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21500 098 y 24sep2009 - Copy 21510 121.7 XPP Whiteheads and Prestons - Copy key

We start our journey along Deansgate at the iconic landmark which is Preston’s of Bolton, pictured (left) in 2009 but which sadly closed its doors in 2016.  


The picture above was taken shortly after Preston’s rebuilt its shop (1913) on the corner to match Whiteheads which had been rebuilt a little earlier in 1909.


Below A write up for Preston’s in “Memories of Bolton” (True North Publications) with the Queen’s car passing the corner during her visit in 1968.

21530 098.5 PRESTONS - Copy 21521 ele 0440 P9261554 21522 ele 0445 P9261553 - Copy

September 2016, Preston's closing down sale and a fairly newly established pub,  another point on the "elephant trail".

21540 123 z XPP Deansgate c1935 21550 121.1 between 1909 and 1913 21560 124 x50 Deansgate - Copy

A cobbled Deansgate c1935. The Nat West Bank is its full size (comments later) and Britannia can be seen on top of the Woolworth’s building (see later).        



















posted on Facebook by Peter Lodge


A quick glance back to Churchgate.

Whiteheads has been rebuilt, Prestons has not yet been rebuilt  so this is between 1909 and 1913                  























1920s or 30s. Some building is taking place beyond Mealhouse Lane. The Upper Nag's Head can be seen to the left of the tram.






21570 123 x123 Deansgate - Copy 21580 124.5 XPP Deansgate 21590 123 y 24sep2009 - Copy

Again looking from Preston’s corner along Deansgate.  Hard to imagine this amount of traffic in 1934.      


The building work of the above picturs now appears to be completed.









































Probably 1980s not too much changed today.

























24 September 2009


Bet Fred was Martin's Bank. The date just under the dome is 1925.


The white building with the gable just beyond Bet Fred is the Old Three Crowns pub





















21620 121 x126 Deansgate, Churchgate - Copy

1938 a quick look back towards Churchgate, the Market Cross and the Parish Church before we cross at the opposite side of Deansgate and then progress to the Woolworth's / Mealhouse Lane corner and Bridge Street.

21680 122.1 Deansgate

Four trams on Deansgate

21650 122.2 x10 Deansgate 21660 122.5 slide 3997Aug 1998

(C) WDC Deansgate is still quite busy in 1998. Universal Booksale has replaced Modelia at the side of the Old Three Crowns. Notice the tall building on the right near the corner with Bradshawgate with the bricked up windows on the wall facing us – this is the fustian warehouse from the mid nineteenth century.  Among the shops on this side we have Stolen from Ivor and Bensons for Beds.

Sadly I have no date for this picture which brings back such memories of the bustling Bolton of the 1950s ar early 1960s. The bus is probably a number 18. The lorry is labelled "Bolton Farmers Dairies" The cars are probably a Riley and a Vauxhall. Among the shops we see SMC.

21601 P5161844bc - Copy 21602 P5161845 - Copy

(C)WDC 16 May 2017 The ornate Old Three Crowns

from the street you don't notice the sort of prefab to the left, but you see it when you examine the picture

21610 122.2 y

<<< A picture from the collection of Denis McCann showing the Bolton Bank on Deansgate.

>>> (C) WDC 19 May 2015 The building now as Nat West. Note how the bank has been extended with two extra windows either side in perfect keeping with original building so you "can't see the join". This has also been done successfully with the Town Hall and with Parr's Bank on Deansgate between Oxford Street and Old Hall Street North. Its position on the street is clearly defined by Wilko (Wilkinson's, ex Woolworth's) to the left. What a grand if slightly small building it was and what a grand building it became surmounted by the town crest.

A beautifully clear picture of that side of Deansgate with Martins Bank, closed 1969, The Old Three Crowns incorporating Modelia and the District Bank. The date is likely to be early 1960s. This picture might be from the Bolton Archives.

21620 122.3 denismcc 21630 122.4a - Copy 21631 122.4b - Copy 21670 122.6 24sep2009

(C) 24 September 2009

Whitehead's is now a bar. King Kebab has appeared on the corner of Churchgate and Bank Street. The old fustian warehouse is more clearly visible. The shops on the right include Subway (on the corner, closed down 2016), Euphoria (hairdressing), Hilary Ann’s (previously on Churchgate), Town Café (still there May 2017), ABM newsagent, and Alice’s Fish and Chips (off picture to the right of Bolton News, closed in 2016).

21730 2016 05 23 195 - Copy

(C) WDC 23 May 2016

Same view of Deansgate, now Miller Metcalfe estate agent on the corner, then John Lee G (?), Queen nails and beauty spa, Town Cafe and ABM News. The window frames above the John Lee G sign are quite old but not as old as the building.

21720 121.8 Deansgate 21740 121.8 Joiners Arms 15 Deansgate c1870 21750 121.8 Joiners Arms 1927 licensee George W Harbourne 21760 2016 05 23 194 - Copy

no date

Deansgate seen from the Bradshawgate corner; A Jones and sons, shoemakers on the corner, JAX ladies’ outfitters, Curtess shoes, unknown, Belmont?, Style, Loyds, and more. Bolton Archives picture?

c1870 The Joiners' Arms, 15 Deansgate, on the sign board 15 and R Wright. The pub sells Dunville’s Old Irish Whisky and Allsopp’s Pale Ale. An poster on the wall above offers Chancellor cigarettes and Old India(?) Tobacco from the firm of what appears to be Goggins and Co. The Danish Dairy Co is selling something for 1/1 “one and a penny”. This picture precedes the rebuilding of the block in the 1870s after which the Joiners’ Arms was a much grander place. The new building frontage remains almost the same in 2017.

