Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 28 May 2012

195. Full Shilling, Tiviot Dale

Full Shilling, Tiviot Dale, Stockport. (c) deltrems at flickr.

Our third pub of the day and the sign outside told us that they would be showing the match, so in we popped, and indeed the match was shown on the numerous televisions surrounding the premises.  Unfortunately however, that was about the only positive thing we could take from the Full Shilling, formerly the Kings Head.  The pub interior was dark and unwelcoming and there was no sign of any real ale, or even any good bottles, which was a shame as the sign outside did indicate real ales.  I suspect that this is a historical sign from better days gone by.  In normal circumstances, that would have been a cue to leave, but we persevered with a quick Guinness or bottle of Newcy Brown apiece then got out of there.  This Stockport trip wasn't going too well, but fortunately for us, things were about to improve. 

Kings Head, Tiviot Dale, Stockport. (c) Allen1 at mystockport.

194. Winter's, Underbank

Winter's, Underbank, Stockport. (c) johnmightycat1 at flickr.

This Joseph Holt's house situated on Underbank regrettably doesn't match up to the usual standard of Holt's houses, as it was full of the weirdest Stockport pond life imaginable.  Presumably they were drawn by the incredibly cheap prices - even by Holt's standard, £1.80 a pint is good value.  The pub itself has been converted from Mr Winter's clockmakers shop - hence the name - but when we called in it was scruffy and dirty.  The beer itself was good, as is usual for Holts, but Winter's isn't the sort of place I'd be frequenting again in a hurry.

Winter's, Underbank, Stockport. (c) demm42.

193. Little Jack Horner, Lord Street

Little Jack Horner, Lord Street, Stockport. (c) Gerald England at geograph under Creative Commons.

A quirky little backstreet pub situated just 100 yards from Stockport train station and a reasonable starting point for our visit to the area.  One of the original old pubs, it has survived numerous building works of offices around it which in other areas would normally have resulted in its demolition.  As a pub, it's interior is a bit tired but it does have something of a homely feel and the landlord was welcoming enough.  Real ale is served and there were three on offer during our visit - the Golden Sheep was reasonable.  Probably not the sort we'd have a session in but I'm sure he's got his regulars and locals, and decent enough for a quick pint prior to catching a train.

Green Bar, London Road

Green Bar, London Road Fire Station, London Road. (c) fishbrain at 28dayslater.

The Green Bar was presumably the staff bar at the grand London Road Fire Station which still sits disused in a prime location on the gateway to Manchester next to the Bulls Head.  The urban explorers at 28 Days Later snapped the bar and what appears to be its entrance [1].

London Road Fire Station, London Road. (c) wikipedia under GNU Licence.

Maybe when Britannia Hotels finally let go of the building that they've owned, yet done nothing with, for decades, someone will finally restore this building to its rightful glory.  Rumours have included a hotel (not Britannia, thanks), a complex of retail, bars and restaurants, and even a music venue.

Green Bar 'Club Room', London Road Fire Station. (c) fishbrain at 28dayslater.


Rusholme Road Inn, Rusholme Road

Rusholme Road Inn, Rusholme Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Alan Gall [1].

This old boozer was formerly known as the Chorlton-on-Medlock Arms in the 1860s, and the Halliday Inn in the 1880s, before settling for the Rusholme Road Inn for the remainder of its life.  The Wilsons house closed in 1962 on Rusholme Road which used to pass from Oxford Road to the meeting of Downing Street and Ardwick Green.  The Rusholme Road Inn was on the corner of Barlow Street on the north side of Rusholme Road, just off Downing Street - this location today is taken by Kale Street.

Rusholme Road Inn, Rusholme Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme and Chorlton-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).
2. Manchester Breweries of time gone by 1, Alan Gall (year unknown).

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Royal Oak, Downing Street

Royal Oak, Downing Street. (c) Alan Gall [1].

