.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Woodman, Oldham Road

Woodman, Oldham Road, Newton Heath. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

The Woodman was a Wilsons house on Oldham Road in Newton Heath standing at No.752 [2].  It may have been near the junction with Dulverton Street, as the pub is labelled as being on the street in the 1970s image at the archives.  The Woodman is notable for being the house of former Manchester City, Manchester United and England player, Herbert Burgess.  He played for many local sides - St Francis FC, Gorton FC, Openshaw Utd FC, Moss Side FC and Glossop FC, before joining City in 1903.  He made 85 appearances for City, and narrowly escaped joining Everton, before signing for United 1906, making 49 appearances before retirement.  Burgess, who made 4 appearances for England whilst at City, remained living at the Woodman with his parents, the landlords [2], as a blacksmith [3].

Herbert Burgess. (c) England Football Online [3].

Britannia Hotel, Drury Lane

Britannia Hotel, Drury Lane, Hollinwood. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Britannia Hotel was a Wilsons house on Drury Lane in Hollinwood.  Pictured above is Charlie Wayman the drayman (!) with his Wilsons Brewery steam  wagon outside the Brittania, courtesy of the late Neil Richardson and his History of Wilsons Brewery 1834-1984 [1].

1. A History of Wilsons Brewery 1845-1984 To Commemorate 150 Years of Brewing at Newton Heath, Neil Wilson (1983).

Albion Inn, Under Lane

Albion Inn, Under Lane, Hollinwood. (c) rightmove.

The Albion Inn closed in November 2011 and has recently been converted into offices of, somewhat ironically, a demolition company [1].  This nondescript little pub stood at junction of Under Lane and Drury Lane in Hollinwood and was a Lees pub on closure.

Albion Inn, Under Lane. (c) CAMRA What Pub [1].

The Albion Inn opened in 1867 and was named after the mill whose workers supplied a lots of its trade.  Albion Mill shut in 1938 and housing the area was replaced by light industry [2], just one factor which led to its demise.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Drum / Bass Drum, Chester Road

Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c)Chris Gleave at Manchester Evening News [1].

The Drum on Chester Road in Stretford was a familiar site to Mancunians, and Old Trafford visitors alike, as they approached town from the south along the A56.  Originally the Bass Drum, the almost unique (for Manchester anyway) looking building was sadly lost last year to make way for something far more popular than a pub.

Bass Drum, Chester Road, 1975. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [2].

The Bass Drum, seen here in 1975, was built to replace the original Angel Hotel in the early 1970s and its sister pub over in Pendleton, Salford, was similarly designed and named the Kettle Drum.  Both pubs operated from the first floor while accommodation was found on the lower floor.

Bass Drum, Chester Road, 1975. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [3].

In its final years, the trade in the Drum fell away as local tastes changed, and even healthy match day trade couldn't stop its eventual closure in 2012.  Money-laundering by a conman hadn't helped its cause [1], so the Pub Company sold the Drum, and Trafford Council approved its demolition and replacement.

Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c) Manchester Evening News [1].

A McDonald's "restaurant" and drive-through opened on the site of the old Drum in late 2014, to much local fanfare - the McDonald's in the Precinct had notably failed, or at least been closed by choice, a decade or so ago.  This modern eyesore complements the new-build giant Tesco store up the road at the north end of Stretford.

Former Drum, Chester Road. (c) Manchester Evening News [2].


The Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr.