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    Derby Street

29400 208.70 Derby Street Deane Road small 29410 Britannia 29420 Britan 29430 junction of Great Moor Street and Derby Stre

The start of Derby Street with Deane Road up to the left. Moor Lane goes to the right from this junction.

The Britannia  Garage at one time had a large cut out of Britannia in the style of the old pennies. Query – was it actually the Britannia pub sign after that was demolished? I remember this but I have not found anyone to support me. The large building in the centre of the picture was Gregory and Porritt’s warehouse..

Gregory and Porritt’s warehouse..

Britannia Hotel viewed from the western end of Crook Street, Derby St is to the left, in front the Britannia pub and Britannia garage, off the picture to the right is the junction with Deane Rd and Moor Lane. This was the headquarters of the Bolton Wanderers in its early days. The team had originally been formed by the young men of Christ Church just a little way up Deane Road from here but as always happens, the footballers become more and more associated with the football club and more and more distant from the church. When the vicar, entirely within his rights according to the rules from the founding of the club, insisted on attending the meetings of the football club they left the church and made the Britannia Hotel their headquarters which it was for some considerable time. James McKernan was signed by the Wanderers from Hibernian in 1881 and to get round the amateur/professional ruling they installed him as publican of the Britannia Inn.

29440 Derby Street small 29450 206.5 XPP Derby St school small 29460 JN06 Derby Street Girls School with Derby St swinging to left and Grey Man (query closed down) to right small 29470 208.39 trough Grey Man Great Moor St DW

Derby Street Girls’ School. This gate appears to be in Crook Street and we are looking across towards Fletcher Street Mill. After the school closed down it was used for a time as a Student Union building by Bolton Institute of Higher Education (Bolton University by then?) but was demolished when there was a wholesale reorganisation of the Trinity Way, Derby Street, Moor Lane junction.

Looking back to the Grey Man, a bland 1960s replacement of the original building with Derby Street swinging off to the left. The chimney is at Flash Mills and the top of the Town Hall clock tower can just be seen to its right. To the left a lot of clearance has taken place where the college, now university was built. The spire towards the left is St Paul’s Deansgate. © Fred Hosker/ Jackie Nisbet

The old Grey Man c1910. It is just possible to make out a horse trough close to the lamp post.

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Bolton Institute, now University, on the right, the block on the left of Derby Street has Dr Ryan’s then the Good Samaritan pub. The picture was published to show the big puddle.

Derby Street from the Grey Man corner. We see Thomas Hough, Pikes menswear, Tower Furnishing. This block still remains (July 2020). Across Fletcher Street the block from Dr Ryan’s to Pilkington Street has been replaced by KFC and McDonald’s.  Fletcher Street Mill (Mather Street Mill) on the left edge. Magee’s brewery tower just visible on the skyline.

On the other side of the road (the left as we travel up Dobble) was the Derby Street Girls’ School. Behind the two parked cars is the Grey Man pub. We are approaching the point where Derby Street swings to the right (as the A579 to Leigh) with Great Moor Street off to the left. The right side of the picture is dominated by Mather Street Mill which has Fletcher Street  on its other side. The top of the tower of Saint Peter and Saint Paul RC church on Pilkington Street can be seen.

That block still exists but the shops have changed – though Bolton Bed Company is probably just a change of name from Tower Furnishing. The Dr Ryan’s block has been demolished and we now have KFC and MacDonald’s.  The block above there which starts with SUBWAY which replaces Bolton Safety Glass and contains Modern Radio is original. The street before Subway was Pilkington Steet but is now the rerouted Fletcher Street (rerouted to make a junction with College Way (now University Way) opposite)

the block below Fletcher Street, Mather Street Mill gables above the roof line. c2018

29510 JN07 73 Derby Street The Good Samaritan recently closed down, street to left is Fletcher St. small 29520 209.1 1969 GMS Good Samaritan Derby Street small

moving up from Fletcher Street we see Dr Ryan’s then the Good Samaritan at 73 Derby Street and two doors up a typical butcher’s shop front. In 1932 the butcher was Joseph Hilton and he owned the house to the right as well. This picture c1977. Mather Street Mill on Fletcher Street remains dominant, © Fred Hosker/ Jackie Nisbet

1969 The Good Samaritan has been closed for a year or two. There seems to have been some informal agreement between the Student Union and the powers that be that these premises would become a Student Union. This did not happen and eventually the whole block was demolished to make way for KFC and McDonalds.