Seen here in 1959, the Royal Oak was a Manchester Brewery house on the corner of Downing Street and Tipping Street, the western part of which was once known as Medlock Street [1].  The Royal Oak was once advertised as 'A "Royal" Card' with 'Royal Beer & Big Jumbo', 'Royal Ale - For for a King'.  Not sure what Big Jumbo is?  The advert also carried a picture of a rare glimpse of the inside of the pub, the smoke room [1].

Royal Oak, Downing Street. (c) Alan Gall [1].

This approach to the city centre, crossing the snaking River Medlock, was heavily industrialised in the 1850s with the Ardwick Bridge Chemical Works to the west (laboratory on the left, above), and the Ardwick Print Works to the north and south of the Royal Oak.  The site of the old pub is this little car park beneath the Mancunian Way behind the billboard, which is sometimes used as a skate park.

Former location of Royal Oak, Downing Street. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

1. Manchester Breweries of times gone by, Alan Gall (year unknown).
2. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

George IV, New George Street

George IV, New George Street, Smithfield Market. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The George VI was a Wilsons house on Smithfield Market in the city centre.  As with the other boozers around the busy market (including those facing onto it - The Sun, New Market Inn, Spread Eagle, Man in the Moon and the surviving Smithfield Market Tavern), the George IV opened early doors to cater for the market workers.  On the corner of Higher Oswald Street and New George Street, the pub was also known as the Coronation Tavern in the 1880s [2].  This 1966 photo shows the view down New George Street from Shudehill, with the George IV on the left.

George IV, New George Street, Smithfield Market (left). (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [2].

1. A History of Wilsons Brewery 1834-1984, Neil Richardson (1983).
2. Manchester (New Cross) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Rowsley Arms, Rowsley Street

Rowsley Arms, Rowlsey Street, Beswick, 1963. (c) Alan Gall [1].

Despite being displayed on televisions all over the world recently, most watching would have been unaware that the stadium which saw the most dramatic of climaxes to the season has the official address of Rowsley Street.  The City of Manchester Stadium, Eastlands, or to give it its official title, the Etihad Stadium, was  built over Bradford Colliery, but on the Beswick side once stood the Rowsley Arms.  Seen in higher resolution in 1963 on the corner of Edensor Street, the pub was once a Cardwells house having been bought by Henry Cardwell in 1885.  It passed to Wilsons when they took over Cardwells in 1899 [1]. These days Rowsley Street is pub-free having most recently lost Summerbee's (the old Maine Road / Britannia) but remains an important road boasting both the athletics stadium and the underground player's entrance.

1. Manchester Breweries Of Times Gone By Vol 1, Alan Gall, published by Neil Richardson (year unknown).

Flower Pot Inn, Red Bank

Flower Pot Inn, Red Bank. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

On Red Bank which sweeps into the northern city centre was the Flower Pot Inn, a Wilsons house, which in 1937 proudly advertised Wembley Ale (see here for a high resolution image of which view into town).  Although Wilsons used this to good effect when supporting and celebrating Manchester City's 1934 FA Cup Final win, the name had nothing to do with football.  Wilsons Mild Beer was abbreviated as 'WMB' and so was nicknamed Wembley.  In 1932 it officially became Wilsons Wembley Ale and a couple of years later they went to town on the advertising campaign:  

Wilsons Wembley Ale. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

"If you can't get to Wembley, Let 'Wembley' come to you".  Comedian Sydney Howard appeared in printed adverts and in a short film called "Up for t'Cup", saying:  "Well lads - you were great at Wembley - as great as Wembley Ale is at home."  Wilsons even built a new pub, the Wembley Arms, on Adswood Road in Stockport [1].  Now demolished, the short Wembley Close is a reminder of this once famous brewery and its Wembley Ale.

