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28695 043.05 GMS2 28700 040.4 y6.6 Newport Street 28710 040.3 y GMS NewportSt GW

A quick look back to where we've been before we carry on up Great Moor Street.

Probably 1950s, looking down Great Moor Street to the LIDO. St Patrick’s has no steeple.

Newport Street / Great Moor Street corner after Waller and Riley’s was rebuilt to match the round corners of Wheatsheaf and Shannon’s.


Apparently this corner was the first in Bolton to be equipped with traffic lights but here we still have the policeman on his little box,

The policeman without his box to stand on. We have a view down Newport Street from Great Moor Street.


On the corner the Wheatsheaf pub with Vose's UCP tripe shop attached.


Spot the clock on the wall of Greenough's jewellers.

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24 Sept 2009 (C)WDC


Difficult to repeat the 1920s view because of the trees. Here we see the new Wheatsheaf.


The first Wheatsheaf on that site was built in 1835. The new building was opened in November 1962 and was renamed Serendipity’s in 1986. It became Home Bargains in 1997/8.

<<< Newport Street, the new shops have now been built on a line further back than the originals so that the Wheatsheaf is too far forward. The shops have not yet been built at the far end of the block up to the corner of Victoria Square.The purpose of the redevelopment of Newport St seems to have been to widen it to cope with traffic. But not many years later it was closed to traffic!


The Wheatsheaf finally bites the dust. It was re built, still rounded but in line with the Newport Street and Great Moor Street shops. It closed down, to reopen as Serendipity but is now a budget shop.

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Newport Street, the Wheatsheaf now rebuilt further back relative both to Newport Street and Great Moor St. Not too long afterwards it became Serendipity’s. It is now Home Bargains.

The widening of Newport Street and pushing the shops back meant that back Newport Street and Coronation St were amalgamated between the back of the shops and the Octagon multi-storey car park.



The shops immediately up from the Wheatsheaf which has not yet been rebuilt, the corner of which can be seen on the right edge of the picture.


Howell Croft South bus station is still there with the Flag Hotel immediately beyond it.


The Octagon car park now occupies this site. The Flag was still there in 1967 after the Wheatsheaf had been rebuilt.


It was said that the Flag got its name because more than 150 years ago eight dray horses with chains and rollers were used to transport a huge flagstone fifteen foot square and weighing six tons from a local quarry to this public house. The stone was used to cover part of the floor.

Great Moor Street new shops , Flag Hotel, Howell Croft Bus terminus is still in use. Flash Street Mill chimney.

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Great Moor Street, we have the new shops with Ellison’s carpets and Shaw’s outfitters.


The Wheatsheaf is still the original building now out of line with the shops.


Old road sign. Just behind us is now the entrance to the Octagon car park and the rerouted Coronation Street.

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Great Moor Street at the end of Coronation Street between the Wheatsheaf and the Howell Croft South bus station.


Over the wall had been a tram terminus and the old wholesale market.


This side of the Wheatsheaf was Coronation Street, now slightly rerouted.

28790 199.1 XPP Howell Croft tram

Tram terminus at Howell Croft South, Great Moor Street looking down to the LIDO so post 1937 and pre 1947 when the trams were discontinued.


At the left the roof (it never had walls) of the Wholesale Market though the market had by this time moved to Ashburner Street (1932).

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Tram terminus at Howell Croft South, Great Moor Street

early 1900s

Great Moor Street with Howell Croft tram station on the left.

Dawes Street is on the right edge - now the main walk way to Morrison's.

Public Sale Rooms on right and further away, the Griffin pub on the corner of Soho Street.

Howell Croft South alongside Great Moor Street.

This was known as, and marked on maps as Wholesale Market but it always seems to have been retail as well.

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Howell Croft South off Great Moor Street. The market moved to Ashburner Street in 1932. Note the roof for protection of the stall holders - it never had walls - this was still in place in the 1960s.

definitely retail

1920s hats

miserable stall holder

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This seems to be the construction in 1947 of the Howell Croft South bus station for trolley buses to Leigh and petrol buses to Deane and Westhoughton.

Note the trolley bus running along the street (Howell Croft South) in front of the Flag Hotel. Of course we remember them running into the bus station at the left hand side.

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<<<< Howell Croft South bus station shortly after opening 1947. Note that there are no bus shelters yet.

below - A different clip of the previous picture

Howell Croft Bus Station. Great Moor Street runs left to right just beyond the two nearer buses.


Still no shelters.

