Pubs of Manchester

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

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Stone Masons Arms, Cambridge Street

Former location of Stone Masons Arms, Cambridge Street. (c) googlemaps.

Across the road from the JW Lees house, the Church Inn, on Cambridge Street just off the Mancunian Way, used to stand the Stone Masons Arms [1].  It stood roughly in the gap between the trees and building in the above picture where the lost Whittaker Street used to run.

1. Hulme 1844, Alan Godfrey Maps (2007).

MMU Student Union, Lower Ormond Street

Former MMU Student Union, Lower Ormond Street. (c) googlemaps.

The Grade II Righton Building on Lower Ormond Street was originally the drapery shop of William Righton, built in 1905.  Till & Kennedy iron mongers took it over from 1955 to 1969, when it became the Manchester Metropolitan University Student Union compete with subsidised bar [1].  

Righton Building, Lower Ormond Street. (c) googlemaps.

The ornate terracotta tiling is suggestive of a fine old boozer, but that it was not built as one, is simply testament to the quality of building work back in the day.  Indeed, across the road, the ugly 1960s towers are being pulled down to make way for the huge student accommodation tower.  These days the Righton Building is home to the University Events office and the History of Art & Design department [2].

Former MMU Student Union, Lower Ormond Street. (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester: an architectural history, John J. Parkinson-Bailey (2000).

Scubar, York Street

Scubar, York Street (from Oxford Road). (c) Pubs of Manchester.

Just off Oxford Road on York Street in the shadow of the Manchester Aquatics Centre sits the recently closed Scubar.  It was previously known the Old Steam Brewery and Green McNally's Sports Bar, when it was a very occasional post-match port of call.  In its later years it was a studenty cocktails bar, but did occasionally have real ales on.  Unlike its sibling, the lost Scu 2 Bar which lives on as the Courtyard, there appears no chance that life will be breathed back into this venue - a sign on the door says it's being turned into a place of worship.

Scubar, York Street (from Grosvenor Street). (c) Pubs of Manchester.

Friday, 29 October 2010

CAMRA's Pub Staggers of Manchester

As it's the SIBA Great Northern Beer Festival here in Manchester this weekend, here's to Manchester's CAMRA branches who, in conjunction with Visit Manchester, have pulled together a handful of Manchester Pub Staggers.  Each one takes in half a dozen of our finest pubs, and of course, every one serves decent real ale.

1. Download (start Victoria Station) Crown & Cushion - Hare & Hounds - Smithfield Hotel - Bar Fringe - Angel - Marble Arch

2. Download (start Piccadilly Station) Bulls Head - Jolly Angler - Waldorf - Seven Oaks - Grey Horse - Circus Tavern - Old Monkey

3. Download (start Deansgate Station) Deansgate - Sir Ralph Abercromby - Rising Sun - Ape & Apple - Town Hall Tavern - Vine Inn

4. Download (start Oxford Road Station) Salisbury - Lass O'Gowrie - Peveril of the Peak - Briton's Protection - City Arms - Shakespeare

5. Download (start Piccadilly Station) Jolly Angler [again!] - Crown & Anchor - Castle - City - Wheatsheaf - Crown & Kettle

(c) SIBA.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Coach & Horses, Todd Street

Former location of Coach & Horses, Todd Street (Corporation Street). (c) googlemaps.

Across Clock Alley from the White Lion on Todd Street was the Coach & Horses [1].  It was a narrow pub which had a curved frontage down the alley and its old spot was just about where the Co-Op entrance is on Corporation Street.  Tucked away down the dead-end of Clock Alley were some of the dreaded back-to-back and court dwellings in the mid-1880s [1].

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

White Lion, Todd Street

Former location of White Lion, Todd Street (Corporation Street). (c) googlemaps.

To the left of the Corporation Street side of the Printworks is a new Co-Op building, and the right part of this covers where the White Lion pub used to sit.  Clock Alley was to the left and to the right of the pub was the Coronation Steam Corn Mill [1].  Across Clock Alley was the smaller Coach & Horses pub.