Wembley Arms, Adswood Road, Stockport. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

1. A History of Wilsons Brewery 1834-1984, Neil Richardson (1983).

Friday, 18 May 2012

Guest Pub - Bill O'Jacks, Oldham

The Mysterious Bill O’Jacks Murders

The year is 1832. The place is Saddleworth Moor, overlooking the conurbation of Oldham, Manchester. Saddleworth is, of course, more closely remembered for the horrific and sadistic Moors Murders, the memory of which lingers on to this day. However, not many people know the tale of another, equally disturbing case that took place one hundred and thirty years previously in a well frequented, yet remote local pub called The Bill O’Jacks.

The landlord of the pub was one William Bradbury who was (unbelievably for the time) eighty four years of age. Let us not forget this was a time when life expectancy in Cottonopolis was just eighteen for the average adult male. Bradbury’s son was the local Gamekeeper, his name was Thomas and he was forty six. It was alleged that Thomas was of ill temper and as a result quite unpopular with the local community. The Bill O’Jacks wasn’t the pub’s proper name – locally it was known as The Moorcock Inn, the alternative name comes about from a tradition in which a place was nicknamed according to father of the owner. Thus the owner of the pub was William and his father must have been called Jack, so Bill, son of Jack equals Bill O’Jack.

Bill O'Jacks, Saddleworth, Oldham (c) Greenfield Gone By.

What happened?

On the evening of April 2nd, 1832 a violent struggle occurred within the walls of the pub. Reports that followed on later suggested that there was complete and utter carnage at the scene, with blood and vile gory matter splattered all over the walls and furniture of the interior.

William, the father had been discovered lying in his bed with his face beaten in. Thomas, the son was found lying downstairs with such severe injuries to his head and body he was virtually unrecognisable – whoever had killed him must have been of mighty strength, for Thomas stood at over six feet tall and was heavily built in stature.

Before he finally expired William was heard to utter the phrase “Patts” or “Platts”. Much debate surrounded what this could have meant at the time. Some people thought “Patts” might have referred to Irish Navvies who were working in the area and had perhaps behaved in a threatening way towards the two men. “Platts” may have been in reference to Gypsies who were frequenting the area and had had a run in with Thomas over access to his land. This was a time before such things as cheap landlord insurance existed, so matters of money and tenancy were never easily resolved and usually ended up in fisticuffs.

Despite an inquest and lots of evidence being heard from locals the murders were never solved and no-one ever brought to account. The only other possible suspect in the case was another person that Thomas had got into an argument with, a local poacher who was due to stand trial at Pontefract Court. He’d challenged Thomas and allegedly told him there was no way he would be brave enough to stand trial against him. The murders had happened the day before the trial was about to take place.  However, the case against the poacher was simply not strong enough to warrant either an arrest or a detention and since no other leads were discovered the mystery, to this day, remains completely unsolved. It still intrigues locals to the area and is a story that has passed down through generations of people who live in and around Saddleworth, this most notorious moorland area of Manchester.

 Bill O'Jacks, Saddleworth, Oldham. (c) Ashley Jackson

What happened to the pub?

It was eventually demolished to make way for a plantation around a hundred years later in 1937. It must have been very off putting for the locals to go in carousing after such a gruesome event taking place there – and quite amazing it continued for so long after the deaths. Many people go to visit the site and indeed where the bodies are buried in Saddleworth Church Yard, the grave is still in excellent condition and the inscription on the tomb can be read very clearly indeed (as you can see from the picture). As folklore had it at the time, songs and poems were written about the crime as well, which told the story contemporaneously and still manage to breathe much life into this aged mystery:

"Whoever did this horrid deed, their blackened souls did save
And took their morbid secret with them to the grave
So the mystery still lives on and no-one has a clue
To what happened on that April night in eighteen hundred and thirty two"

(c) Lowri Welsch

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cobden Hotel, Peter Street

Cobden Hotel, Peter Street, Brindleheath. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

This evocative image from Paul Wilson at Salford Pubs of the 70s was taken in 1961, 11 years before the last pint was pulled in the Cobden Hotel.  The beerhouse on the lost Peter Street can be traced back to 1868 when a full licence was rejected, and by the early 1900s, the Cobden Hotel was owned by Walkers Brewery of Warrington [2].  