Howell Croft South bus station - looking away from Great Moor Street. The Magee Marshall bonded warehouse dominates the scene. There are bus shelters now erected c1953

Howell Croft South. The last trolley bus ran in 1958 and the bus station closed in the 1960s. Trolley buses had been taking over a number of tram routes in the Bolton, Atherton and Tyldesley area since South Lancashire Tramways was renamed South Lancashire transport in 1929.


Note the market roof.


No shelters at this date. They were installed c1953.

June 1986

To get your bearings see the end wall of the "new" Great Moor Street shops at the right edge and the Town Hall in the distance.


This is the Octagon multi-storey being built on the site of the old wholesale market and tram terminus and part of the Howell Croft South bus station.

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A good picture of a trolley bus at Howell Croft South. This has been taken after the shops on the northwest side of Newport Street have been demolished but before they were rebuilt because you can see the fronts of the shops on the opposite side of Newport Street.

Note also the cafe at the corner of the bus station.

28910 198.6 trolley 1956


A trolley bus at Howell Croft.

Number 39 leaving Howell Croft for Punch Lane.

Picture posted on Facebook in Bolton Lancashire Bygone

The trolley bus leaves Howell Croft Bus Station and turns right (our left) to go up Great Moor Street and Derby Street to Daubhill, Atherton and Leigh.


Loved by many, quiet, smooth, non-polluting (locally at least, the pollution was elsewhere as the electricity was generated from coal!) but just a few people found its motion caused them to feel sick.


Couldn't run where there were no wires and although this was a natural progression from the trams and overall a successful project running was not flexible enough.

Shortly after leaving the Howell Croft bus station you passed the Railway Inn at 63 Great Moor Street, close to where the railway line from Trinity Street passed under the road on its way up to Bullfield and Lostock.

This is where skatepark is now.

The buses leave Howell Croft Bus Station and turns right  to go up Great Moor Street and Derby Street and are presented with this view.


The corner of the Flag Hotel is visible at the right edge. Flash Mills with the enormous chimney dominate the scene. The white building behind the bus is the George Hotel on the corner of Blackhorse Street. To the left of that, buildings are obscured by posts but the we have the Dole Office, Ormrod Street, and the part of the Mill facing the Hargreave House flats. On the left side of the road beyond the shops you might just recognise the building at the side of Great Moor Street station.

Great Moor Street

Saddler on the corner of Soho Street where Allen’s shoe shop is now.

Image below is Bolton News text for this picture

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David Whenlock' picture

Great Moor Street, Allen’s shoe shop on the corner of Soho Street and Syd’s butchers. Allen's shoe shop is still there, Syd's was already closed at the date of this picture.

Mitton’s pet shop, Soho St., behind Allen’s shoe shop, opposite Griffin Inn.


© Copyright Carol Winder and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Almost straight across the road from Howell Croft South bus station was Dawes Street. This now leads to the Morrison’s supermarket.


“One of Bolton's oldest youth clubs, the Catholic Boys' Club was under threat of closure unless a new headquarters could be found by September 1974. The Boys' Club moved out of its Dawes Street headquarters in June and was forced to store its equipment in schools and private houses until new premises were found. Our picture shows the empty Catholic Boys' Club in Dawes Street, Bolton.” (BEN)


Hick Hargreaves can be seen in the distance.

1936? Great Moor Street station.


North Wales for five bob! Anybody coming with me?

Actually I imagine most people would not be able to afford to take a family on that trip.


Railway opened on 1 August 1828 (1 July?), one of the first railways to be opened in the world, initially for goods but soon after for passengers, it was the second oldest passenger line in the world, two years before the Manchester – Liverpool line, initially to Leigh, extended to Kenyon Junction in 1831 shortly after which passengers could reach Liverpool and North Wales. First station opened 1831. The station was rebuilt in 1875 when the line through Great Lever, past the hospital, across Plodder Lane and on to Walkden and Eccles was opened. The station closed for regular services in 1954 though was used at holiday times for North Wales until 1958. It was finally demolished in 1966. (Daubhill Station closed, 3.3.52, the line was not used after 29.3.65)

This line was first envisaged by William Hulton who wanted to get his coal from mines at Chequerbent into Bolton for the cotton mills and the not inconsiderable domestic market. He had discussions with George Stephenson who was already in Lancashire planning the Manchester to Liverpool railway.

Hulton got about 40 local businessmen together to raise capital and to get acts through Parliament. The original idea was expanded to go from Chequerbent to Atherton and then to Leigh, but it was always in their minds that there would be great benefit (and profit) in extending beyond Leigh to connect with the Liverpool Manchester line giving a direct route from Bolton to Liverpool (and incidentally also Bolton to Manchester). The Bolton to Leigh line was opened to regular services for goods and passengers in 1828, two years before the Manchester Liverpool line.

