Pubs of Manchester

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

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Ducie Bar & Cafe, Ducie Street

Ducie Bar & Cafe, Ducie Street. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Ducie Bar & Cafe was a 1990s continental style cafe bar offering what looks like all manner of foreign lagers, judging from the six plastic signs outside (I make out two Heineken and two Stella Artois). However, on his visit in April 1995, Alan Winfield supped the cask ale that was on offer (Boddington's) making this bar an appealing sounding venue.

Ducie Bar & Cafe, Ducie Street. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Ducie Bar & Cafe was tucked away down Ducie Street off Piccadilly, at the point it meets Peak Street. The building in which the bar was housed is Ducie House, today occupied by the Studio Schools Trust.  The Ducie Bar would have been a worthwhile stop-off on the way from Piccadilly Station to that Manchester classic, the Jolly Angler.

Former Ducie Bar & Cafe, Ducie Street. Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Opera Cafe Bar, John Dalton Street

Opera Cafe Bar, John Dalton Street. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

On the corner of Deansgate and John Dalton Street, the Opera Cafe Bar was a 1990s bar offering beer in the form of Worthington's keg on Alan Winfield's visit in April 1995.  These days this impressive building houses Katsouris Deli, which has the outdoor seating along John Dalton Street that the Opera Cafe Bar lacked.

Former Opera Cafe Bar, John Dalton Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Stage Deli, Motor Street

Stage Deli, Motor Street, 1995. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

Motor Street is a recently lost Manchester street which still gives its name to the square (actually more of a triangle) formed by the junctions of Bridge Street, King Street West and St Mary's Parsonage. The records show that Motor Street has been officially struck off all maps, but its street sign remains overlooking this pleasant little area which is popular with office workers on their dinner breaks.

Motor Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

In what is now a Starbucks, the Stage Deli cafe bar was actually a real ale establishment in the 1990s.  Albeit offering only one during Alan Winfield's visit in April 1995, by the way of cask Boddington's, Stage Deli even had plastic picnic chairs out the front to try and create that continental vibe.  The Lloyds of Manchester sign indicates a club or restaurant in what is the late night bar today, Mojo, as sign-posted below (entrance on Back Bridge Street).

Former location of Stage Deli, Motor Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Big Western, Great Western Street

Big Western, Great Western Street, Moss Side. (c) Alan Winfield with permission

The Big Western is an imposing old Victorian boozer hidden in the heart of Moss Side and has apparently recently closed its doors, seemingly for good.  This reflects the changing face of the area, since football moved away and different mixes of immigrants moved in.

Big Western, Great Western Street. (c) Alan Winfield with permission

Alan Winfield visited the Big Western in the mid-'90s.  It looked closed so a back entrance was found, and inside was a shabby, multi-roomed boozer populated by a few local black men, with signs on the walls stating no crash helmets or balaclavas.

Big Western, Great Western Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The Big Western is a fine building which would undoubtedly be listed if it was in a more salubrious area.  As it is, the pub sits in the middle of a notorious and still troubled council estate - a shooting occurred in the pub last year.  Until recently it held music nights for the local immigrant communities.

Big Western, Great Western Street. (c) KASB104 at YouTube.

Shown in 1971 with terraced housing still apparent, the pub used to be simply the Western Hotel, but acquired the "Big" tag to avoid confusion with the Great Western on Sloane Street.  These two photos from 1974 show the destruction wreaked on the area in the name of redevelopment.

Big Western , Great Western Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The Big Western is an old Greenall Whitley house, but even a couple of decades ago it was ale-free, offering only kegged Greenalls bitter. Despite being quite close to the ground, I'm not aware of it being a particularly popular pre-match boozer compared to the many other (lost) Maine Road pubs.

Big Western , Great Western Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Stables adjoin the pub which give clues to its age - the archway reads A.D. 1879.  A decrepit old sign round the side half-reads the name of the pub and "Whitley" can just be made out.  Let's hope this historic old survivor remains standing at least.