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Commercial Inn, Sugar Lane

At No.17 Sugar Lane, a lost street known best for the Sugar Loaf, was the Commercial Inn, as detailed in this 1911 census from the licensee, Benjamin Barker. The 1849 map confirms its location at the bottom of Sugar Lane just before it turned into Duke Street (which later became the top, Shudehill end of New Brown Street) [1]. 

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

White Hart Inn, Sugar Lane

On the short Sugar Lane that used to run off Withy Grove stood the White Hart Inn as seen on the 1849 map [1], also listed in the 1825 directory.  Sugar Lane, seen in 1977, and its last pub, the Sugar Loaf, were lost when the Arndale monstrosity was built in the 1970s.

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).  

Higher Ship Inn, Shudehill

Former location of the Higher Ship Inn, Shudehill. (c) googlemaps.

Just five doors up from the Lower Ship on Withy Grove, and a few doors down from the famous Rovers Return and the Mosley Arms was the Higher Ship Inn in the mid 1800s [1].  Sadly for the Higher Ship, its old site is now taken by a Gregg's. 

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Clarence Hotel, Clarence Court

Former location of Clarence Hotel, Clarence Court (4). (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

Before the Arndale and the redevelopment of both sides of Market Street, the Manchester Borough Court Houses straddled Spring Gardens and Brown Street on the left as you go down Market Street.  Around the Courts were four pubs.  Off Brown Street, parallel to Market Street was Clarence Court down which was accessed the Clarence Hotel [1].  The Clarence faced onto Spring Gardens but had no entrance off it.

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Post Office Hotel, Barnes Street

Former location of Post Office Hotel, Barnes Street (3). (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

Before the Arndale and the redevelopment of both sides of Market Street, the Manchester Borough Court Houses straddled Spring Gardens and Brown Street on the left as you go down Market Street.  Around the Courts were four pubs.  Off Spring Gardens and running parallel to it was a tiny alley called Barnes Street  on which stood the Post Office Hotel, part of the Ratcliffe's Buildings [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Rainbow Hotel, Spring Gardens

Former location of Rainbow Hotel, Spring Gardens (2). (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

Before the Arndale and the redevelopment of both sides of Market Street, the Manchester Borough Court Houses straddled Spring Gardens and Brown Street on the left as you go down Market Street.  Around the Courts were four pubs.  On the corner of Spring Gardens and Market Street was the Rainbow Hotel [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Commercial Inn, Brown Street

Former location of Commercial Inn, Brown Street (1). (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

Before the Arndale and the redevelopment of both sides of Market Street, the Manchester Borough Court Houses straddled Spring Gardens and Brown Street on the left as you go down Market Street.  Around the Courts were four pubs.  On the corner of Brown Street and Market Street was the Commercial Inn [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Talbot Hotel Tap, Back Mosley Street

Former location of Talbot Hotel Tap, Back Mosley Street (2). (c) googlemaps.

On the corner of Market Street and what was then Back Mosley Street (today a narrow ginnel between a coffee shop and Primark) was the Talbot Hotel, Market Street.  Adjacent, linked internally but with a separate public entrance on Back Mosley Street was the Talbot Hotel Tap [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Fountain Inn, Rook Street

Former location of Fountain Inn, Rook Street (1). (c) googlemaps.

Like the Swan Inn on Fountain Street, the Fountain Inn was lost when Lewis's department store (now Primark) was built in the 1870s.  A little warren of streets was lost then, including Bark Street, Rook Street and Meal Street [1].  On the corner of Meal Street (parallel to Market Street) and Rook Street was the Fountain Inn in the mid-1800s.

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Swan Inn, Fountain Street

Former location of Swan Inn, Fountain Street (see arrow). (c) googlemaps.

