Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Cleveland, Wilson Street

Cleveland, Wilson Street, Ardwick. (c) Eddie Sinclair at facebook.

This closed boozer is off Stockport Road, on the corner of Wilson Street and Thompson Street in Ardwick, not far from the Apollo. Despite its pleasant location looking out onto the green with fields also to the rear, like the Church and Park Inn over at Ardwick Green, this is yet another inner city alehouse to be consigned to the pub dustbin of history.

Cleveland, Wilson Street, Ardwick. (c) Martin Klefas Stennett at flickr.

Cleveland, Wilson Street, Ardwick. (c) Martin Klefas Stennett at flickr.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Grants Arms / A'Fe'We, Royce Road

A'Fe'We, Royce Road, Hulme. (c) mancky.

The Grants Arms, seen in 1944 and 1973 as a Boddingtons house, was put on the market after a series of landlords had failed.  Local resident, Franklin, bought the pub and worked hard to turn the business around, organising monthly African and West Indian themed nights which involved DJs, musicians, dancers and specially prepared food to reflect the theme of the night.  He also held regular family fun days outside the pub with a bouncy castle used at these events [1].

Grants Arms, Royce Road, Hulme. (c) mancky.

When the Grants Arms won Community Pub of the Year in 1999, Franklin decided to change the pub’s name  to A’Fe’We, which means "For Us" in British Creole.  The 1940s’ planners were sensible enough to build the pub a street’s width away from the community it was intended to serve, but in the 1990s, planning permission was granted to build new houses right up alongside and all around the pub.  This created an obvious problem for a venue which specialised in hosting live music [1].

A'Fe'We, Royce Road, Hulme. (c) mancky.

In spite of the difficulties, A’Fe’We continued to host music events through the 2000s although complaints from local residents about noise levels led to the imposition of licensing restrictions by Manchester City Council during 2007.  Sadly the pub eventually stopped trading in 2010.  The A’Fe’We pub was last known to be used as a nursery for local children.  However, it's thought that the plot will most likely be sold on eventually for redevelopment [1].  Read more about the pub at mancky - music & culture from a Manchester point of view.

Mick Hucknall in the Grants Arms, Royce Road, Hulme, 1982. (c) exhulme.

Location of Grants Arms / A'Fe'We', Royce Road, Hulme. (c) exhulme.

Iron Duke, Clopton Walk

Iron Duke, Clopton Walk, Hulme. (c) seva_nmb at flickr.

The Iron Duke was sited to the West of Charles Barry Crescent on what I think was Clopton Walk.  Both pub and street are long gone since the demolition of the disastrous Hulme experiment in social engineering of the 1970s and '80s.

Iron Duke, Clopton Walk, Hulme. (c) seva_nmb at flickr.

The Iron Duke was a Bass house, built into the row of council house type shops.  The pub is shown at 3m20s in this great video tour of Hulme by bicycle.  Alan Winfield has posted a great colour photo of the Iron Duke in all its functional glory at pubsgalore.

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c)

The Eagle was one of the most notorious of the Hulme Crescents boozers, sandwiched in between Robert Adam Crescent and William Kent Crescent.  A classic, rough looking estate pub, this tale from iRich at the site gives us a clue of what it was like:

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c) nualabuyeye at flickr.

"None of us had ever been into Hulme and we were all stoned and basically soft punk students in leather jackets. We got a bus from Old Trafford that used to go through the Crescents and wandered about in this Stalinist Orwellian nightmare of a place, on a dark freezing winters night, increasingly paranoid of the shadows. It was quite intimidating on first experience, particularly at night. Anyway, we found the Eagle (like a large Dulux tin made into a pub if I recall) and staggered in." 

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c)

"The people in the pub were like inmates from an insane asylum. First of all, the mad Irish pool playing dwarf ex- boxer who kept coming up to me whilst I was trying to vanish into the wall. Smacking his fist into his palm and shouting "fair play, foul play" at me whilst staring at me with mad red chicken eyes."  