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That block c1977. Brooks, Iron Jelloids and Hall’s Herbal Pills, Pram Corner all awaiting demolition. © Fred Hosker/ Jackie Nisbet

From Dr Ryan to pram Corner has now all gone, House of Raja’s is now very visible but the main theme is KFC and MacDonald’s. The next street is Pilkington Street, now renamed Fletcher Street. On the corner for many years was Bolton Safety Glass (they still operate from the back street as National Windscreens) now replaced by SUBWAY. Picture probably around 2015, MacDonald’s of course had a number of previous identities.

29550 208.95 PeteBest2 29560 china g michael lever 29570 208.96 PeteBest1 small 29580 208.97 HenrysAnneLittler 29590 2020 07 05 P1010063 small

The restaurant was originally opened by Warburton’s – called Henry’s (after Henry Warburton). This was the fish restaurant with the fisherman in his yellow waterproofs outside.

Then it became the Roundhouse Restaurant...

.....then China Garden (picture posted by Michael Lever)

Card posted on Facebook by Pete Best.

picture posted by Anne Littler of the drive through round the back. This is probably still Henry’s. Note that the college multi-storey block is still there.

July 2020 © WDC Now it is MacDonald’s and has been for many years.

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Meanwhile across the road - Bolton Institute of Higher Education in the 1970s

29610 210 x144 small 29620 210.2 James Street small 29630 210.3 XPP fb daubhill posted by Gene Watts 29640 210.5 XPP Looking down John St. centre right Baldwin St 1964

James Street long gone underneath the buildings of Bolton University, was a cut through to Deane Road and the Regent Cinema. This was a traffic census.  

James Street, a route through from Derby St to Deane Rd, the two rows opposite had beendemolished after WWII bomb. Now these are about to be demolished.Picture by Mr W shaw.

Looking down John St. centre right Baldwin St. Derby Arms on left corner is still there, everything else has been replace by University Way and the University Campus. Behind us, across Derby Street is Pilkington Street.

John St mystery house collapse reported by the Bolton Evening News.

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looking down past James St to Derby St Girls' School, picture posted on Facebook by Gene Watts.

College Way, now University Way, being built replacing John Street

John Street, now University Way, July 2020 ©WDC

29680 210.7 XPP Derby St modern radio iaabp 29690 210.7 Modern Radio 1993 Michael Lever 29700 210.7 GeWatts 16Nov2015 29710 2020 07 05 P1010067 small

Derby Street, Modern Radio, Brabbin and Rudd, crossing Derby Street from SS Simon and Jude. Next street is Shaw Street with the Lord Nelson on the corner.

That block in 1993. Picture posted on Facebook by Michael Lever

16Nov2015 Modern Radio shortly to move to Farnworth. Picture by Gene Watts

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July 2020 Modern Radio ©WDC

29720 210.7 y XPP Derby Street secondhand shops Ja 29730 209; 127-9 Derby St  Half Way House between Shaw St & Rothwell St small 29740 210.99 XPP Rothwell Street bridge 1949 small 29750 Rothwell Street 1969 Michael Lever 29760 210.8 Rothwell St footbridge, Shaw St FB and 29780 210.8 e DW donkey stone John Sharples Shaw S 29800 210.8 x Noble St 1962

Derby Street secondhand shops Jacqueline's and Leo's

The Halfway House was at 127-129 Derby Street in between the junctions with Shaw Street and Rothwell Street. The pub dated back to the late-1840s. It got its name from the fact that it was roughly halfway up the hill from town to Daubhill possibly High Street, to be precise.


The pub was run by the Ashton family for a number of years. In 1841 Thomas Ashton ran a beerhouse in Back Rothwell Street which ran immediately to the rear of the Halfway House.


In 1859, Thomas Ashton and his wife Mary Ann were instrumental in the foundation of Bolton's first co-operative society. On 1 August 1859 a meeting took place at the Halfway House and a set of rules were formulated for the Great and Little Bolton Equitable Industrial Co-operative Society Limited. The rules were sent off to the Registrar of Friendly Societies and were returned with the society registered on 18th of that month. The Halfway House was subsequently taken over by Magee’s. It was owned by Greenall’s when it closed in 1970

1949 If we take the next left turn from Derby Street we will fint the Rothwell Street footbridge. This crosses the William Hulton / George Stephenson Bolton-Leigh railway opened in 1828. This ceased to be the main line in 1885 when the route was diverted but continued to service industry between Derby Street and bridgeman Street until 1958.