On the other side of Fountain Street from the Shakespeare, about four doors down, was the Swan Inn in the mid 18th century [1].  The site of the old pub has the ignominy of being the back of Primark these days, previously Lewis's department store from the 1870s until its closure in 1991 (the IRA bomb of 1996 meant Marks & Spencer were temporarily housed here while their Market Street store was being rebuilt).

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008). 

Monday, 25 October 2010

10 oldest pubs of Manchester

1741 - Crown & Cushion, Corporation Street
1760s - English Lounge (Hogshead), High Street
1760s - Sawyers Arms, Deansgate
1777 - Old Nags Head, Jackson's Row
1777 - Rising Sun, Queen Street
1778 - Castle, Oldham Street
1778 - Hare & Hounds, Shudehill
1786 - Shakespeare, Fountain Street
1786 - Bulls Head, London Road
1789 - Churchills, Chorlton Street

Friday, 22 October 2010

Coach Makers Arms, Jackson's Row

Former site of Coach Makers Arms, Jackson's Row. (c) googlemaps.

The Coach Makers Arms was a dozen doors along from the Old Nags Head on Jackson's Row in the 1850s, approximately where shown above [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Engravers Arms, Gee Street

Former location of Engravers Arms, Gee Street (Albert Square). (c) googlemaps.

Before the Town Hall and Albert Square were built the triangular plot bounded by Cross Street, Princess Street and Lloyd Street contained Clarence Street, Back Princess Street and Back Lloyd Street.  Gee Street ran off Clarence Street (would have ran right in front of the Town Hall building front) to meet Pool Street (today's length of Cross Street that runs across Albert Square).  On the corner of Gee Street and Pool Street was the Engravers Arms, and according to the 1849 map, its precise location is marked by the Albert Memorial statue of Prince Albert himself [1]. The old streets and buildings here were cleared over 1863-1869 so the pub was lost between these years.

Former location of Engravers Arms, Gee Street (Albert Square). (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Grapes Inn, Tib Lane

Former location of Grapes Inn, Tib Lane. (c) googlemaps.

A few doors down from the Town Hall Tavern, and between the Lounge 10 restaurant and Café Nero on Tib Lane was the Grapes Inn.   Judging from the below shot, the pub - being second premises up Tib Lane from Cross Street  [1] - was probably sited at the left hand part of Café Nero. This building, Bow Chambers, was built in the late nineteenth century so the original pub building is long gone. 

Former location of Grapes Inn, Tib Lane. (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Buck Inn, Booth Street

 Former location of Buck Inn, Booth Street. (c) googlemaps.

Next door to where the (still closed... I think) Lime Bar is the Grade II listed Massey Chambers, built in 1879 by Edward Saloman. A few decades before this was built the Buck Inn used to stand here [1].

Massey Chambers, Booth Street. (c) googlemaps.

1. www.manchester2002-uk.coml.
2, Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Old Royal Oak, Hanover Street

Former location of Old Royal Oak, Dantzic Street. (c) googlemaps.

Up Hanover Street from Long Millgate / Corporation Street, on the right was the Old Royal Oak, which used to stand opposite an Independent Methodist Church, no bigger than the pub itself [1].

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Mountain Dew, Miller Street

Former location of Mountain Dew, Miller Street. (c) googlemaps.

The Mountain Dew was on this corner of Miller Street and Dantzic Street as seen on the 1849 map [1].

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Crown & Shuttle, Long Millgate

Former site of Crown & Shuttle, Corporation Street. (c) googlemaps.

On this corner which gives stunning views of the Co-Op development these days, used to stand the Old Crown & Shuttle, run by Alice Barlow in the mid 1800s [1].  The at risk Ducie Bridge stands opposite on the other side of Miller Street, and back then this stretch of Corporation Street was Long Millgate.

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Cock Inn, Cock Gates

Former location of the Cock Inn, Cock Gates (2). (c) googlemaps.

