Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 27 January 2014

Maxwells / Maxwells Piano Bar, Deansgate

Maxwells Piano Bar (left), Deansgate, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].

The former Maxwells or Maxwells Piano Bar on Deansgate is better known these days the Fantasy Bar, one of Manchester's oldest gentleman's bars (i.e. strip clubs).  I ended up in here one hazy night in the mid-1990s but recall little of it, or its predecessor.  Maxwells opened in former gas board offices, buildings which can be dated back to 1885.  Paul Dean, who provided the advert below, remembers Maxwells being small and full of mirrors, giving the impression that bar was bigger than in reality.

Maxwells Piano Bar, Deansgate. (c) Paul Dean with permission.

Maxwells was one of the first Manchester nightclubs of the 1980s era, described as a 'boisterous carnival of entertainment, music and liquor', starting a 'new tradition for underground revelry and show-stopping entertainment on Deansgate' [2].  Shown here as Maxwells Piano Bar, it's next door to Sawyers Arms, Manchester's joint oldest pub.  The Fantasy Bar claims to have opened in about 1987 although the top image here is from 1990, and Maxwells' owner was listed as bankrupt in 1991 [3].

Fantasy Bar, former Maxwells, Deansgate. (c) robert wade at flickr under Creative Commons.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Longsight Hotel, Redgate Lane

Longsight Hotel, Redgate Lane, Belle Vue, 1960s. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The Longsight Hotel was situated at the Longsight Entrance, or Western Entrance, to Belle Vue Gardens.  It was close to Longsight Railway Station, which had opened in 1842, and trams brought passengers here from Market Street in Manchester city centre every three minutes [1].

Longsight Hotel, Redgate Lane, 1907. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The hotel opened in 1851 at a cost of £1,000 and it had a 500-capacity ballroom on the upper floor [1].  As pictured top, the rare sight of a Truman's signage showed the pub offering Burton Ales and London Stout.  Perhaps this was due to the proximity of the London & Northwestern Railway. 

Longsight Hotel, Redgate Lane, 1985. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The Longsight Entrance and the Longsight Hotel are shown here in 1968 and in 1970.  In 1985 the Longsight Hotel was finally demolished (pictured above just prior to destruction) while the ballroom had already been demolished in the 1950s [1]. 

Former location of Longsight Hotel, Redgate Lane. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The Longsight estate pub on Kirkmansulme Lane was built to replace the Longsight Hotel but this was also lost in the mid-2000s.  Housing has been built around here, but Redgate Lane still runs towards nothing in particular.

1. Belle Vue, Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes (1999).

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue, Gorton, 1960s. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The Lighthouse Cafe served visitors to Belle Vue Gardens at the Small Lake (or Firework Lake or Picture Lake) from 1862 when it was built by John Jenninson, founder of Belle Vue, to 1977 [1], when boating on the lake finally ended.  

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue, 1950s. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

It was one of seven original refreshment rooms at Belle Vue in 1863, which had grown to 17 by the 1930s, including the Hyde Road Hotel (Palm Court/Caesar's Palace)Lake Hotel and the original Longsight Hotel [1].  

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue, 1950s. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

When it opened the Lighthouse Cafe was described as a 'spacious and lofty refreshment room' catering for 1,000.  In 1892 the price of a cup of tea or coffee was 3d, whereas a glass if bitter ale was just 2 & 1/2d [1].

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue, 1900. (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The Lighthouse Cafe was refurbished and extended in 1958 but by 1977 it was closed as a bar, having ceased offering food some years earlier [1].  

Lighthouse Cafe, Belle Vue (left). (c) Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes [1].

The Small / Firework / Picture Lake, so named as it was smaller than the Great Lake, but held firework displays set against a huge canvas 'painted picture' landscape on Firework Island, shown above.

Former location of Lighthouse Cafe, Ellen Wilkinson Way. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Looking at a modern map of Belle Vue, I guess Ellen Wilkinson Way is roughly where the lake and Lighthouse Cafe once were.

1. Belle Vue, Jill Cronin & Frank Rhodes, 1999.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Farm Yard, Rochdale Road

Farmyard, Rochdale Road, Harpurhey. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Farm Yard was a huge pub on Rochdale Road in Harpurhey, pictured as a Threlfalls house in 1971.  By the late 1980s it had passed to Whitbread, and it was rather deserted during Alan Winfield's visit in May 1988, despite the decent Chesters bitter on offer.  There is a photo of the Farmyard on flickr still just open in the mid-2000s but it's been closed for a number of years now.

Farm Yard, Rochdale Road. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr under Creative Commons.

The Farmyard was meant to be reopening as a restaurant but most recently it's been operating as the Manchester Creative Learning Studio.  The Farm Yard Hotel was rebuilt in 1896, presumably replacing on older pub of the same name.  The grand stonework that remains on the building facade is a reminder of this fine building's original use.

Farm Yard, Rochdale Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Applejacks, Portland Street

Former Applejacks, Portland Street. (c) Stephen Richards at geograph under Creative Commons [1].

