Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Derby Arms, Derby Street

Derby Arms, Derby Street, Ordsall. (c) John Bulmer at How to be a Retronaut.

Last year we asked you to "name that pub" after John Bulmer featured this evocative photo (and one of the old Broadway) on How to be a Retronaut.  At the time, this one stumped us, but 10 months after the post, Mr Wilson (Paul Wilson, Salford Housing Officer and collator of the superb Salford Pubs of the 70s photos at flickr) cleared it up for us.

Derby Arms, Derby Street, Ordsall. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [2].

The Derby Arms on Derby Street was once surrounded by the terraced houses of Ordsall on the corner of Zebra Street as recently as 1972, as shown above.  In the '70s, most of Ordsall's houses were systematically destroyed in the name of redevelopment - by the mid-'70s you can see the next door properties were gone, as shown below.

Derby Arms, Derby Street, Ordsall. (c) Neil Richardson [3].

By 1977 when John Bulmer took his photo, the only the Derby remained; the last tooth in a rotten mouth.  Despite the common policy of retaining a few old pubs when rebuilding housing estates like this, the Derby Arms was actually pulled down in July 1977, confirming that Bulmer's photos were from early, winter 1977.

Derby Arms, Derby Street, Ordsall. (c) John Bulmer at How to be a Retronaut.

The Derby Arms - known as the 'Little Derby' due to the Derby Hotel a few yards down the street - was first licensed in 1865, being owned by Swales Brewery in the early 20th century.  Licensee Annie Gouldin got into bother in 1914 for selling "Swales swill" at less than the usual minimum price of 2d a pint (many Swales houses  had cards in their windows advertising pints at 1 1/2d) [3].

Derby Arms, Derby Street, Ordsall. (c) John Bulmer at How to be a Retronaut.

In 1971, the Little Derby became a Boddingtons house (you can just make out the small sign above the main door) [3].  I wonder if the smartly-dressed mystery gent walking away from the pub is so pleased as he has a belly full of Boddies?  They were the days when the pale and bitterly hoppy ale truly was the Cream of Manchester.

3. Salford Pubs - Part Two: Including Islington, Ordsall Lane and Ordsall, Oldfield Road, Regent Road and Broughton, Neil Richardson (2003).


  1. I lived at The Derby Arms in OPrdsall from 1972 until Wilsons moved us out in June 1977. We moved to the Angel Hotel on Chapel Street.
    My parents went from pup to pub in the 70's.
    Andrew Watson

  2. My gran Harriet Hughes used to be the landlady in the late 60's and 70's..precious memories of playing in the pub and my mother and father Barbara and Les White lived at 18 Zebra st..

  3. My Gran Annie Daniels lived at 6 Derby street,she enjoyed a stout or 2 in the Derby Arms.Ian McDonald

  4. Ian do you have a cousin Brian and David.