The Cock Inn stood where the two arms of Cock Gate met to form the Cock Gate courtyard (see 2 above).  Confusingly it backed onto Three Crowns Yard, named after the Three Crowns pub which was at the far end of the courtyard [1].

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009). 

Three Crowns, Cock Gates

Former location of Three Crowns, Cock Gates (1). (c) googlemaps.

Cock Gates ran off both Withy Grove and Todd Street (was Toad Street, now Corporation Street), meeting to form a courtyard at the Cock Inn.  At the end of this courtyard, and almost backing on Garden Street (see 1 above), was the Three Crowns.

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Front O'th Tree & Nelson Inn, Thornley Brow

Thornley Brow (Front O'th Tree & Nelson Inn down to the right). (c) googlemaps.

This oddly named pub was down the narrow Thornley Brow off Shudehill.  Further down past the Front O'th Tree & Nelson Inn on the right, there was a hidden little church, the Scotch Baptist Chapel, accessible only by going to the bottom of Thornley Brow and doubling back down Thornley Court [1].

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Old George & Dragon, Garden Street

Garden Street (Old George & Dragon, down to the right). (c) googlemaps.

This little access street in between Tiger Tiger and some deli is Garden Street.  The deli sits where the Swan With Two Necks was until quite recently, and a few dozen yards down Garden Street on the right was the Old George & Dragon [1].  It's entrance may have been on Back Garden Street but arguing the toss about long gone pubs and long gone streets is a bit geeky < ahem >. 

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

British Queen Inn, Withy Grove

Former location of British Queen Inn, Withy Grove. (c) googlemaps.

Three doors down the right hand side of Withy Grove from the Fleece was the British Queen with Huntsman's Court to the rear [1].  Slater's 1850 Directory has it being run by Mary Roberts at No.9 which today is the Hard Rock Café (believe it or not, one of the least shitty bars in the Printworks).

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Fleece Inn, Withy Grove

Former location of Fleece Inn, With Grove. (c) googlemaps.

Long before the Kemsley House / Thompson House / Maxwell House newspaper offices and printing presses were built, Withy Grove had a warren of streets, courts and yards off it.  The Fleece Inn sat on Withy Grove directly opposite the more famous Seven Stars, at No.17 run by William Smallwood in 1850 [1].  The huge and horrible Tiger Tiger bar complex and nightclub entrance marks the spot of the Fleece.

1. Manchester Victoria 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Griffin, Chapel Street

Former site of the Griffin, Chapel Street. (c) googlemaps.

This office block just along from Copperheads / Brown Bull is named after the Griffin pub which used to stand here.  There's a picture of the pub in Neil Richardson's book showing it as a three-story Ind Coope's house on the corner of Griffin Court in the 1930s [1].  In its final years the Griffin was a Tetley's house and it shut in 1979 as a non-economic proposition - something which has sadly become the norm in this part of Salford in recent years.  The Griffin failed to sell and was soon demolished along with its neighbouring shops; the modern office block, respectfully named Griffin Court, was build a decade or two later.

1. Salford Pubs, Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003). 

Ye Old Nelson, Chapel Street

Ye Old Nelson, Chapel Street, Salford. (c) stephenbroadhurst at flickr.

One of the more recent Chapel Street pubs to close, Ye Old Nelson on the corner of Sidney Street has been subject to something of a campaign by locals to save it, as featured in this blog.  It is also another Salford pub well researched by the late Neil Richardson in Salford Pubs, Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi (2003):

'In the eighteenth century this part of Chapel Street was called White Cross Bank and the roadway curved round a grop of cottages here.  After these were pulled down, the Nelson Tavern and ajoining shops were built.  The pub was opened by Alice Schofield in 1805, the year Lord Nelson died at Trafalgar.