Applejacks was a basement bar beneath what is now the Macdonald Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street.  Described as a celebrity haunt down a dead-end street (presumably that is Abingdon Street) opposite the Old Monkey, Applejacks was a short-lived venue in this Grade II-listed building, the grand Pickles Building built in about 1870 [1].  This door down Abington Street may have been the entrance to Applejacks (that's the Grey Horse in the distance along Portland Street).

Former Applejacks, Portland Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Cabaret 88, Princess Street

Cabaret 88, Princess Street. (c) Paul Dean with permission.

On the west corner of Portland Street and Princess Street in town, Cabaret 88 was a short-lived club that opened on Friday 3rd April 1987. To promote the bar opening there were skimpily-dressed girls on the pavement outside handing out roses.   

Cabaret 88, Princess Street. (c) Paul Dean with permission.

As can be seen from the flier and ticket shown here, thanks to Paul Dean, Cabaret 88 was an over-21s establishment with male strippers and wet t-shirt competitions.  The bar was at No.36 Princess Street, which today is the Roomzzz Aparthotel.

Former location of Cabaret 88, Princess Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Excelsior Hotel, Manchester Airport

Excelsior Hotel, Manchester Airport, Ringway. Original photo at Historic Images [1].

The Excelsior Hotel was the original Manchester Airport Hotel before Ringway (as it is still often called locally) was expanded in the 1990s.  The Excelsior used to be outside the original Terminal 1 which opened in 1962, and it was often used as overspill free parking for the small car park outside the terminal [2].  The Excelsior was also familiar to plane spotters (and families on 'days out' at the airport; hugely popular back in the day) as the entry to the old spectator gallery was next to the hotel [3]. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hyde Road Hotel / Palm Court / Caesar's Palace / Jennison's Ale House, Hyde Road

Palm Court, Hyde Road, Belle Vue, Gorton. (c) Junior Blue at bluemoon.

Situated on the site of the old Belle Vue House, the huge pub at the entrance to the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens and speedway stadium on Hyde Road was probably best known as Palm Court, which it was named in 1942 (seen here in 1962).  Within the hotel ground floor were two bars, a bar parlour and four smoke rooms, as well as a dining room and refreshment/tea room [1].  Upstairs were a staggering nine further dining rooms and twelve bedrooms plus a retiring room [1].

Palm Court, Hyde Road, Belle Vue. From Wikipedia under Fair Use.

By 1971 the Palm Court was renamed Caesar's Palace licensed bar and grill, and its penultimate incarnation was as Jennison's Ale House, named after John Jennison, the founder of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens.  It appears to have been the Hyde Road Hotel originally (not to be confused with the other one, further down the road) but it was closed in 1980 due to structural concerns.  It must have been demolished around this time as I don't recall it during many visits to speedway meetings in the early-mid-1980s.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Wembley / Doubloon, Adswood Road

Wembley, Adswood Road, Adswood, Stockport, 1998. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Wembley Hotel was a huge pub build between the wars by Wilson's Brewery on Adswood Road in Adswood, Stockport, near the junction with Garners Lane.  It was named after Wilson's Wembley Ale which, despite its use in football-related adverts in the 1930s, was nothing to do with the sport.  Rather, it came from the 'WMB' abbreviation for Wilsons Mild Beer which was a good seller back then, and 'Wembley' Ale was born in 1932 [1].

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

In 1934, Wilson's produced a number of adverts in response to Manchester City's FA Cup triumph.  "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 [1]."

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

The Wembley was renamed the Doubloon for an ill-fated time in the 1970s, and is pictured above in 1974 [1].  The Wembley was demolished a couple of decades ago after gaining something for a reputation for unsavouriness and dodgy dealings.  

Doubloon, Adswood Road. (c) Stockport Council. Click here to view full image [2].

The Adswood Road Surgery sits on the site of the old pub, and the short Wembley Close is a reminder of the old boozer and Wilson's Wembley Ale.

Wembley Close, Adswood. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

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

Greyhound / Game Bird, Ladybridge Road

Greyhound, Ladybridge Road, Cheadle Hulme, 1998. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Greyhound, shown above in 1998, was a classic inter-wars estate pub, formerly known as the Game Bird, on the corner of Councillor Lane and Ladybridge Road in Cheadle Hulme.

 Greyhound, Ladybridge Road. (c) Cheetham-Mortimer.

At No.169 Ladybridge Road, it closed in June 2010, and although was briefly hawked around for sale for alternative use, was demolished in October later that year [2].

Greyhound, Ladybridge Road. (c) Lost Pubs [3]

The Greyhound was ale-free for a number of years but offered Tetley cask towards the end, and had an upstairs function room.

Greyhound, Ladybridge Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Greyhound, Ladybridge Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

While the above two images are from 2008, fast-forward to 2012 and the Greyhound is no more.  Last I heard there was an application for a Morrison's 'M' store for the site [4].

Greyhound, Ladybridge Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tinplate Workers Arms, Red Bank

Tinplate Workers Arms, Red Bank. (c) Old Maps [1].