It was arguably the FIRST RAILWAY IN THE WORLD to offer regular passenger services. Stockton Darlington took passengers at an earlier date but in an ad hoc and unco-ordinated way on a line that shared steam, horse drawn and man-handled trains.

This line went to warehouses at the corner of Deansgate and Moor Lane before this station was opened. It supplied coal to the Bessemer Furnace and Bolton Iron Works and Brass Works.

Three wheeler. Guess this picture dates from early 1950s


The station already looks a bit uncared for, not in its original "italianate" glory.


The platforms were at the level of the first floor windows, probably to allow the railway to go over Crook Street on a bridge without an impossible gradient to get there.


The door at the right led to to a ramp which allowed vehicles up to the platform level. After the station was demolished the platform area was used as a car park for a year or two. I am not sure whether cars went up the ramp just mentioned or whether a wider more accessible ramp was created for that purpose. I certainly went up it a few times but can no longer remember exactly.

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Great Moor Street Station and the block of shops/houses west of Blackhorse Street. The block of shops is now a car park and the new junction at the corner of Morrison’s petrol station.

Great Moor Street Station

The Water Place was built on the front of the station site at a cost of £5.8million and opened by the Queen on

1st December 1988. It never attracted its anticipated 350,000 visits a year and was plagued by problems, closing for two weeks for repairs after just eight months, in 1992 an evacuation due to fume leakages with 23 swimmers taken to hospital, water leaks to the slides in 1997 needing repairs costing £55,000 and a continual saga of accidents and thefts from the changing rooms. Early in its life it was found that ¾ of the swimmers were from outside the borough and that it was losing thousands of pounds a year. It finally closed in 2002 when it was revealed that it needed renovations likely to cost £4million and it had already accumulated a deficit of £750,000.

Sad really. Most people who went really liked it though some "real" swimmers were unhappy with the size and the availability of the training pool.

I remember being on the Morrison car park (immediately behind the WaterPlace) when a car load of people all the way from Cheshire asked me "Where's the swimming pool?" I had to disappoint them by showing them the recently flattened empty space.

29130 203.2 XPP Great Moor Street 29190 203.9 Flash Mill Home page Previous Page Next Page Main Menu

The Vulcan with the Derby Street Girls’ School behind it. Great Moor Street is up to the left, Crook Street is to the right. Just further up Great Moor Street (to the left) is the Grey Man where the trolley buses going into town turned left from Great Moor Street along the end of Derby Street past the Britannia Garage.


The Vulcan again in its context on the corner of Great Moor Street and Crook Street. This picture is probably from a window high up in Hargreaves House flats. I do not remember Thomson and Oakes there, they were soon to move up Great Moor Street to a newish shop that had belonged to Entwistle and Walker. If you had been going home on the number 12, you would have come up from the left and turned left up Great Moor Street. The Bolton Institute of Higher Education tower block is behind the Derby Street Girls’ School. This is a short time after its separation from the Technical College but long before it became a University. At the left end of the Girls’ School is the Grey Man pub.

Crook Street approaching that junction, the Vulcan, Flash St Mills and Derby Street school. The flower beds are at the side of Hargreaves House. Nothing of this scene remains now.

David Whenlock picture


From Derby Street we look at the Grey Man Hotel and its ornate lamppost and horse trough. To its right, which is straight on from the upper part of Derby Street is Great Moor Street which had once been called Weston Street at this point. To the left of the tram we see the Vulcan on the corner of Crook Street.

On the bit of Derby Street which veers to the left we see the Derby Street Girl's School.

Some people remember the horse trough on this corner.

Roughly the same view today.


Google Street View

The Grey Man with the gables of Derby Street Girls' School appearing beyond it. A lot of demolition has taken place on Derby Street to the left.


I do not know the date of the picture or its originator.

Picture posted on Facebook by Andrew Hodson.


We stand on Derby Street with the bottom 200 yards of Derby Street veering off to the left (this is the way the trolley buses went), looking at the top end of Great Moor Street. At the junction Crook Street crosses GMS and close to the junction is Hargreaves House (flats). Apart from Hargreaves House just about everything visible on this picture has now gone.

September 1979

Picture probably taken from Hargreaves House. The junction has been remodelled and much of what was there has been swept away.

Derby Street School is still there but no longer a school. For a time it was used as a Student Union building for the Bolton Institute of Higher Education. Bolton One, a health centre and Jason Kenny Sports Centre with swimming pool and gymnasium stand there now.

Behind the school is the high rise block for BIHE which has now been demolished.