'The licensee in the 1820s, John Goostry, was also the owner and when he moved out, John Taylor acquired a lease on the pub.  Deborah Taylor took over in the 1840s, then in September 1859 the Nelson Tavern was advertised for sale under the terms of John Goostry's will.  It was described as a freehold spirit vault and brewhouse and there were two shops adjoining Chapel Street and some cottages at the back.  The lessee (Mrs Taylor) paid a yearly rent of £115 and under the terms of the lease had to keep the property in good repair and painted both inside and out.

Ye Old Nelson, Chapel Street, Salford, 2008. (c) Andrew Greco.

'In the 1860s and 1870s Messers Hannay & Dickson, wine and spirit merchants and later brewers, had an interest in the Nelson, but when the time came to rebuild, Chesters Brewery probably put up the money.  Permission to rebuild was granted to licensee Robert Marsh in August 1895 and Chesters records show they bought the property in April 1898.  The Nelson was rebuilt on the same site, but rising well above the original roof line; the height of the chimney stack on the shop next door had to be increased by several feet.

Among the first occupants of the new pub (now called Ye Old Nelson) were Bartholemew Sullivan, Robert Leatherbarrow and Dick Buckley, who was there in the 1920s-30s.  Later licensees included Arthur Mullaley and Norman Strokes in the 1950s, Leonard and Dorothy Price in the 1960s and Neville and Avril Hulme in the 1970s.  The Old Nelson still had its high ceilings and other original features when it closed in 2003.'

Ye Old Nelson, Chapel Street, Salford, 2009. (c) MikeJDavis at flickr.

1. Salford Pubs, Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).

Brown Bull, Chapel Street

Brown Bull, Chapel Street, Salford. (c) deltrems at flickr.

The dodgy looking Copperheads Hotel on opposite the Salford Arms was not long ago a fine looking pub.  The Brown Bull's history is well covered, so here is an extract from one of Neil Richardson's last books before he sadly passed away - Salford Pubs, Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi (2003):

'When the Brown Bull first opened, diagonally opposite across Chapel Street from the Salford Arms, it was on the edge of town.  New Bailey Street and the bridge over the Irwell had yet to be built and the western end of Chapel Street resembled a country lane, with hedgerows, cottages and gardens.

'Licensees of the Brown Bull, also recorded as the Pyed Bull and Red Bull, can be traced back to Charles Mills in 1766.  Thomas Rylance took over in 1781, followed by John Rylance until 1880.  Samuel Arrowsmith was in charge for several years until the 1820s, then in 1824 William Wood took over.  Two years later he was bankrupt and his lease was for sale.  The pub had been rebuilt with a curved frontage to the corner and according to the advertisement, its situation was 'equal to any in town'.  On the ground floor there were three entertaining rooms, a spirit vault and a kitchen, plus a taproom and vaults with an entrance in Gore Street.  On the upper floors there were eight good lodging rooms and a large dining room, and the cellars were lofty and extensive.

'John Lyon, son of the licensee of the Dog Inn, took over and he changed the name, briefly, to theSalford Tavern.  Several directory entries for the pub show that the Gore Street vaults were sub-let and were sometimes listed as the Brown Bull Tap or Salford Vaults.

'Another of the Brown Bull's tenants made a name for himself in a spectacular way.  In October 1837 James Veysey was the first Salford publican to take to the air.  The ascent was made in the 'Royal Nassau' balloon from the gasworks yard behind the Lamb Inn.  He was one of four fare-paying passengers, the trip lasted almost an hour and the balloon came down a few miles from Wakefield.

Phoebe Veysey took over from James about 1847 and Peter Okell was the licensee in the 1850s.  Richard Ackley took over about 1860 and while he was there the Brown Bull had to be rebuilt again, as a result of the Corporation's street widening programme.

'In 1847 Mr Ackley applied for a provisional licence for new premises, costing an estimated £15,000, to replace the old pub and the adjoining shops on New Bailey Street.  Two years later the Salford Weekly News noted that there was now 'a handsome block of buildings' on the corner, which had been 'considerably widened at a point where it was much needed'.  A plan drawn for the rebuilding shows four shops fronting New Bailey Street, Mr Ackley's vaults on the corner, with a parlour at the back, and another shop fronting Chapel Street.  Twenty years later some of the shops had to be pulled down when Salford Station was enlarged and Gore Street rebuilt.

