Douglas, Fennel Street. (c) Photos of Manchester at Facebook .
The Douglas, pictured above in glorious 1980s colour and at the archives in the 1970s, goes back a long way. The Dog & Partridge back in the time before photos, it may well been the St. Anne's Alehouse or St. Anne's Tavern and the New Church Alehouse at some point as well. The place definitely finished its life as the Douglas, a Wilsons house, popular with scribes and newspaper workers due to its location facing Withy Grove. Roger Waterhouse's The Other Fleet Street shows it being demolished in 1986, with a portly and pork-pie-hatted George Harrop, former Daily Mirror northern night picture editor, saluting it. The Douglas is described as "the sort of pub where you wiped your feet on the way out. Hacks called its two bars Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "
The original Dog & Partridge had a bell outside it which would be rung to call the start of the Corn Market, and until the bell rang no traders could show samples of corn or make sales . You can just about make out the CORN MARKET sign and the bell housing above the D of Douglas in the top picture. A 1958 photo in Batsford's Manchester Then and Now by Jonathan Schofield shows the pub as the Douglas Hotel with the bell clearly present.
Douglas Hotel, Fennel Street. (c) Jonathan Schofield .
This strange 1867 account is either an eye-opener to what were simpler times, or is reminiscent of the bullshitters you so often come across in Manchester pubs: "I turned into the Dog & Partridge snug to have some refreshment. There was an affable old gentleman who was sociable and chatty while he smoked. He told me he was Vice-Consul of France, and spoke with so strong a German accent that I immediately said, 'But you are not a Frenchman.' 'Yes I am'. 'Then,' I said, 'you were born in Alsace.' 'No,' he said, 'I was born in Mainz, and when I was very young we were made to declare the nation to which we belonged and I chose to be a Frenchman .'"
Former location of Douglas, Fennel Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.
Whereas the previous entry, the Star Hotel, had connections to the Protestant church, the Dog & Partidge was next door to The True British Catholic Church founded in the early eighteenth century by a chap called Dr Deacon, a colleague of the noted John Byrom (himself born at the nearby Wellington at Old Shambles). The Douglas has been replaced by one of Manchester's most iconic modern buildings, Urbis.
2. The Other Fleet Street, Robert Waterhouse (2004).
3. Hanging Ditch: Its Trades, Its Traders, Its Rennaissance, H. B. Wilkinson (1910).