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Bradshawgate, recognisable because of Yate’s Wine Lodge and then Preston’s at the end of the street. Fold Street is the street on the left between Bromileys and H Samuel’s who are offering an ACME watch for 25/- which was probably about a week’s wage in those days. The board a little higher up is offering "lucky" wedding rings.


Near the horse and cart is the Ship Inn shortly to be demolished to allow Shipgates to open onto Bradshawgate. In our own times this through route to Hotel Street was closed by the extension to Tillotson’s when they got some new bigger printing presses. This is now the site of the Ship Gates shopping centre though only accessible from the other end of Shipgate, that is the corner of Hotel Street and Mealhouse Lane.


A different version of this picture, less clear in other respects and clearly touched up,  shows the large board as saying Yates’ Bros Wine Lodge. Printed on it is “about 1909”. We can see the previous Prestons building and "Umbrellas" to its left. All the buildings we see will shortly be demolished and Bradshawgate widened.

This picture has been substantially cleaned up by Peter Lodge. It is much clearer that the above picture except for the Prestons corner. It is early in the morning with the sun coming from the east up Princess street, hence no people.

1959 Bradshawgate, approaching the Preston’s corner.


Fold Street is on the left. Ship gate is on the left just beyond Yates Wine Lodge.  Burnley BS in place of H Samuel’s and we see the current Yates’ Wine Lodge building. Why straight on to Preston? You might expect to go along Deansgate then over the High Level bridge to get to Chorley New Road but this will send you via St George’s Road. Surely this picture is much too early for Deansgate to be being pedestrianised. Turning right is still the road to A58 for Bury.

Bradshawgate after rebuilding c1920


Wood Street is the first opening on the right, Fold Street the first on the left


Posted on Facebook by Peter Lodge.


Below, detail of number 41 Bradshawgate (from Google)

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Bradshawgate after rebuilding.


Read's Library is in the building which replaced Bromiley's. Not as quirky as its predecessor but interesting with its central arched window and the cast iron balustrade . Note also the chequer-boarding.


To its right is Fold Street then the building which replaced H Samuel. It later becomes Pearl Assurance Company, then Burnley Building Society. Yates Wine Lodge has now extended into that building (2016).


We se the present Prestons building of 1913.

similar picture, similar date.

Somewhat later.


Picture posted on Facebook by Edward Thompson.


Fold Street at extreme left, then Pearl Assurance and Yates Wine Lodge, then Ship Gate.


Tram route O Chorley Old Road


Tram route T Tonge Moor

Bolton Archive picture


Yates Wine Lodge extreme left, Ship Gate, then the Fleece Hotel which includes the shops of Henry Barrie and Kendall's.


The Fleece is at present the Flying Shuttle.

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September 2009


The Arndale Centre - Crompton Centre now extends as far as Ship Gate.  Then the Flying Shuttle (ex Fleece) and the block as far as the corner which at the date of this picture is Subway.

1967 Bolton Archive Picture.

September 2009


The Arndale Centre - Crompton Centre now extends as far as Ship Gate.  Then the Flying Shuttle (ex Fleece) and the block as far as the corner which at this date is Subway.

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1930s ?


The first street on the right is Wood Street then Princess Street is obscured by the bend.

Bradshawgate, Albert Ward’s sports shop, school sports equipment, established 1895. Albert Ward was a well known cricketer in his time having played for Lancashire 1889-1904 and playing in seven test matches, 1893-4. Albert Ward's was taken over by Whitaker’s in 1974 and shortly afterwards the business was transferred to their main store basement.This is Albert Ward’s second shop on Bradshawgate and is now Northern Rock (Virgin Money from 2012).

From Peter Lodge: Contrary to what I believed, Albert Ward's was not always in the location that we knew opposite the arcade, but previously at number 84 further down Bradshawgate almost opposite the Balmoral.It must have moved during the early 1930s.

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Fletcher’s Hatters on the corner of Wood Street and Bradshawgate. Wood Street apparently should have been Woods Street after Woods Court itself named after the owner who had an ironmongery business just off that part of Bradshawgate.  The garden over the wall at the end of Wood Street was owned by John Woods.


The imposing building behind Fletchers was later called Aspden House and was the home of the Bolton Savings Bank which seems to be a forerunner of the Trustee Savings Bank. (Bolton Bank on Bradshawgate probably has no connection.)


The sign on the side of the building reads Phoenix...... OE is written as a diphthong - how very finicky.


Edward Thompson: The information I have with the photo (published in 1980) is that the empty shop next to fletchers was once the Mercantile Bank of Lancashire,and the stone building in Wood St belonged to the Phoenix Assurance Society and was the Halifax Building Society (in 1980). The  the whole site was rebuilt in 1911.Fletchers giving way to the Yorkshire Penny Bank.



Wood Street was declared a conservation area and this group of buildings has been restored and given new bow windows. Some houses in Wood Street  date from around 1790.