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c) spanbeam at flickr.

"The unbelievable heavy metal Rasta guy tripping off his head, dancing in the middle of the pub to a tune in his own head with a chair and the arse completely ripped out of his jeans.  It must have had an effect cos I moved into Epping Walk within a year. Never went back to the Eagle though, I reckon I had some post-traumatic herbal disorder that evening."

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c) Alan Denney at flickr.

In the 1970s the Eagle was ran by the famous '70s wrester, Honeyboy Zimba, who fought Big Daddy and the like.  The pub is pictured here, probably in the 1980s, as a Buzard house.

Eagle, Robert Adam Crescent, Hulme. (c) spanbeam st flickr.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Manchester Regiment, Hulme Hall Road

This Hulme estate pub sat over Chester Road on Hulme Hall Road where it crosses Ellesmere Street, photographed in technicolour by Alan Winfield for Pubs Galore.  It was a Greenall Whitley pub and was set back just off Chester Road, facing the factory with arches windows which still stands today.

Manchester Regiment, Hulme Hall Road, Hulme. (c) kevinfromHulme at exhulme.

The patch of wasteland to the right in the below shot marks the site of the old Manchester Regiment.  This part of Hulme near to the River Irwell is known as St George's and is undergoing slow regeneration, part of which involved the demolition of the Manchester Regiment only a couple of years ago after a long time boarded up.

Chequered Flag, Boundary Lane

Another of Hulme's new-build estate pubs, the Chequered Flag seen here in 1972 was a Tetley's house built to serve the new but ultimately ill-fated communities of the regenerated Hulme.  It has been described a "strange place full of ne'er do wells", "a mental institute with beer and prescriptions" and the sort of pub you'd bump into the bloke who'd just tried to mug you on the Crescents.  It was on the now lost Harvington Walk, with Brackenbury Walk to the rear, just off Boundary Lane and Arnott Crescent.  It's been demolished for years now but still crops up on the odd Manchester pub listings website.

Chequered Flag, Boundary Lane, Hulme. (c) robspankthemonkey at bluemoon.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Osborne, Rochdale Road

Osborne, Rochdale Road, Collyhurst. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr.

This distinctive old pub is on the corner of Rochdale Road and Osborne Street in Collyhurst about a mile up Rochdale Road from town.  Seen in busier times in 1958, 1976 (I think as a Wilsons house), three times here in 1981, it was also a Banks's house as seen in 1986.  The Osborne has been renovated in recent years since a side wall collapse [1] and could be earmarked for conversion to flats.  

Osborne, Rochdale Road, Collyhurst. (c) Bill Boaden at closedpubs..


Red Lion, Claremont Road

Former location of Red Lion, Claremont Road, Rusholme. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

This long lost Wilsons house was on Claremont Road in between Heald Place and Victory Street at the Rusholme end, just down from the Lord Lyon and its Victory Street neighbours, the Gardeners and Osborne.  Seen in here in 1966 and here in two similar photos from 1971, the Red Lion was on the corner of Jay Street, a street now lost to a 5-aside football pitch.  Not sure how long the Red Lion lasted for, but it's a rare pub in that it was lost long before MCFC left Maine Road and the area.  Do any blues remember this one?

College Hotel, Oxford Road

Former location of College Hotel, Oxford Road. (c) googlemaps.

The College Hotel is seen here in 1958 as a Cornbrook Ales house on the corner of Oxford Road and Brunswick Street.  It was still there in the 1970s and looks even more impressive having seemingly had a clean up.  It has long since been demolished (1974) and now only this grassy plot faces the magnificent Whitworth Hall of Manchester University which gave the College Hotel its name.

Whitworth Hall, Manchester University, Oxford Road. (c) zawtowers at flickr.