Cobden Hotel, Peter Street, Brindleheath. (c) Neil Richardson [2].

This lovely-looking little boozer closed on 18th June 1972 and for many months stood out like a sore thumb in the Brindleheath demolition zone [2].  The old location of the Cobden Hotel was on the new road, Greenwood Street, just off Harding Street where this ugly low-rise industrial unit is.  Some improvement eh?

Former location of Cobden Hotel, Greenwood Road. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Feathers, Laundry Street

Feathers, Laundry Street, Brindleheath. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

The Feathers beerhouse on Laundry Street can be dated back to at least 1858 on the corner of Radley Street, just north of Cobden Street. Although this part of Salford - Brindleheath - is largely barren and semi-industrialised today, in the 1880s it was rapidly growing in population.  However, the Feathers beerhouse was denied a full licence to serve the influx in 1876, but by 1904 was owned by Walker & Homfray who extended it into the house next door [2].

Feathers, Laundry Street, Brindleheath. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

By 1961, when this photo of the Feathers as a Wilsons was taken, all the houses around had been razed to the ground, but the boozer kept going for many more years.  By 1987, the owners, Grand Metropolitan, advertised it for sale for £35,000, but by 1988 the Feathers was closed and demolished [2].  These days, an industrial yard marks the spot of the old Feathers.

Former location of Feathers, Laundry Street, Brindleheath. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Friday, 11 May 2012

192. Old House At Home, Burton Road

Old House At Home, Burton Road, Withington. (c) kh1234567890 at flickr under Creative Commons.

Old House At Home, Burton Road, Withington. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

191. Railway, Lapwing Lane

Railway, Lapwing Lane,West Didsbury. (c) Didsbury Fetch.

A Manchester Evening News article from 2003 reckons the Railway was once the smallest pub in the country [1], althought oweners Joey Holt's themselves reckon it laid a claim to be the smallest in Manchester [2].  It's easy to believe this when you consider that the left half of the pub as you look at it used to be a cobblers shop until about a decade ago.  Before then, the pub was a small single-roomed affair with outdoor toilets at the rear.  Now the lounge has been extended into the old shop, and the back room has replaced the al fresco latrines.

Railway, Lapwing Lane, West Didsbury. (c) Manchester After Dark.

Don't be fooled by it's café bar style exterior, the Railway is a proper boozer, and one of a diminishing number in the Didsbury area.  In stark contrast to the prim, proper and slightly poncey atmosphere of across the road, bare boards, bench seating and Holt's ales offered such respite on our wander that we stopped for a couple.  The Holt's bitter was on fine form and the pub was rammed full of locals watching the match.  The Railway, named of course due to its proximity to the old Withington & West Didsbury Station, is one of the quirkiest pubs in the Holt's estate and definitely one of the finest.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Church Inn, Albert Street / Mulberry Road

Church Inn, Mulberry Road, Pendleton. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

This photo of the Church Inn on Mulberry Road in Pendleton is a perfect evocation of Salford old and new; the old Walkers house squatted proudly amongst the newly erected but grim tower blocks. The Church Inn beerhouse opened on Albert Street in 1861 and Walkers of Warrington were owners by the turn of the century.  One hundred years ago in 1912, tenant John Madsley is pictured in the doorway of the Church [2]. 

Church Inn, Mulberry Road, 1973. (c) Arthur Brougham with family's permission.

Although Tetley's brewery took over in the 1960s, the Walkers signs remained as the whole area was redeveloped around the Church.  These changes meant that Albert Street become Mulberry Road in the remodelled Pendleton and sadly the Church Inn was pulled down in 1976 [2].

Church Inn, Albert Street. (c) Neil Richardson [2].

Mulberry Road still runs through this part of Salford today, although it is gated off so it's hard to work out precisely where the old Church Inn once stood.