'Ralph Baker was running the pub in the 1880s and he was followed by his son about 1898.  At the age of twenty-one, Ralph Baker junior was the youngest licensee in the borough and a few years later he represented Islington Ward on Salford Council.  Ralph died in 1916 and Mrs Mary Baker took over until the 1940s.  William Williams was there in the 1950s.  During that time the Brown Bull was owned by Taylors Eagle Brewery and the company's eagle trademark could still be seen in the etched windows until the 1980s.  By then it was a Marstons house and it closed in 1993.  Seven years later and under new ownership, the building was refit and reopened as Copperheads Hotel [1].'

Copperheads Hotel, Chapel Street, Salford. (c) googlemaps.

1. Salford Pubs, Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).

Railway Tavern, Gore Street

Former site of Railway Tavern, Gore Street, Salford. (c) googlemaps.

Along the street from the Egerton Arms used to be the Railway Tavern, on the corner of Riding Street (now no more than a stub off Gore Street).  Named due to its location adjacent to Salford Railway Station (now Salford Central) it also faced New Bailey Prison in the 1800s [1].

1. New Bailey & Ordsall Lane 1848, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

125. Slug & Lettuce - Deansgate

Slug & Lettuce, Deansgate. (c) Slug & Lettuce.

Step next door from the Moon Under Water to the relative opulence of the Slug & Lettuce.  Except, it isn't really.  In some areas, even in other areas of Manchester, the Slug  & Lettuce chain have really tried to attract the upmarket, hip and happening crowd who drink wine and cocktails and eat nibbles.  This particular one unfortunately, has fell foul of its near neighbours and has gone downhill rapidly, now being the posh extension on the side of the Wetherspoons.  As for the pub itself, nice building, modern enough decor, not enough bar staff, but a reasonable selection of bottled (and very expensive) beers, and as you would expect, no real ale.  Busy on a weekend and dead during the week - unappealing at any time.  They are clearly doing something right to attract enough punters but for us, a pint of Guinness or Tyskie and it's most definitely time to leave and off to the luxury and comparative ale havens of Sam's and the Town Hall Tavern.

Slug & Lettuce, Deansgate. (c) Slug & Lettuce.

124. Moon Under Water, Deansgate

Moon Under Water, Deansgate. (c) beerintheevening.

Opened in 1995 in the former Deansgate Cinema, the Moon Under Water was described at the time as the biggest pub in Britain and was regarded as something of a flagship pub for the rapidly growing Wetherspoons chain.  In fact in its first few years it was the place to be seen for us impressionable young drinkers.  I doubt that is still the case, because just 15 years it's now turned into one of the biggest fleapits in Britain, of that there is little doubt.  Where once were proud staircases, fancy interiors, handrails and balconies are shabby carpets, drab interior and the sort of clientele that would put the Printworks to shame.  Indeed, more than likely, this is where the people kicked out of the Printworks congregate.

Deansgate Cinema, 1991, now Moon Under Water. (c) deltrems at flickr.

The whole place looks rundown and has clearly been taken over by the chavvy drink as much as you can for as cheap as you can trade.  I suppose for Wetherspoons, it makes them money, and possibly keeps them out of their other better establishments, for the casual drinker though, it's a hell-hole.  As for beer, real ale was in existence, however I wouldn't have thought it was much of a seller in a place undoubtedly dominated by the young chavs drink of choice,  Fosters, Stella and Blu Wkd.  Very much a case of drink up and piss off as quickly as possible if you're unlucky enough to be dragged in here.  Wonder how George Orwell would compare this Moon Under Water with his favourite pub?

123. Egerton Arms, Gore Street

Egerton Arms, Gore Street, Salford. (c) Adam Bruderer.