Falstaff, St Wilfrids Street

Falstaff, St Wilfreds Street, Hulme. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Falstaff was one of Hulme's many ugly new-build estate pubs that were built to serve the council's misguided attempts post-war Hulme estates.  Replacing an existing Sir John Falstaff / Falstaff Hotel on the lost Bedford Street, It was sited next to St Wilfrids Church, which is pictured and described at the Manchester History site [1].  Its proximity to the church is shown here in the 1970shere confirming it as a Watney's house, and this one shows the kind of council houses it once served.  It was later a Wilsons house offering cask Bitter and Mild when photographed by Alan Winfield for Pubs Galore [2].  At least the site of the old pub is put to good use these days as a football pitch, off Jackson Crescent, just south of the Mancunian Way near the Chester Road roundabout.

Falstaff, St Wilfreds Street, Hulme. (c) Jonnyboy Smith at Facebook.


Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Manchester Pub Guide

The Manchester Pub Guide

Manchester and Salford City Centres


The state of the city pubs reflects very much what has happened to the city itself.  The centre is being drained of residents, as it becomes one large complex of shops, offices and entertainment.  "The local" which relies on a band of faithful regulars is therefore dying.  Rarely can a single man go into a pub, knowing he will meet familiar company there.

What residents the central areas have are largely on the odd tower block housing estates, where new purpose-built pubs cater for mass entertainment.  Many pubs find themselves in a no-mans-land between the busy city centre and residential areas, having to rely on stalwarts who once lived around there and just kept coming back.

If regular custom is to disappear then pubs must become attractive to casual visitors.  And that does not mean adopting simple formulae, such as the theme or gimmick thought up by interior designers, or the installation of the latest coin-operated gadget.

Many pubs, indeed, provide fine food, but often only at lunchtime.  There is a distinct lack of live entertainment - a trip around London pubs would confirm this.  There is also some doubt as to the future of that fine institution, the free pub game - darts, cards, dominoes etc.  Too often comfort is equated with fake opulence; pubs can be made comfortable unobtrusively.  Finally , many owners are unaware, or at least appear to be, of their individual pubs' claim to fame.  A gimmick based on that fact is that much more acceptable.

It is hoped that the criticisms made are constructive.  It is also hoped that they show that the compilers do not subscribe to the view that the only way to maintain "the pub" is to preserve old ones, although it is notable that large amounts of money are spent in making new pubs look 50, 100 or 200 years old.  Why not preserve the originals?

At the present time, Mancunians rarely turn to the city centre for a night out.  In lieu of any improvement appearing, the compilers recommend what they did - tour four or five of the pubs one evening, sampling the incredible selection of beers, and find out what the pubs and people of Manchester and Salford are really like for yourself.

(c) Manchester Pub Surveys 1975

Published by Manchester Pub Surveys, Burnage.

Photoset and Printed by Hadfield Print Services Ltd, Glossop.

The Authors

David G. Evans
Dave is a computer analyst who first dreamed up the idea of a Manchester Pub Guide.  A "very level-headed fellow" (according to the Manchester Evening News), he has lead the weary team through endless pub doors for over eight months to produce this guide.

Richard J. Venes
Dick has a degree in Brewing Science and has provided the technical know-how on beers and their brewing. He claims to have visited over thirty English and European breweries.  He works as a brewer in Manchester.

Stephen Huzzard
Steve is a research student in social history at Manchester University. As the historical contributor to the guide, he has unearthed many hitherto unknown facets of Manchester pub life.

James S. Varley
James is a science research student also the University.  A wit and raconteur, he is pleasantly divided into four rooms offering a wide variety of interest and entertainment.   

The authors would like to express their thanks to Ruth M. Evans - for her nimble handling of the computer and typewriter, David L. Stinton - for "putting it all together", and everybody else who contributed to this volume in one way or another.

Friday, 22 July 2011

George & Dragon, Ardwick Green South

George & Dragon, Ardwick Green South. (c) With permission from Alan Winfield.