Big Western, Great Western Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Weaste Hotel, Edward Avenue

Weaste Hotel, Edward Avenue, Weaste. (c) Caldecott Group.

Salford's latest pub closure, the Weaste Hotel was once a pub that five breweries tussled over in the early 20th century.  Joseph Holt's wanted to open their Weaste pub as the Falcon Hotel on Eccles New Road between Ariel Street and Falcon Street, or as the Dolphin Hotel on the corner of Liverpool Street and Ashley Street.  Groves & Whitnall earmarked the corner of Weaste Lane and Willows Road, while Threlfalls had in mind the corner of Weaste Lane and Liverpool Street.  Walkers & Homfray's Central Hotel would have been on the corner of Eccles New Road and Langworthy Road, and Kay's Atlas wanted to open the De Vere Hotel on Vere Street [1].           

Weaste Hote, Edward Avenue. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [2].

Believe it or not, the planning application process went on for 30 years but finally, by the late 1920s, the brewers agreed to come together in their efforts to gain licences in up-and-coming areas.  As a result Threlfalls' single application was granted, with the brewery stating that 1,615 recently built houses would benefit from their new Weaste Hotel.  It cost them the Bulls Head on Hampson Street and seven off licences around Salford but they finally built their new pub in 1930 [1].

Weaste Hotel, Edward Avenue, Weaste. (c) Caldecott Group.

The Weaste Hotel passed to Whitbread following brewery mergers and in 1984 they renovated the pub in Victorian style dark wood and converted the old club room upstairs into a function room.  Sadly, owners Admiral Tavern have freehold for the Weaste up for sale for £225,000 [3].  Following closure in April 2013, the loss of the Weaste may be partly due to the move of Salford Reds rugby club away from the area in 2012 to the new-build City of Salford Stadium at Barton.

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

Grey Mare, Eccles New Road

Grey Mare, Eccles New Road, Weaste. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1]. 

The Grey Mare in Weaste is one of Salford's most recent casualties, closing its doors in 2012, remaining tinned up and up for sale.  It is the oldest of Eccles New Road's beerhouses, opening in about 1838, passing to Groves & Whitnall in 1898.  The brewery gave the Grey Mare a new frontage of cream tiles and a next door shop was later incorporated into the beerhouse whilst the pediments seen below in the 1920s were also removed [2].

Grey Mare, Eccles New Road, 1920s. (c) Neil Richardson [2].

The Grey Mare survived a compulsory purchase order after a successful campaign to save it in 1977 [2].  When the nearby Swan was lost in the late '90s to the building of Weaste tram stop, you'd have thought the Grey Mare would have benefitted.  It's highly unlikely that the Grey Mare will reopen, as it seems like this corner of Salford will make do with just the still-serving Coach & Horses up the road. 

Grey Mare, Eccles New Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

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

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Amalgamation, Renshaw Street

Amalgamation, Renshaw Street, Hulme. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Amalgamation at 2 Renshaw Street used to stand next door to the Shakespeare on Stretford Road, as seen in this 1962 photo, by which time the Amalgamation had closed.  It served from 1852 to 1932, first under Boddingtons Brewery until 1926 then Walkers of Warrington for its last years [1,2].  Renshaw Street was renamed Epping Street as part of Hulme's redevelopment efforts, and the old location of the Amalgamation was just where the grey Hornchurch Court flats stand.

Former location of Amalgamation, Epping Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme (1) 1770-1930, Bob Potts (1983).

Cheshire Cheese, City Road

Cheshire Cheese, City Road, Hulme. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

The Cheshire Cheese opened at 260 City Road in 1843 [2], and was soon a fully licensed Manchester Brewery public house.  It passed to Walker & Homfray before closing as a Wilsons house in 1957 [3], under one of Hulme's first compulsory purchase order schemes. Shown in 1957 just before demolition, it had Manchester Brewery (MB) and Wilsons signage as well as vault and smoke room etched windows.  These 1958 views from the top of Russell Street shows the former site of the Cheshire Cheese (to the right) with the flats on Southend Avenue having just gone up.  The new flats on City Road itself in 1958 were on the site of the old Cheshire Cheese.  And here they are today, marking the spot where the old Cheshire Cheese used to stand.