As regular followers of our blog are aware, we never like to turn down the opportunity of waxing lyrical regarding our favourite brewery, Joseph Holt (and their pubs), and usually look forward to a good pint of reasonably priced ale, in pleasant if traditional surroundings on every trip.  Not this time however!  On arrival at the Egerton, we were met with the the shocking admission, that there was no bitter available. Not just no bitter either; no draught mild, and no bottles whatsoever, as we will gladly drink a bottle of Humdinger or 6X etc whilst a barrel is being changed.  Alas there was none, so it was one pint of Smoothflow Mild before making our way on.  This should never happen in any pub, let alone a Holt's pub. Sort it out please Derby Brewery, it's not good enough!  We'll revisit at a later date and report back.

122. Kings Arms, Bloom Street

Kings Arms, Bloom Street, Salford. (c)

Third pub in our crawl around Salford and enter the Kings Arms.  An imposing, listed building, and clearly one that's following the success of the New Oxford and Crescent nearby by offering an excellent choice of ale.  Whilst it could definitely do with a lick of paint and a spruce up, it was still cosy enough and is quirky enough to attract a surprisingly young and student crowd at times - as the Studio Salford theatre group based upstairs here testifies.  A touch on the pricey side possibly as well - this may be more down to its location which is a bit closer to Manchester city centre than the other two.

Kings Arms, upstairs, 1951. (c) Neil101 at flickr.

Regretably however, three of our pints had to be returned, one real ale, the Buzzin', and two Erdinger wheat beers as they were well off and undrinkable.  These were replaced without question, but it was a shame to be let down in this way.  The landlord has since apologised and rectified the issue immediately to their credit and requested that we revisit to re-sample the beers.  I'm sure we will do this one again in due course.  A mixed crowd, and well worth a visit if you are doing the crawl, but if your pint aint right, give it 'em back!

Monday, 11 October 2010

121. New Oxford / Oxford Hotel, Bexley Square

New Oxford, Bexley Square. (c) Adam B. at flickr.

The New Oxford is sat back off Chapel Street in Bexley Square, directly opposite the Salford Magistrates Court, and so could clearly attract scrotes, chavs and vagabonds on a normal weekday.  On a Saturday however, it's a fantastic place to sup.  A central bar area, surrounded again by different rooms, and a continental style outside area in the Square, with the mandatory silver chrome table and chairs arrangements as befits all new pubs and bars these days in city centres.

New Oxford, Bexley Square. (c) newton-estates.

As for the ale, probably somewhere in the region of 12 different beers and ciders on offer, with a specials board showing these together with the prices so that you don't have to walk to all four corners of the bar.  The beer itself was superbly kept, and included one of our personal microbrewery favourites in Thornbridge Jaipur.  Whilst not a session ale really at 5.9%, it's too hard to resist at least one pint to see you on your way.  This was swiftly followed up by a few more quaffable Manchester Pale style ales at about 4%.  The New Oxford was a new pub for me, but I'll definitely be back, indeed I suspect if I return in summer, it could be for a lengthy session here.

Oxford Hotel, Bexley Square, 1950s. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The New Oxford was originally the Town Hall Tavern beerhouse in the 1850s in what was then Bexley Street, it become the Court Tavern a few years later then the Amateurs Arms in 1871 when it contained a music hall.  By the 1880s the pub had become the Oxford Hotel, and when Wilsons Brewery acquired it and the four neighbouring shops and cottages, it became the large hotel shown above in the 1950s.  Licensee Benjamin Grant obtained a billiards licence for the old music hall, and later the place was run by James and Charlotte Brand from the 1920s to '40s, Robert West and Roy Bamforth in the '50s, and William Bailey in the 1960s and '70s.  Attempts at modernisation and sporadic closures led to its eventual closure as a Vaux house in 2001 [1].  Thankfully, it's one of Salford's survivors...

1. Salford Pubs - Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).