At the bottom of Red Bank, facing the Crown & Cushion (until recently Manchester's oldest licensed premises) was the Tinplate Workers Arms.  It was situated just before the railway bridge that crosses the Medlock and Red Bank known as Scotland Bridge.

Former location of Tinplate Workers Arms, Red Bank. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The view from the Tinplate Workers Arms would have, for many years, been the grand-looking Crown & Cushion, a pub which dated back to 1741.  

View from the former Tinplate Workers Arms, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

Of course, this traditional old Holt's has sadly fallen victim to the Co-Op's ambitious redevelopments and closed in 2011 so the same view today is somewhat different.

View from the former Tinplate Workers Arms, 2013. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

George & Dragon, Red Bank

Former location of George & Dragon, Red Bank. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

On the corner of Cliff Street (now lost) and Red Bank on the way down into town was the George & Dragon.  It was just north of the bridge that passes the railway over Foundry Street (now Faber Street), so on the far right in the above shot where the a block of 'Green Quarter' flats now stand.  Note the triple landmarks in the distance - Urbis (now the National Football Museum), the Manchester Wheel (now moved to Piccadilly Gardens) and the Beetham Tower.  This 1966 photo shows the corner of Cliff Street from Red Bank, so it that building is probably the old George & Dragon - you can see the remnants of what may be the sign above the former corner entrance.

George & Dragon, Red Bank. (c) Old Maps [1].

Fish Market Hotel, Old Shambles

Fish Market Hotel, Old Shambles. (c) Old Maps [1].

The Fish Market Hotel used to stand next door to what was the original location of Sinclair's Oyster Bar at the original Old Shambles, off Victoria Street and Old Millgate. On the Old Millgate side was the Oyster Bar and next door-but-one the other way was the Fox Hotel.  The Fish Market Hotel was, as you'd expect, named after the Fish Market which stood in front of the pub in the middle of the Old Shambles in the early-mid-1800s.  Later on that century the Fish Market became a Coal Exchange then a Cotton Waste Exchange [2].

Grotto, Cromford Court

Grotto, Cromford Court. (c) Old Maps [1].

This brilliantly named old pub, the Grotto, was next door to the better known Fatted Calf, tucked away on Cromford Court off Corporation Street.  It was on the same side as Brown's Chop House and across from the Bull's Head Hotel, Blue Boar Hotel and Slip Inn.  There's nothing else known about the Grotto, but Cromford Court, of course lost underneath the Arndale Centre, became well-known as the flats which were built on top of the shopping centre.

Cromford Courts, Arndale Centre. (c) Mancky [2].

Monday, 13 January 2014

Wheatsheaf, Chester Road

Wheatsheaf, Chester Road, Stretford, 1890. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [1].

The Wheatsheaf was an ancient pub on the corner of Market Street and Chester Road in Stretford.  Pictured above in 1890, St Matthew's Church in the background can still be seen today behind the monstrosity that is the Stretford Arndale Centre, or Stretford Mall, as it is called these days.  This shopping centre was plonked on top of the historical centre of Stretford in 1969 [2] in much the same misguided way that the Arndale Centre was foisted upon Manchester city centre.  Market Street was previously known as Pool Lane, as detailed here in these drawings of the old Wheatsheaf.  There have been and remain licensed premises in the vicinity of the former Wheatsheaf, including the lost Arndale clubs, Sands, Brummels and Deno's, the recently closed Green Windmill bar and the surviving O'Briens.

Former location of Wheatsheaf, Chester Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Queens / Met Bar / Bar 2, Hope Road

Queens, Hope Road, Sale. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [1].

The Queens was a big Tetley's house at the top of Hope Road on the corner with Northenden Road in Sale near the old Sale Railway Station.  A popular boozer back in the day, its eventual closure came in about 2007. 

Met Bar, Hope Road. (c) beerintheevening.

What was once a popular family pub had a change of landlord, a disastrous makeover which ended up with bouncers on the doors, and a slow but sadly inevitable decline.  A number of refurbs and name changes didn't help matters.

Bar 2, Hope Road. (c) Closed Pubs.

Renamed Q or the Met Bar and Bar 2 towards the end, it became a haunt of those from the estates at the rougher ends of Sale and was notorious for violence and dodgy dealing.  The view from Sale Station made this big old boozer seem pleasant enough with a drinking terrace...

Met Bar, Hope Road. (c) beerintheevening.

From above, the rambling construction of the refurbished Met - different height and random wings - can be seen.  This prominent location in the centre of Sale near the tram stop (Metrolink, hence the Met) could probably support another pub in a town that is lacking in truly decent ones.

Met Bar, Hope Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The nearby Wetherspoons (three doors down Northendern Road), Kings Ransom and Steamhouse (both across the road) all serve reasonable ale but aren't great pubs.  However, due to its history, permission was granted to demolish the old Queens and it's been replaced by a bizarrely-located retirement complex.

Former location of the Queens / Met, Hope Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.