Newport Street

P7 10_492x386

Bolton Museum Archives picture




Books being taken from the Victoria Building library (corner of Victoria Square and Howell Croft South, now replaced by Wellsprings) to the new Civic Centre Crescent library.




It is possible they were also moving books from the Reference Library in the Exchange Building in the far right corner of Victoria Square

P7 40_438x389

In December 1949 work men removed the roof of the old (reference) library,  on the corner of Exchange Street and Victoria Square; the height of the building was reduced by about seven feet and a new steel roof was erected. (Bolton News 24/10/09, but it looks the same in 1966!! Presumably this picture is removing the original roof not making the new one.) The building was then refitted inside to house the Inland Revenue offices. The building was built in 1825 as the Exchange Building and became the library in 1853.

P7 50_566x426 P7 70_520x304 P7 80_466x362

Picture from the collection of Angela Thompson.


date unknown


The Exchange Building is on the left edge of the picture.


This is Newport Street as it appeared between late 19th Century until about 1957. H Simkin shop on the corner of Newport Street and Victoria Square had a number of owners but is best remembered as Singers just before demolition. This corner, rebuilt, is now occupied by GAME.


Notice the tallest building along the street.

The shop on the corner is now Harry Morris otherwise little has changed.


The buildings on the left still remain today (2015) though some changes have been made to some fascias, especially the shop fronts.


Picture posted on Facebook by Peter Lodge.

The same corner as many of us remember it with the SInger shop on the corner. This and the next two pictures were taken shortly before the buildings on the west of Victoria Square and the whole right hand side of Newport Street were demolished in 1957.


Pictures taken from the collection of Angela Thompson

P7 90_464x360 P7 100_474x370 P7 110_471x304 P7 120_482x286

Picture posted on Facebook by David Whenlock


c1957 immediately after the demolition of the corner and the Newport Street block of the pictures above.


Most of the facades date back fifty years or so but Cavendish’s have had a 1920s upgrade.


Many people will remember booksellers and stationers John Read.


How many people met under the clock at Greenhough's jewellers?

P7 130_459x346

24 September 2009 (C) W D C

P7 140_437x349 P7 150_499x349 P7 160_398x489

Corner of Ashburner Street with Newport Street. This is the tall building mentioned earlier. Note the hoist at the top of the building and the doors for receiving goods in place of windows.


Hesfords, Kettering and Leicester, Battersby’s shop is at the extreme right of the picture.

c1957 Battersby's has been demolished and Kettering and Leicester has just finished its demolition sale.


Picture posted on Facebook by David Whenlock.

Picture from the collection of Angela Thompson


Note the huge wheel among the rafters which operated the hoist at the front of the building.

P7 170_544x385 P7 180_470x366 P7 190_468x366 P7 200_563x349 P7 210_556x357 P7 220_556x409

1957  On the other corner of Ashburner Street is Battersby's shortly before demolition. We saw Battersby's on Victoria Square. They moved to Newport Street the other side of Great Moor Street after this shop was demolished.


Picture sent to Bolton Evening News by Bill Shaw.


Newport Arcade along the side of the Octagon Theatre now occupies Ashburner Street and comes onto Newport Street at this point.

1957 almost same view but looking further to the right past W Boardman's, Morris' shoes, tobacconists, wine shop, Back Exchange Street, the Grey Mare Hotel. Allsopp's and Singers to Victoria Square with the Oxford Street Co-op in the distance

1957 Bolton Archives


Newport Street, Battersby’s, Ashburner Street looking up to Howell Croft and the corner of the library.



Battersby’s who in 1960 were chosen to furnish the Football League’s new headquarters in Clifton Drive, St Annes when the League moved there from Preston. Next door, Len Short’s brush shop then the Market Inn on the corner of Coronation Street. Beyond this is empty space, used as a car park  where the Octagon Theatre would eventually be built.

Picture from Peter Lodge


Long before Battersby's.


John Read, bookseller, later moved nearer Victoria Square.


Note the clock at Greenhough's jewellers.


Picture is earlier that the building of the Oxford Street Co-op, the building which preceded it being visible in the distance. Further away still the Victoria Hall tower can be seen.


The white stone rebuilding of Cavendish's shop on the right has not yet been done.



