Pubs of Manchester

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

Thursday, 3 February 2011

North Westward Ho!, Pomona Dock


North Westward Ho!, Pomona Docks. (c) Chris Bluer / Jud Evans [1].

South of Manchester city centre lies Pomona Dock, seen here in 1925, a reminder of the once thriving Port of Manchester at the end of the Manchester Ship Canal.  While the main docks have been regenerated into Salford Quays, with the BBC moving significant parts of their programming to the site, the smaller Pomona Dock further up the canal towards town remains largely derelict due to ground pollution.  

Pomona Docks. (c) oceangateway.com.

In the 1970s, Pomona Docks was home to one of Manchester's strangest public houses, the North Westward Ho! pubship.  The North Westward Ho ship (b.1938) was bought by Jud Evans in 1972, and after permission was granted for a spot and for an alcohol licence from the Manchester Ship Canal Company and the Licensing Magistrates, the ship was sailed up from Cornwall, down the Ship Canal and birthed at Pomona.  

North Westward Ho, Pomona Docks. (c) Chris Bluer / Jud Evans [1].

A 12-month refit saw her kitted out as the North Westward Ho!, a plush bar and restaurant, offering six bars, Bass ale, late licence and disco - though note the strict dress code!  The success of the ship led to a comet jet being purchased from the RAF and parked next dor to act as an overflow venue, complete with dancefloor [2].


North Westward Ho!, Pomona Docks. (c) Chris Bluer / Jud Evans [1].

After a good decade, the North Westward Ho! closed and was eventually broken up in 1996 [3].  A regular at the Westward Ho and local businessman, Chris Bluer, supplied the above images from a 1973 newspaper cutting [1].


North Westward Ho!, Pomona Docks. (c) Chris Bluer / Jud Evans [1].
1. http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/westward_ho_cutting_1973.htm. 
2. http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/westwardho.htm. 
3. http://www.teesships2.freeuk.com/050403westwardho.htm.

27 comments:

  1. this was a magical night out with great food(chicken in basket)and disco.Great place to impress friends .

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  2. I spent a couple of very happy evenings at The Boat, it's something that we could do with again in Manchester, particularly in Salford Quays which is a souless place in the evenings.

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  3. maybe the arrival of BBC North and Corrie to the Quays will see something like this return.

    Sadly I don't think Pomona Docks can be rescued any time soon... rumour is the land is too contaminated to do much with - owned by Peel though isn't it?

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  4. Hi my grandad worked at Pomona docks, he was a stilt-walker. He used to go around the docks on stilts, whilst mumbling screech higgywiggy vartch wobble fish tank gordon steev hogwash. Apparently the reason they have not been redeveloped is because of the urrrgh - werrrgh flip-flops and deebdeeb johnsons, there's just took many dingdongs and jib jabs for the dock to be profitable, that, and all the stilts underwater.

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    1. My aunty Dorris was a silt Wafter for British Carbollock.She would de-scale soiled trout for local butchers to use in gravy.She fell into dock 3 and was famously rescued by popular t.v host and inventor of clingfilm,Katie Boyle,who was filming a water scene for her new show "Down the Docks with Katie.

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  5. I'm typing up some notes for our family history and thought I'd look up the North Westward Ho. My husband and I had our 2nd real date on that ship with friends on 16th April 1977. What a great time we had.

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  6. I was there in the early 70's and the DJ used to play a track called Prisencolinensinainciusol.
    I know, strange long name. Its by Adriano Celantano.
    Check out the video on You Tube. I'd been trying to find the track for years, all i had in my head was the name, then I found it.
    used to go there with a guy from Oldham, sorry forgot his name.

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  7. I was one of the Electrician's along with Pete Mitcham, of Stretford Manchester laterly of Winchem, Nr. Pickmere/Northwich. We worked on the Westward Ho from 1974/75 & have many a story of the evolution from a German design powered engine to a plush Manchester Night Club/Restaurant. We knew the owners & was their when the Comet 4 was placed on the keyside. I stil have a scar on my thumb of where I fell from the wing. This initiative was the first to improve the whole Upper Irwell/Manchester Ship Canal & Salford Quay's project which is still to be completed especially around the Pomona Quay's area.

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  8. I was the lead singer of a group called 'The Northern Lights' who used to perform at The Westward Ho, great venue and many happy memories of performing there circa 1978-1980.....anyone remember ?

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    1. I remember you mate, I was a DJ there

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    2. Have you lot learnt how to play hotel California without the wrong key yet? Lol

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  9. we had a custom cars club at the westward ho! called northern road stars... the plane was there too.

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  10. we had a custom car club called northern road stars at the westward ho anyone recall anything about it

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    1. northern road stars Wednesday nights

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    2. Steve Davenport14 June 2016 at 23:34

      I used to be in that club. I had the Triumph Herald. My brother in law was Geoff Heath and his mate was called Gerald Boyle with the Capri

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    3. hi there
      it was bill broster v6 mk3 Cortina and kev lewis ford pop that started the northern roadstars up at the boat
      in the late 70s
      there was many a great Wednesday night there

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    4. I had the Blue metallic Morris 1000 with the hemi popping thru the bonnet

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  11. We used to go for a night out at The Westward Ho.it was difficult to play pool as the vessel would rise and fall with the swell.Always caught out by the missus as she could smell the fuel on my clothes as I crept back in early in the morning

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  12. Used to go there 1980 and strut my Saturday night fever. Brilliant night out. Someone should do this again I am sure it would be really popular because have a plane and a boat as nightclubs was pretty awesome.

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  13. We had a works do there in 1974 and had a great night out. The last time I went was 1979 when I went for a drink early doors with a couple of friends. Unfortunately toward the end of its life it got a bit run down according to a mate. If anyone has the box set of a TV series called Alfresco, there is a comedy sketch filmed on the opposite bank and the boat can clearly be seen moored. This would have been around 1983 ish

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  14. Worked on the boat. During the holidays Stocked up the bars. Work with two friends back in the days. Micky and Phil .

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  15. Many good nights spent here celebrated my 18 th here with a meal and on to the discox

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  16. Captain Ronald Fish.1 April 2017 at 20:38

    Twas a lively slanted knees up on board ye old floater with ye damsons in minis and landlubbers all flared.Aye twas Barry Whites my first my last that warmed up ye cockles in the crisp Cornbrook air under stars of gold.

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    1. Chief petty officer Denzil Crabtree2 April 2017 at 10:10

      Beautiful words captain!

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  17. Was a DJ on there from 1978 to 1981 Kenny

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