Shown on the corner of Ardwick Green South and Creswell Street in 1973, and in the same year from Ardwick Green, this old Wilsons pub still stands on the eastern route into town.  It was converted to offices, maybe as late as the 1990s, having had a mean reputation for a few decades for fighting and other misdemeanours.  As this 1959 photo shows, the next door building has been demolished and the row of shops to the left has been replaced with new apartments.  Aparrently in the mid-1800s the Ardwick Gentlemen's Glee Club was held at the George & Dragon, and it turns out an earlier version of the pub existed.  The following history is from tweek at rootschat:

Former George & Dragon, Ardwick Green South. (c) Google 2011. View Larger Map.

The original George & Dragon was a low, white-washed hostel standing well back from the road and built in 1758 it stood for 113 years before being demolished in 1871.  It seems to have had a bad reputation as there were objections to the new one being built by the gentry who were outraged by the behaviour of the lower classes on Ardwick Green, on which there were shelter houses for the poor.  Children from the streets ran about in hordes, shouting and screaming.  A particular problem was dirty, unwashed men sitting on benches in the Green all day Sunday smoking foul smelling tobbaco and blowing it at people leaving church [1].  

Former George & Dragon, Ardwick Green South. (c) Google 2011. View Larger Map.

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road

 Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road, Hulme. (c) Mick Pye.

The newly built Whitbread house, the Sir Henry Royce, is seen here next door to the old Chesters house, the Nelson Inn which it was replacing, and then 14 days after its opening in 1973.

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road, Hulme. (c) Mick Pye.

The Sir Henry Royce, named after one half of the Rolls Royce due which had their first factory in Hulme, was an estate pub for the Hulme Crescents.

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road. (c) [1].

As the estate remains notorious in Mancunian history, the pub also sounded like a lively place for a sup, thought it was also used as a pre-PSV Club (aka The Factory) drinking hole in the '70s and '80s.

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road. (c) Al Baker Photography [2] at Manchester District Music Archive [1].

The pub was demolished when this whole area of Hulme was put down as a bad idea and completely redeveloped in the 1990s, and is unrecognisable today, around the back of ASDA in Hulme just off the Parkway.

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road, Hulme. (c) Graffiti Walls [4].

Sir Henry Royce, Chichester Road. (c) Al Baker Photography [2] at Manchester District Music Archive [3].


Bakers Club, Swan Street

Former Bakers Club, Swan Street. (c) googlemaps.

In what today is the shady Cloud 9 brothel was once the Bakers Club on Swan Street.  While there used to be a Co-Operative Wholesale Society Green Fruit warehouse to the rear, the bakery link is less obvious.  From right to left from the old Bakers Club looking down towards Victoria these buildings were once a tailor, cigar warehouse, radio & electrical sundries and bank.  In the space at the side of the Bakers Club was a fruit warehouse and then auction rooms [1].  There was another club on Swan Street somewhere called The Graphic, so there is a chance it could have been in these premises.

Former Bakers Club, Swan Street. (c) googlemaps.

Sir Humphrey Chetham, Ashton New Road

Former Sir Humphrey Chetham, Ashton New Road, Clayton. (c) Google 2011 - View Larger Map.

City's move to the area was just too late for the Sir Humphrey Chetham on Ashton New Road in Clayton.  It had closed its doors a few years earlier and isn't that recognisable as an old Chesters (1960) and Whitbread house (1970).  The pub goes back to at least 1863 as John Eccles was recorded here in the Slater's Directory [1].  The Sir Humphrey Chetham is shown here by Alan Winfield at Pubs Galore.  The old pub stands between two other match day pubs, the Grove (a good Holts house) and Derby Arms.


Moseley Hotel, Ashton New Road

The huge old Threlfalls pub, the Moseley Hotel, is seen in 1970 on the corner of Ashton New Road and Rowsley Street, also snapped by Alan Winfield for Pubs Galore.  Local Karen Kelly remembers the Moseley as a "Victorian pub with lots of history lost. It was a fab place with lots of down to earth people. We did try to save it but people with a lot more money paid to buy it and knock it down [1]."  Back in the day the Moseley Hotel would have faced the Cricketers Rest on a stretch of road skirting Beswick that used to be dotted with pubs.  Sadly, the Moseley has been supplanted by the out-of-place Mercedes garage opposite the main entrance to the stadium.  


