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 Newport Street

Mid-late 1920s


The corner of Great Moor Street and Newport Street. You may remember the Wheatsheaf but are unlikely to remember Waller and Riley.Note Vose’s, UCP. Sadly the other signs are not quite clear. This corner had Bolton’s first set of traffic lights in 1929.  Most pictures of this corner around this time have a policeman in the cetre of the junction. None here today but we have a couple of bobbies near the side of the road apparently looking at the suspicious characters in the foreground.

An old postcard posted on Facebook by  Paul Berry.Its date is similar to that of the picture above though we see posters on the wall of Waller and Riley's which were not there before.


We can now read the signs on Voses more clearly and see, though we already knew, that they are tripe dressers. On the corner of Coronation Street (off-shoot of) we see what must be Warwickshire's. On the tallest building in the street on the corner of Ashburner Street we see the joist for the pulley and it may be that we can see a rope hanging from it.


Here we have a policeman on point duty waiting for some traffic to direct. This corner had Bolton’s first set of traffic lights in 1929.

A similar view, there's the policeman again, but it is very quiet.


This is slightly later than the previous pictures, some demolition having taken place either side of the chemist. The notice on the gable end reads something like "D Good and Son Ltd / Building Contractors". The notice on the hoarding says "New premises for Waller and Riley's, Chemists"


We do not yet see the traffic lights to be installed in 1929 but it is thought that the chemists and Shannon's opposite were probably redeveloped 1929/30.

Bolton Evening News picture dated 1929


Construction of the new Waller and Riley building is complete. The original building on the corner still stands and is still in use.


Buildings on Great Moor Street from this corner to the Congregational Church have been demolished and will soon be replaced by the elegant buildings which still exist, further back in line with Waller and Riley's new building.


The policeman is still there but now he has a box to stand on.

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Said to be 1930. Waller and Riley's new building. We note that property has been redeveloped down Great Moor Street in a matching style. On Newport Street the chemist's is once more attached to the buildings  from there to Bold Street and the end of the building has been left in anticipation of further building along Newport Street. What a pity that it was never completed.


There is the policeman again, now he has a box to stand on, but we still cannot see these traffic lights. Looking down Great Moor Street we see that the LIDO has not yet been built but that only puts the picture earlier than 1936.


It seems that the chemist was rebuilt to match the round corners of The Wheatsheaf and Shannon’s was built to match at the same time. However this style was also used just prior to 1930 on two corners of the Deansgate, Oxford Street, Knowsley Street junction so the Wheatsheaf may not have been relevant. Around 2000 the fourth corner was rebuilt by Olympus chippy but it was made square with a bevelled corner. 2014 Shannons was sadly demolished to make way for the new bus/train interchange, it seems we will have a flat building diagonally across the corner, though it has recently become apparent that Shannon’s was demolished before any firm decision had been made as to what to build on that corner.


The chemist later became Timothy Whites and Taylor's and then Boots and is still a chemists.

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The chemist's is now Timothy White’s.  The Wheatsheaf with UCP is still standing and will do so until some time after the Newport Street shops have been built. All the shops on that side of Newport Street have now been demolished but rebuilding has not yet started. Why were they demolished? Could they not have been preserved along with the little rabbit warren of streets behind. Other towns have made such places into attractive  and intriguing areas, admittedly it was not quite the York Shambles, but it would be not unlike the Brighton Lanes.  The reason given at the time was that Newport Street needed to be widened to cope with increasing traffic. The new shops here (and on Great Moor Street as well) were built  somewhat further back leaving the Wheatsheaf sticking out in a rather ungainly manner. It is ironic that not all that long after this widening "for traffic" the street was pedestrianised and traffic excluded.


For now, we get a clear view through to the side of the Town Hall and the side of the Victoria Building you were not supposed to look at.



Newport St, similar but a wider view. 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.



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 in 1997/8 but is now a budget shop, Home Bargains since 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 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!

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The Wheatsheaf now rebuilt further back relative both to the Newport Street and Great Moor St shops. 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 Coronation St which acted as Back Newport Street  between the back of the shops and the Octagon multi-storey car park was also moved back slightly and aligned with Old Hall Street South. That latter name has now disappeared the whole length from Great Moor Street to Victoria Square being called Coronation Street.

24 September 2009                ©W D Collier


The Wheatsheaf is now Home Bargains, On the right is still a chemist though no longer Boots who opened a huge branch at the other end of Newport Street in the Shipgate mall, Olympus restaurant has now rebuilt on the left, as with many other places in Bolton it is now quite difficult to get a decent shot because of the trees.

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Two of the original elephants on Newport Street near the junction with Great Moor Street.


(C) David Whenlock


Bolton News picture May 2015


The last set of elephants on this site. They were removed shortly afterwards  for the renovation of Newport Street. They have now been reinstalled at a new play area close to the Octagon car park.

Resisting the temptation to divert up or down Great Moor Street which we hope to visit later we will continue along Newport Street in the direction of Trinity Church and the railway station.

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Corner of Great Moor Street and Newport Street, Shannon’s, road works in Newport Street - can only guess that this is mid 40s and the tram-lines are being removed.


Julie Corcoran responded on Facebook:  My great-grandfather was Thomas John Shannon who owned the shop. He died in 1919. People may remember his son Eric Shannon who with his sisters Winnie and Ena also worked in the shop.


So T J = Thomas John. If he died in 1911 he cannot have owned the actual shop on this picture which was almost certainly built in, or a little before 1930.

1971 Bolton News picture.


Newport Street looking from Great Moor Street to Trinity Church.


E P Lees is just about to open in the Shannon's building.


Some rebuilding on the left has aleady taken place giving us the square blocks which are Proffitts and Battersbys. The next block with the post-office is unchanged.

Corner of Great Moor Street and Newport Street, Shannon’s, 9th May 2013


the shops are now empty ready for demoltion prior to the building of the transport interchange.


(C) W D Collier

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Corner of Great Moor Street and Newport Street, 28th December 2013


Demolition has finally taken place though Shannon's remains.


(C) W D Collier

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A view across Newport Street to the demolition site and across to the backs of the property on Great Moor Street, St Patrick's RC Church and Bolton County Grammar School (as was).


(C) W D Collier

28 December 2013 (C) W D Collier


Demolished either side of Shannon's but left this building standing for the time being. Have they decided to retain it for inclusion in the new build?

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20 January 2014                        Apologies to the owner of these pictures - if you see this please contact me and I will credit you as owner.


No such luck, down it comes! It became apparent at a later date that at this stage there had been no decision as to what should be built in its place and PROPOSALS were published. OK, it wasn't the Taj Mahal, but it was a pleasant building deliberately designed to match the buildings on two other corners and of the same style and era of buildings on the Deansgate / Oxford Street / Knowsley Street corner.

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