The mill to the left of the school, Eagle Mill of the Eagle Spinning Company, still stands and is part of the University (as BIHE now is). It housed (still does?) the textile department.

Above this on the skyline you can see Brandwood Street School, about a mile away.

Beyond the grassy area is the Derby Arms on the corner of Derby Street and John Street - which became College (now University) Way.

Derby Street from the Grey Man on the corner of Derby Street and Great Moor Street. The tower to the right of the lamp post is Magee's Crown Brewery.

Water Place interior from Bolton Evening News

Closed and awaiting demolition..


Did you ever see the kids queing up that tower to go on the slide? Boy did most of them look cold!

Picture taken c1920 shows buildings along the north side of Great Moor Street immediately opposite the station and the corner with Back Spring Gardens.


Back Spring Gardens went from here, across Ashburner Street and all the way to Deansgate. A short bit of it still exists between the Lever Chambers and the Odeon site.

Below left - Great Moor Street, the corner of Blackhorse Street with the station just behind us, the George Hotel, still there but closed for a few years and with planning permission sought for flats and shops. It has been renovated as student accommodation but I do not think it has residents yet. Just beyond, now Oggi and Washington, the “the dole” then Flash Mill, the other side of Ormrod Street .

Below right - 2014 02 11 (C) WDC

The George Hotel part way through renovation, the building which is now Oggi and Washington hairdressers and the Dole Building, all hardly changed from the previous picture.

Above - A view across to the George from the demolition site that had been Great Moor Street Station. The Ashburner Street market is visible on the right and the block of houses on Great Moor Street up from Blackhorse Street which survived for a few more years on the left.

Flash Street Mill, nearer to us is the Labour Exchange and between them is Ormrod Street.

Great Moor Street looking west, the tower of Magees Crown Brewery and the roof of the Daubhill Congregational church are on the skyline. Blackhorse crosses GMS in the foreground with the George on the right and what was later Scholey’s wood shop on the left. The William Younger’s advert is on the corner of Ormrod Street, across from the Labour Exchange. Hargreaves House flats are to the left of the bus.

posted on Facebook by Angela Thompson


Great Moor Street, the block of shops west of Blackhorse Street but looking back towards Great Moor Street Station.


The street name plate says Ormrod Street so this street was on both sides of GMS.

The rear of the shops on Great Moor Street. Note the outside toilets. It seems these were probably communal - not enough for one per house.


Nothing too special about the chimneys, but slightly unusual and have served as a marker for locating some pictures.

A view along the back of the houses and shops on Great Moor Street. The photographer probably got his height by shooting from Hargreaves House. Regarding the Bolton News caption:- If you can’t see the washing, it is very dark and right in the bottom left corner. That is not Magee Marshall’s brewery. It is their “bonded warehouse”. The brewery is up Derby Street at Cricket Street. The shops which are mentioned are the “new” shops on Newport Street and were still there in 2015, the date of the caption and are still there now.


You might notice the Odeon cinema viewed from the rear, far left; the George Hotel (the fairly obvious white building a little way in from the left) which still stands though it is now student accommodation; just to its left the sort of warehouse which now houses Oggi and Washington hairdressers; Elizabeth House between the Odeon and Magees which is still there; the Howell Croft South bus station (you can see a bus) and the little cafe in the corner; the Flag Hotel – white building towards the right on the corner of Howell Croft; the building (printers) which was alongside Great Moor Street Station forecourt (the station is out of shot to the right).

Picture posted on Facebook by David McgaugheyCrock


You can see the flat area of the exstation with one car parked. You can see the original ramp which I am guessing was used at this time to get to this temporary car park


We are looking across the end of block in previous picture. Large warehouse and buildings fronting onto GMS still stand. Parish Church, St Patrick's and County Grammar are visible on skyline.  

Below left and right

Spender 1937 - worktown project


Flash Mill, home time, later occupied by trade outlets, materials, glass, etc. All demolished for Sainsbury’s, now G Casino.


Hargreaves House is immediately behind us.

Interior court yard of Flash Mills. Demolished 1988

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29160 203.7 XPP GMS back street 29170 202.1 GMSS & HowCro small 29175 203.8 David McgaugheyCrock 29180 204 1993.83.12.15 29185 204.1 1993.83.12.11 29200 205 GR Vulcan small 29210 206 x22 small 29220 207 x82 small 29230 Vulcan corner 2018 29240 208.39 trough Grey Man Great Moor St DW 29241 208.39 trough Grey Man Great Moor St DW - Cr 29250 208.40 XPP Moor Lane Derby Street Grey Man 29270 208.98 Sep 1979 small 29280 208.20 Derby St from Grey Man