Former location of Cheshire Cheese, City Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

2. The Old Pubs of Hulme (1) 1770-1930, Bob Potts (1983).
3. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Shakespeare, Ashton Old Road

Shakespeare, Ashton Old Road, Ardwick. (c) Alan Gall [1].

The Shakespeare stood at 111 Ashton Old Road, Ardwick, in a row of houses next door to Violets Cafe, as shown twice here in March 1960.  A classic terraced boozer owned by Wilsons, it had a bar barlour to the left and the vault was to the right.  The row on which the Shakespeare stood abutted Viaduct Street, a street which still runs north off Ashton Old Road.  However, the viaduct which once took trains on a loop past Miles Platting and Bradford Colliery towards London Road Station (Piccadilly), is long gone but remnants of the bridge remain (below, right).

Former location of Shakespeare, Ashton Old Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

1. Manchester Breweries of times gone by, Alan Gall (year unknown).

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Shakespeare Inn, Mount Street

Shakespeare Inn, Mount Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Shakespeare Inn stood at 26 Mount Street, between Grosvenor Street and Brook Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock, opposite the Bridge & Crescent.  It was a Peter Walker & Sons house, shown here in 1959 advertising Walkers Falstaff Ales, closing as an Empress Brewery boozer in 1964 [1].  Note the difference in surroundings between the 1930s (above) and the 1959 photo - regeneration of the area had already started, and the site of the old Shakespeare was lost under the Mancunian Way.

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Prince of Wales, Hodge Lane

Former location of Prince of Wales (5), Hodge Lane, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Prince of Wales beerhouse was in a rown of properties on the south side of Hodge Lane, dating back to the 1860s.  Wilsons Brewery took over in 1903 but the beerhouse closed in 1909 on police orders, due to the landlord holding illegal whist drives for local unemployed men [1].  The Prince of Wales was nicknamed the 'Monkey' according to people who lived at 41 Hodge Lane long after the beerhouse closed [2].  Also shown on the map in Neil Richardson's third book are (1) the Ship, (2) Grove, (3) Osborne and (4) Waverley [1].  The location of the Prince of Wales is difficult to work out, but it was along the stretch of Hodge Lane which has been renamed Graythorpe Walk and is nothing but a path alongside the M602.

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

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Bobbin, Grey Mare Lane

Bobbin, Grey Mare Lane, Beswick. (c) DN at Manmates Facebook [1].

What used to house Beswick Library on Grey Mare Mare until 2006, the Bobbin was a classic, grim estate pub attached to the notorious (and almost as infamous as its Hulme and Ardwick counterparts) flats of Fort Beswick.  It was a Greenall Whitley boozer and is pictured above in May 1985 thanks to the ManMates Facebook pages.  Read about the transformation of Beswick Library from an old estate pub to a state of the art 21st century facility at thisiseast [2].

Beswick Library, the former Bobbin, Grey Mare Lane. (c) thisiseast.

Glasshouse Tavern / Farriers Arms, Oldham Road

Former location of Glasshouse Tavern / Farriers Arms, Oldham Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The Wheatsheaf has been a recent loss to the city centre - its conversion to a convenience store, denying remaining locals a community boozer, is more evidence of the terminal decline of Miles Platting.  In better days, a large glassworks stood opposite the Wheatsheaf, and the Glasshouse Tavern opened on the corner of Oldham Road and Cipher Street.  The beerhouse later became the Farriers Arms as a Yates Castle Brewery before closing in 1907.  This building shown on Cipher Street in 1961 stood on the site of the Glasshouse Tavern / Farriers Arms.  Cipher Street still runs off Oldham Street today just after the Royal Mail sorting office, with Glasshouse Street behind it, an unexpected and direct link to a long-lost Manchester boozer.