Newport Street; We can see the leg of of Coronation St and Warwickshires furnishers; then Slade St; then Ashburner St with Battersby's furnishers on the corner. Nearer us on the left we have Bowes men’s outfitters, they always had a tailor’s dummy outside the shop door – people still occasionally say when they’ve been left standing around, I was stood like t' man outside Bowes.


It is not clear but the shape on top of the Greenhough's clock is an elephant and castle.

P7 230_602x445 P7 240 P7 260_607x441 P7 250

Picture from David Whenlock


Looking in the other direction, Bowes, the shop with the man at the door, but where is he?


This picture confirms that this offshoot of Coronation Street was also called Coronation Street.


Beyond the Bowes block is Great Moor Street on the right; Newport Street continues towards Trinity Street.

Newport Street c1910


Reads bookshop is in its old position. Note the clock again. The posh stone facade has not yet been built.


Dareyne pawn-brokers.

Picture from David Whenlock


A typical (for the time) busy day on Newport Street.


Date? after 1969 pedestrianisation; St George's Rd URC still has its spire


The clock, which has lost its fingers has REDIFFUSION instead of numbers. The elephant and castle which surmount it remains.

1959 Bolton News picture.


Newport Street still has traffic but it is being impeded by road works.


Note the wall clock which has Roman numerals and the elephant and castle on top.


In the distance the St Andrew and St George URC still has its spire. The squarish tower to its left is the Victoria Hall but the top of this tower has merged with the sky

P7 280_492x337 P7 290_448x341 P7 300_477x328

c1975 pictures from Bolton Museum Archives


Newport Street, pedestianised, people on benches enjoying the sunshine, the clock is still there with the elephant and castle on top but the shop is now rediffusion. We can also see Dewhurst butchers, Halon man shop, Prices confectioners?, Trueform shoes, to let, Timpson's shoes - this was directly opposire Ashburner Street and what is now the Newport Arcade - up to this time newport Street was known as shoe-shop-alley , cannot read, Thornton's chocolates, Rediffusion (TV rental), Boardman's - one of at least four locations at various times, ?cakes.


Please use "contact us" if you can remember the names of the rest of the shops along this block.


Then we have Bold Street with BBS, Bradford and Bingley Building Society beyond it, the chemist on the corner of Great Moor Street is probably Timothy Whites and Taylor's though by this time it might have become Boots. Across Great Moor Street is the building with the white round frontage, built around 1920/30 at the same time as the chemists was rebuilt probably to match the round frontage of The Wheatsheaf, although the corners of Deansgate with Knowsley Street and Oxford Street were also built in a similar manner c1930.  The finnicles of the Trinity Church stick up oddly above the top of Shannons.


Beyond this we have Proffit's. On the near right hand corner of Newport Street, but out of view is the Wheatsheaf pub. On the far right hand corner is H & H Jolley in the position now occupied by the Olympus fish and chip cafe.

These two pictures seem to have been taken at the same time as each other and the pair above. The rectangular advert is the same in all four pictures. But someone has moved the benches around and we appear to have a spill on the LHS picture which has almost dried up by the time the RHS picture was taken.


How many people remember those cylindrical advertisements?

P7 310_462x358 P7 320_622x474

A peek down Bold Street as we pass.


Clothes shop (Allwear) name? then Cranshaws(?) surgical aids shop - there were some peculiar things in there to a young lad's eyes, Orrell's paint and wallpaper shop, lower down the Ancient Shepherd pub, Mechanics Institute on the corner of Mawdesley Street which runs across the picture.

P7 330_664x307 P7 340_563x397

December 1969


The last block between Bold Street and Great Moor Street. We see Bradford and Bingley, then what appears to be Boydell's Toys, Babyfair and Timothy  Whites and Taylors chemists.


This picture was reprinted in "Looking Back" in the Bolton News, 1/9/2015.  The reason for the queue was said to be a mystery, but as the picture was taken immediately after Christmas maybe there was a few days catching up to do on the issuing and dispensing of prescriptions.

Looking back along Newport Street, after November 1972 when the rebuilt Wheatsheaf was opened. In the distance the tower of the Victoria Hall, the spire (later removed) of St George's Rd URC and the tower of St George's.

The next page looks at this corner from the 1920s to the present day before we continue along Newport Street to Trinity Church and Trinity Street.

bolton banner Next Page