1969 Rothwell Street footbridge Picture posted on Facebook by Michael Lever

Although the railway ceased operation in 1958 the track bed and the bridges which had crossed the railway remained in place for some years. In 1973, Bolton Engineers Department and British Railways jointly decided to demolish the bridge linking the two halves of Rothwell Street. NB these bridges were across the ORIGINAL line of the railway still used up to 1958 as the High Street sidings branch supplying mills and also Magee’s Brewery with water from Burton on Trent,  but no longer going through to Daubhill. The closest bridge is Rothwell St footbridge, then Shaw St bridge and Fletcher St bridge. Looking towards Lecturers Close (ie away from Daubhill, towards town).

The southwestern side of Rothwell Street then goes over the 1885 route of the railway before reaching Bridgeman Street.

From Rothwell Street we could turn left into Shaw Street where at one time we would find the donkey stone production line of John Sharples – picture posted on Facebook by David Whenlock

Back onto Derby Street just up from Rothwell Street we see the opposite side of the road from Noble Street to the top of the hill. This is a rebuilt Pilkington Arms. Next is Emblem Street with Entwistle and Walker, later Thomson and Oakes on the corner.

Noble Street in 1962

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Noble Street looking towards Derby Street with the original Pilkington Arms on the corner.

Noble Street Independent Methodist Church, 1872. Still standing and functioning in 2020.

July 2020 picture from the same viewpoint. It is clear that all the right hand side has been replaced by modern houses but you canot see much because of the trees. ©WDC

This is a nostalgic scene with a row of buildings that grew organically, all different, a bit of a hotch potch and yet all contextually appropriate and congruous. Streets like this are celebrated in olde worlde villages though admittedly the buildings there are more likely to be of sunlit golden sandstone than dour, smoke-stained brick.  My own mental picture of this street is that it still looks like that, but sadly all the buildings on the right have gone. The ones on the left which are much less interesting, are mostly still there though there are a couple of small gaps and quite a few have had the frontage re-bricked and of course all the shop fronts have changed. The first street on the left is Noble Street, just beyond the Ford Anglia is Rasbottom Street. On the right just beyond the A35 is Rothwell Street, then the block with the Halfway House and the Lord Nelson.

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July 2020 Immediately opposite Noble Street, Linslade Gardens. ©WDC

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reminding ourselves of our travel up Derby Street

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Aug 1957 Entwistle and Walker, with an A35 for sale. It was also HQ of or an agency for Bolton School of Motoring. Lidl now occupies that block. Looking further up the hill we see that Daubhill Congregational Church is still standing and there is not yet a mosque. In passing, notice the lampposts. These were originally the poles supporting the electrical supply for the trams and have been pressed into service to do the same job for the trolley buses and to carry the street lights at the same time.

29840 213 x103 E&W1 Aaron Brown - Copy 29840 213 x103 E&W2 - Copy 29840 213 x103 E&W3 - Copy

Aaron Brown showed on Facebook a handy little advertising give-away for Entwisle and Walkers.

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August 1999 – it is now Thompson and Oates. Beyond here is a space where later LIDL would be built.  Still no mosque. Derby Street Congregational Church seems to have gone but the School building is still there (and still remains July 2020). Modern lamp posts replace the old tram poles.

June 2018 ©Google Streetview – The two blocks between Emblem Street and Vickers Street have become LIDL. Beyond that we can see Carlines Motor Spares which had been Flitcroft’s. Further on are new houses set back slightly from the line of the original frontage. The Corporation had intended to redevelop that whole block for housing but it seems that Flitcroft refused to sell and relocate his business so that building was left sticking out a bit oddly as it still does (July 2020).

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<<       July 2020 Rothwell Street from Derby Street

           and the site of the footbridge on Rothwell Street    V


29870 JN09 Emblem Street off Derby Street small

A quick look down Emblem Street before we procede: 1917 W Hooton and Son garage, Mrs Hooton in their taxi; c1977 © Fred Hosker/ Jackie Nisbet

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