Former location of Church Inn, Mulberry Street. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Wellington, Hyde Road

Former location of Wellington, Hyde Road, Ardwick. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

The Wellington was a Chesters pub that once graced this corner at the very end of Hyde Road, opposite where Fort Ardwick flats used to stand.  Alan Winfield snapped the Wellington Hotel as a Chesters house on a visit almost 20 years ago in July 1992 [1], and it's shown in 1958 as a Threlfalls house when Hyde Road was a proper thoroughfare, lined with shops, houses and pubs.  The Wellington was pulled down, probably some time in the mid-'90s, as I recall it when we used to pop in the Star, and as is usual, nothing has been built in its place.  While Fort Ardwick [2] in front is long gone, the factory behind, which would also have supplied custom for the Wellington, remains unchanged in the last two decades.

Fort Ardwick, Coverdale Crescent. (c) with kind permission.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Mason's Arms, Bowker Street

Mason's Arms, Bowker Street, Collyhurst. (c) Bob Potts [1].

Pictured above in the 1950s, the Mason's Arms was on the corner of Sanderson Street and Bowker Street in Collyhurst, between Rochdale Road and Oldham Road.  At No.59 Bowker Street, the Mason's was a Wilsons house that opened in 1869 and was closed and demolished in 1963 due to a compulsory purchase order for development [1]. Although Bowker Street is gone, Sanderson Street still exists today.

1. The Old Pubs of Rochdale Road and Neighbourhood Manchester, Bob Potts (1985).

Rose & Crown, Broad Street

Rose & Crown, Broad Street, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

The Rose & Crown was one of the first pubs to open along Broad Road and opened in around 1823 on the corner of Booth Street when John Beeston moved over from the Windsor Castle.  When Hardy & Sons took over the run down pub in 1889 they were allowed to rebuild, and in 1891 the grand new Rose & Crown Hotel opened.  The brewery also rebuilt the shop next door which later became a Salford City Reporter office, as shown above in 1970.  In the 1960s, Tetley's took over the Rose & Crown but it was sadly pulled down in 1971 [2] for the building of the grim flats and council housing that masqueraded as redevelopment.  Not much as taken its place except for Belvedere Road which runs parallel to Broad Street here.

Former location of Rose & Crown, Broad Street. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Vine Inn, Broad Street

Vine Inn, Broad Street, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

The Vine in on the south side of Broad Street near Cross Lane opened in the 1830s, becoming an Empress Brewery beerhouse by the early 1900s, and they rebuilt it in 1903.  Walkers of Warrington were the owners in the 1940s until it closed and was demolished in 1971 [2]. The new flats and maisonettes were already springing up around this redeveloped part of Salford, by 1970.  The old location of the Vine can be worked out from the new flats seen above in the 1970 photo.  The Flemish Weaver estate boozer (a characterful "community pub" that we can't wait to visit) sits adjacent to where the old Vine once stood (you can just see it to the left, above - the building with the white stripe).

Former location of the Vine Inn, Broad Street. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Swan, Waterloo Street

Former Swan, Waterloo Street, Lower Crumpsall. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

This overgrown corner of Crescent Street and Waterloo Street in Lower Crumpsall used to boast the Swan pub.  Alan Winfield photographed the Swan in 1994 as a fairly pleasant Vaux house [1] - you can see the road markings from 18 years ago are still just about there today.  No doubt the Swan was pulled down for development at some point in the 1990s... which it's still waiting for.

Swan, Waterloo Street, Lower Crumpsall, 1993. (c) London Gazette.


Derby Arms, Rochdale Road

Former Derby Arms, Rochdale Road, Harpurhey. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

The former Derby Arms still stands today, having recently been in use as the 'Harpurhey Shopper' and post office on Rochdale Road.  Alan Winfield visited the New Derby Arms free house in 1995 [1], by which time the corner door was blocked up.  Go back to 1958 and the Derby Arms has its corner entrance, and in 1971 The Derby appears to be a Bass house.

Former Derby Arms, Rochdale Road, Harpurhey. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.