Cipher Street and Glasshouse Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

Bee Hive, Oldham Road

Bee Hive, Oldham Road, Ancoats. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image.

The Bee Hive was described as one of the best pubs in Ancoats, frequented by "moochers" (modern-day scallies or pissheads?) who would mither punters for a ha'penny or penny, the price of a drink.  The Bee Hive had been the house of a painter, Joseph Townley, before he opened the beerhouse which lasted until 1945.  By 1948 it was a tripe shop [1], but the Chesters Ales & Stout signage and bee hive mural lasted into the '60s, as seen in 1960 and 1961.  The exact location of the Bee Hive was opposite Livesey Street, a spot which today has been built over with the slight diversion of Butler Street.

1. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

George & Dragon, Oldham Road

Former location of George & Dragon, Oldham Road, Ancoats. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The George & Dragon was the last of the Ancoats beerhouses to open along Oldham Road, on the corner of Prussia Street (later Kemp Street).  Up until the mid-1870s it was a provisions shop, becoming a beerhouse from about them until 1912 [1].  This corner, near to the sadly and recently closed and converted Wheatsheaf, remains empty with the derelict block of flats behind it still awaiting refurbishment - what was Kemp (Prussia) Street has been turned into the end of Portugal Street today. 

1. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

Friday, 14 June 2013

Cheshire Hunt, Hyde Road

Cheshire Hunt, Hyde Road, Belle Vue. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Around the corner from Belle Vue Street's Coach & Horses was the Cheshire Hunt on the main Hyde Road.  This Wilsons house is shown at the archives in 1958 and 1971, with its new-ish single storey extension originally functioning as the vault.  One tenuous claim to fame for the the Cheshire Hunt is that it used to be ran by the mother of former Manchester City player, Steve Kinsey.

Cheshire Hunt, Hyde Road. (c) Bodzy at ManMates [1].

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mechanics Arms, Garden Lane

Former Mechanics Arms, Garden Lane, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Mechanics Arms stood on the corner of Back Hampson Street and Garden Lane, eight doors down from the Star on Greengate (formerly Broughton Road).  It was open by 1850 but 50 years later at the brewster sessions it was described as dilapidated and falling down.  Groves & Whitnall brewery rebuilt the Mechanics and it lasted until the early 1970s.  After closure it was taken on by a building contractors for about 10 years before demolition [1].  The bottom end of Garden Lane still runs off Bury Street - it used to run to Greengate (West) and the site of the old Mechanics is lost beneath the Trinity Way ring road.

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

Nelson, Ellor Street

Nelson, Ellor Street, Hanky Park, Salford. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Nelson Inn was on the corner of Smethurst Street and Ellor Street in Hanky Park, opening in the 1860s as a small, two-up, two-down beerhouse.  It was enlarged in 1899 by absorbing two neighbouring houses and by 1911 it was owned by Peter Walkers brrewery of Warrington.  In these times, this, and other beerhouses, opened all hours, from 6am til 11pm, and the Nelson offered Walkers mild at just 1 1/2d when others milds such as Chesters and Walker & Homfray were 1/2d dearer.  The First World War saw all mild being set at 2 1/2 and the Nelson lost customers because of the rises.  Creese's Brewery of Hyde took over in 1920 before Tetley's of Leeds ran it until "Black Sunday" and the closure of so many of Hanky Park's pubs [2].  The Nelson was opposite the Wellington, so not far from the Flemish Weaver is today.

Nelson, Ellor Street, Hanky Park. (c) Neil Richardson [2].

