Fire Brigade Inn, Pollard Street, Ancoats. (c) David Lever at archivesplus flickr under Creative Commons .
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 .
Fire Brigade, Pollard Street, 1970s. (c) Neil Richardson .
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! ".
Fire Brigade, Pollard Street, 1986. (c) Miles Platting, Ancoats & Collyhurst, Manchester Facebook .
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.
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 , taking it the last trace of the old Fire Brigade.
Hetherington's Dining Rooms, Pollard Street, 2014. (c) Complete UK .
2. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).