The rebuilt Joiners’ Arms in 1927. The licensee George W Harbourne is pictured. On the right is a ginnel which is thought to have been preserved in the rebuilding because it was an ancient right of way.

(C) WDC 23 May 2016


The very imposing building that was the Joiners' Arms remains today. The ginnel is also still there. Sadly Alice’s Fish and Chips closed in 2016.

Now we reach the corner of Deansgate with Mealhouse Lane and Bridge Street.

21770 127 x48 Bridge Street - Copy 21780 128.06 Constantine DW

The corner that we all knew as Woolworths until its demise in 2009 was previously occupied by Constantine brothers, drapers and funeral furnishers, for about 70 years from around 1856 until 1926 when Woolworths took it over having moved from their original store in Oxford Street (opened 1912). The building was known as Britannia House. Look at the plinth.


The picture top right is an artist's impression of how an extended store would look.  The picture to the right shows that it never actually looked like that.


Right>> Britannia House, Mimosa Cafe– Ladies’ Tea Room. Note that compared with the artist’s impression, the roof line is not continuous but remains from the two original buildings and the plinth for Britannia remains central to the original building not central to the extended building.

21820 128.05 y31.3 Deansgate Britannia (Woolworths) tjh990 21800 127.6 DMc c1920 21810 133.3 Deansgate 1940s - Copy

Left c1920



Below Britannia in all her glory atop Constantine's Britannia Building

21830 128 x48 Britannia - Copy

This statue stood on that plinth until it was removed for safety reasons in 1942; where it then went is unknown.  The dates 1687-1890? – when Constantines expanded the building a wooden beam was found with the date 1687 was uncovered. Presumably this expansion took place in 1890 and a previous building on the site had dated from 1687. A reply from Museum to enquiries made by Peter Lodge: There are no formal records of the removal of the statue of Britannia within our holdings, however in an article published in the Bolton Journal of Friday, January 25th, 1957, appears the following paragraph:


“A stone plaque overlooking the Deansgate entrances to the store reads, “Britannia House, 1687-1890.” The name, of course, originates from the statue of Britannia which occupied a commanding position over the inscription and was dismantled and

subsequently burnt in September, 1942.”


The same article contains a concise history of the site, including evidence found of earlier usage of the various premises occupying the site from the aforementioned date of 1687 through to the Woolworths’ era of ownership.


21880 128.18 Dec 1972 - Copy 21890 128.15 1993.83.01.13[1] 21900 128.07 XPP Deansgate, Constantine Bros

December 1972

The junction of Bridge Street with Deansgate.

Bolton was often crowded in those days but perhaps Christmas shopping added a little to this crowd.

(C) Bolton Council - Humphrey Spender Collection


Stopping for a chat outside Woolworths in 1937. Look what you could get for 6d.

Looking up Bridge St to Deansgate with Constantine Bro’s store on the left.

We will take a diversion down Bridge Street at this point before returning to continue our journey along Deansgate.

Woolworths first opened in Bolton on Oxford St in 1912 and moved to Constantine Bros premises in 1926. The store was extended down Bridge St in 1959 and closed down in 2009. After two or three years empty it became Wilkinson’s.


1. August 1998    2. 24 September 2009    3.  24 September 2009    4. 12 February 2014click X to exit


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 Bolton Bank £1 note








A BANK note —printed 150 years ago by the Bank of Bolton — is being put up for auction.


The black and white £1 bank note is expected to sell for between £500 and £600 when it goes under the hammer in London on April 25, 2012.


The Victorian note is emblazoned with the words "Bolton Bank", which printed money in the town.


Auctioneers say it is in "extremely fine" condition and features a rare engraving by Perkins, the firm which also printed Britain's first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black.


The engraving is dominated by Britannia and surrounded by maidens and cherubs symbolizing com-merce and the arts.


Although it is not dated, the note was produced sometime between 1846 and 1878 and shows the names of the bank's partners — John Hardcastle, James Cross, Peter Ormrod (see 112 below), Robert Barlow and Thomas Lever Rushton — in the bottom right hand corner.


Barnaby Faull, head of the banknotes department at auction house Spink, said: "This Bolton note is one of the rarer English provincial banknotes. All towns and cities in England used to issue their own ban-knotes in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


"Merchants would get together and set up their own banks. But their notes — which were like IOUs –could only be used locally, so when many of these provincial banks went bust their notes became completely worthless."


But the Bolton Bank was one of the few English provincial banks which did not go bust. It flourished for 60 years between 1818 until 1878, when it was taken over by the Manchester and Salford Bank, which in 1890 became the Williams Deacons and Manchester and Salford Bank Ltd. Then, in 1901, this became Williams Deacons Bank Ltd and then part of Williams & Glyn's Bank Ltd in 1970 before it was taken over in 1985 by the Royal Bank of Scotland.


Thomas Lever Rushton, whose name appears on the Bolton banknote coming up for sale, lived at West Bank, Little Bolton.


He and his wife, Harriet, had four children — Harriett, Thomas, Alice and Isabel.


In June, 2007, a similar Bolton Bank £1 note sold for £864

p17 230_557x296

Bank Note possibly issued by this bank, though the bank in Wood Street is a possible contender. See bottom of page for an article from Bolton News.