1. Hanky Park, Tony Flynn (1990).
2. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Wheatsheaf, Hyde Road

Wheatsheaf, Hyde Road, West Gorton. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

The Wheatsheaf stood at No.333 Hyde Road, West Gorton on the corner of East View. Seen here in 1958 and 1964 as a Cornbrook house, the pub also advertised Bass and Guinness as seen in the latter photo.  Note the PLAY STREET signs which states ALL VEHICLES PROHIBITED 8am to sunset on East View.  This would be unthinkable today where car is king and our streets are no longer children's playgrounds, as they were as recently as a few decades ago.  Note also the bench outside the pub, which read (and this misspelling is intentional) RESEVRED FOR HEADCASES ONLY, and it is unsurprising to learn that the boozer was nicknamed "The Crackers" [2].

The Wheatsheaf must have shut in the late 1960s or very early '70s as this 1971 photo shows it in a sorry state with the windows put through (and the middle door seemingly open).  The Wheatsheaf was the next pub after the Grove going away from town.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street

Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street, Belle Vue. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

This cosy little Robinson's house on Belle Vue Street, in Belle Vue, West Gorton, has sadly been lost in recent years following the retirement of the long-established landlords and subsequent, inevitable downturn in fortunes [1].  

Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street, Belle Vue. (c) Gazza Taylor at YouTube.

The Coach & Horses had one last go as Brodies (pictured below) under African owners but this didn't last long.  Well-regarded for its beer and colourful local characters, I recall popping in the Coach & Horses once for a pre-film pint of something cold and fizzy in the 1990s.  

Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street, Belle Vue, West Gorton. (c) ManMates [2].

It was also a pub to visit before Belle Vue Aces speedway meetings, when they were held at Hyde Road and at as now on Kirkmanshulme Lane, and the lost but once famous Belle Vue Gardens with its amusement park, zoo and gig venue [3].  

Plot of the Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street (c) Pugh Auctions.

The Coach & Horses was demolished on 20th March 2008 [1] leaving a sorry looking emply plot, but thanks to the Manchester Local Studies Image Collection we have a 1971 archive photo to remember the pub by.

Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street. (c) Gazza Taylor at YouTube.

Former location of the Coach & Horses, Belle Vue Street (c) Pugh Auctions.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch

Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch, 1994. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Top Cat Tavern was a notoriously rough city centre boozer in the 1980s, frequented by piss heads, down-and-outs and characters such as the 'phantom raspberry blower' and 'toothless tattooed hags' [1].  The Top Cat has been mentioned in the same breath as John Willie Lees, the King, and 'Middle Yates's', which were all dens of inequity up until recent years.  It was part of the Corn Exchange and next door to the more upmarket Walcots, as can by seen by comparing the 1990s photos.

Going back further in time, Rowntrees took up both Walcots and the Top Cat as seen in 1969.  The 1994 shot of the Top Cat Tavern shows it permanently closed but Alan Winfield had visited in 1987 and "enjoyed" a pint of Wilson's keg bitter, describing the place as a pretty crap (this, from a seasoned Manchester estate pub ticker) single-roomed pub.  The old Top Cat now appears to be a vacant unit sandwiched in between Zinc and a Starbucks.

Former Top Cat Tavern, Hanging Ditch. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Parkers Hotel, Corporation Street

Parkers Hotel, Corporation Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Parkers Hotel was converted into flats in the mid-1990s, after a brief number of years as a soul venue, opposite the Ducie Bridge and up from the lost Crown & Cushion.  The building was listed just before its conversion and its architectural merit is detailed at British Listed Buildings [1].  Built in the first decade of the 20th century on an island between the railway and Corporation Street, it was formerly offices before conversion to Parkers Hotel.  

Parkers Hotel, Corporation Street. (c) Mancky [1].

In January 1990, it was the unusual choice to host soul nights, and revellers would travel from all over the country, often staying over in the hotel afterwards.  One or two basement function rooms of Parkers were used for the sixties soul and jazz club until about 1994, nights which have since passed into Mancunican folklore.  As befitting of legendary clubs, there was a Parkers Reunion a few years ago at the Band on the Wall [3].