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Britannia / Summerbee's / Maine Road - Rowsley Street

Maine Road, Rowsley Street, Beswick. (c) Tony Worral Foto at flickr.

The Britannia Inn is shown here in 1963 as a Red Rose house and would have been a busy local's boozer when this area was full of terraces housing.  It may also have received trade from miners at the huge Bradford Colliery over the road until 1968, when it had to close due to the subsidence it was causing to houses in the area.

Maine Road, Rowsley Street, Beswick. (c) Peter Downes at panoramio.

When the Commonwealth Stadium was built in 2001-2002, the pub was one of the few surrounding buildings to remain and when City moved in, Mike Summerbee bought an interest in the Britannia and it was named after the City legend.  Sadly the pub had to serve out of plastic pots due to health & safety (like all pubs around the ground) and the fact it was keg or cans only didn't help.

Maine Road, Rowsley Street, Beswick. (c) jacoliame at panoramio.

Summerbee's was renamed Maine Road (Rowsley Street is the official address of MCFC) yet despite this positive development it failed as most blues preferred to sup in town.  Despite the Evening News running a story in 2011 on the redevelopment of the pub, it was knocked down in 2010 after being bought up by the club with an eye on building a press accreditation centre in its place.

Former location of Britannia / Summerbee's / Maine Road. (c) googlemaps.

Cricketers Rest, Ashton New Road

Former location of Cricketers Rest, Ashton Old Road, Beswick. (c) Google 2011. View Larger Map.

It's hard to imagine the soulless frontage of the Beswick estate that faces the newly-crowned Etihad Stadium was once a thriving thoroughfare.  On the corner of Ashton New Road and Darley Street was the Greenall Whitley pub, the Cricketers Rest, shown here in 1970.  The location of the lost Cricketers Rest is directly opposite the Mercedes garage with the stadium to the right (note the now dismantled 'B of the Bang', right).

View from the former Cricketers Rest, Ashton Old Road. (c) Google 2011. View Larger Map.

Cricketers / Stadium, Bradford Road

The Stadium, Bradford Road, Miles Platting. (c) Football & Its Communities.

The Stadium was a short-lived pub on Bradford Road in Miles Platting near the City of Manchester Stadium, lasting only a season or two before conversion to a curry house.  We tried it out a couple of times before the first season began but realised that, like most pubs around 'Eastlands', it wasn't up to much and ale was non-existent.  Since it became a curry house we've been here a few of times, for a couple of reasonable curries and also for a post-match pint, which isn't frowned upon if you're not eating.  The pub was better known to locals as the Cricketers before football came to the area, seen in 1967 with odd looking flats in the background.  Alan Winfield snapped the Cricketers for Pubs Galore.

Former Cricketers / Stadium, Bradford Road, Miles Platting. (c)

Bradford / Champagne Charlies / Guvnors, Mill Street

Champagne Charlie's, Mill Street, Beswick. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr.

The Bradford Hotel, here in 1964, was on the corner of Mill Street and Wilson Street and finished its life as Champagne Charlies and the Guvnors Sports Bar after City moved to Bradford.  I only visited here twice - once before the City of Manchester Stadium (now the Etihad Stadium) opened and once after an England friendly - and recall nothing except the fact it was ale-free, the awful fall-back Guinness the best offering.  

Champagne Charlie's, Mill Street, Beswick. (c) googlemaps..

The Bradford was a fine looking pub but was demolished a couple of years ago after its last couple of years were under the ownership of Mickey Francis, a name familiar to most Manchester football fans. Ironically, the Guvnors Sports Bar was possibly the only away friendly pub around here, the upstairs bar being visitors only (and seemingly plusher). 

Guvnors Sports Bar (home fans), Mill Street, Beswick. (c)

Guvnors Sports Bar (away fans), Mill Street, Beswick. (c)