16 Wood Street, the birthplace of William Hesketh Lever (1851), the founder of the Sunlight soap empire, later the first Viscount Leverhulme. (He was mayor of Bolton, and as well as building the Rivington Bungalow gardens [for his own use but partly as a means of providing jobs for the unemployed] he built Blackburn Road Congregational Church, restored Hall i’th’ Wood which he gave to the town along with Leverhulme Park, and endowed Bolton School (founded 1516, endowed by James Lever in 1641, re-endowed by WHL ). He might have given Lever Park and the water catchment area to Bolton but after various political wranglings, water rights went to Liverpool. Bolton’s earliest cars had number plates BN, possibly the only ones in the country that clearly represented the town. Soon after we got a second pair of letters, WH, the mayor’s car is WH 1. WH is believed to have been deliberately chosen because of the initials of W H Lever, though this just might be a myth based on a coincidence.

In 1905 the premises were bought by the Bolton Socialist Club, ironic that the birthplace of a capitalist and captain of industry should be associated with a very left wing movement. In the early days its meetings had very well known speakers in the Labour movement and other radical movements, such as Kier Hardy and Emmeline Pankhurst. In the mid twentieth century it became simply a drinking place where as a member you could drink after the pubs were shut. It had licensing problems with out of hours and underage drinking and gained a bad name. In the 21st Century it has again become a place for the discussion of and propagation of Socialism.

From the 1920s(?) until the 1960s this was the home of the Clarion Cycling Club and all the Sunday runs departed from here.


Bolton Evening News 20 June 1911:-


Bolton has been honoured by the conference upon one of her Freemen – Mr William Hesketh Lever, founder of the great firm of Lever Brothers, Ltd., of Port Sunlight and worldwide fame. The new Baronet is Bolton born and bred. Son of the late Mr James Lever, who bore an honoured name in Bolton, he was born in Wood Street in 1851 and was educated at the Bolton Church Institute under the late Mr W P Mason. He entered the business of his father, a wholesale grocer in Bank Street and with the expansion of the business opened a place in Wigan in 1877. Success waited upon the Lever Wholesale Grocery.

The rear of Wood Street, probably number 16. These houses in Silverwell Street and Wood Street had been the dwellings of the middle class with small gardens at the rear. The rear of 16 Wood Street is reached through an arch way (for your horse and trap) in Silverwell Street.

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Bradshawgate, c1909


Yates Wine Lodge has been rebuilt about six feet back as Bradshawgate is widened. The last block to the Deansgate corner also appears to have been rebuilt and realigned but some buildings have just been demolished between there and Ship Gate and are awaiting reconstruction.


Port 3d.


Princess Street on the right.


Note the pair of spectacles on the wall a couple of doors further on.


The UMBRELLA shop now advertises BAGS and TRUNKS.


To its left we see a  notice which includes the words "removing" and "rebuilt" so this is very shortly before Whiteheads reconstructed that part of the block.



We look back up Wood Street and out onto Bradshawgate. On the left, Aspen House, the Halifax Building Society, the home of Bolton Savings Bank, later the TSB from 1850 until its move to Hotel Street in 1920

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Aspen House, Wood Street (previously the Bolton Savings Bank)

Picture posted on Facebook by Peter Lodge


This picture could sensibly have been placed some pages earlier since it shows Bradshawgate from Nelson Square almost to Prestons. However like the picture above it shows a stage in the piecemeal reconstruction of Bradshawgate.


The picture must be dated around 1907, The Packhorse was rebuilt in 1904 and Yates Bros by 1906.


Beyond the Pack Horse is a gap where the Paragon Cinema would soon be built and after that the narrow building that was just beyond the arcade, followed by The Saddle and the Refuge Assurance building.


After that is Fold Street followed by a gap and then Yates. Beyond Ship Gates the old buildings are still there with boarding around for their imminent demolition. (Peter Lodge)


1914 Bradshawgate, the National Provincial Building on the corner of Princess Street, first street on the right.It had become Corks wine bar in 1979.


Fold Street is the first street on the left.


The buildings to the corner of Deansgate are now all on the new line. Whiteheads and Prestons have both completed their reconstruction.


Picture posted on Facebook by David Whenlock

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Traffic slowed to a crawl when more than 800 students from Bolton Technical College and Bolton Institute of Technology staged a joint protest march against Bolton Council. Students from the Technical  College protested about plans to scrap GCE courses for under-19s while BIT students were up in arms over a second delay in plans to build a social centre at the Institute in Deane Road. (Bolton News)


Buildings this side of the Packhorse have been demolished. Presumably work on the Arndale Centre is about to begin.


Note the railway "dray".

Bradshawgate, the National Provincial Building on the corner of Princess Street.



It had become Corks wine bar in 1979

A similar view but from ground level and from a little further back. The Prince William and the building beyond it with the black and white detail can be seen but the main feature of the picture is the Bradshawgate frontage of the Swan Hotel. The Swan was an important coaching inn. Coaches would go through the archway into the courtyard.

1971 Bolton Museum Archive picture


Bradshawgate looking back where we have come from.


Prince William, Bolton Camera Co., Small’s army stores where previously Waller and Riley’s had been, Small’s closed in 2009. The National Westminster Bank remains on the near corner of Princess Street and it is the Yorkshire Bank on the far corner of Wood Street.

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Bradshawgate, from Yates to the corner of Deansgate, these buildings are essentially unchanged. The coach is going to Blackpool.

Postcard from David Whenlock's collection. ....ale Depot is part of the Swan Hotel.

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Post 1910 probably mid 1920s


A surprising number of people around, many of those on the corner are probably waiting for the tram.


There were always policemen at the important road junctions but often they didn't seem to have much to do.

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