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A Walk from Town to Daubhill

We will start in the 1920's just after the First World War, when Bolton was taking shape again after the Zeppelin raids of 1916 on Kirk Street, Punch Street, Ardwick Street and the trinity church.

Walking up from the bottom of Great Moor Street and starting on the left was Moyles then the schoolyard of the Municipal school and Saint Patrick's RC Church. You could get down the side of here and on to the footbridge leading to Trinity Street. On the next block was the ''New Zealand Chief', Bella Thomasson's bookmakers, up the steps, W A Streets the Builders, Halfords the bicycle shop and on to Shannon's the outfitters on the corner of Newport Street.
Going back to the start again on the right hand side there'd be the Balmoral, Singers sewing machine shop, Gregory and Porrits, the Turkish Baths, Mawdsley Street, a painting and decorating shop, the Coal Board office and Timothy Whites the Chemist. Then Newport Street and the Wheatsheaf Hotel, which had the terminus, for Deane and Daubhill, behind it.

I can remember the tram stops up to Deane Road.

1. Crook Street
2. The Britannia Pub
3. Mayor Street
4. Cannon Street
5. Board Street or Pikes Lane
6. Washington Street
7. Saviors Terrace
8. Blackshaw Lane
9. Callis Road
10. Melbourne Road
11. Hawthorne Street
12. Deane Church Lane and finally Deane Terminus

But lets get back to Daubhill.

Across Great Moor Street from the Wheatsheaf was Ellison's the carpet shop before it moved, a fruit shop, Syds butchers, Meesons sweet shop and the Griffin Pub. Then came Soho Street, another block Dawes Street, the Fishing tackle shop and the bridge over the railway just in front of Where Great Moor Street station and sidings used to be.

Flash Street Mills

Across the way, moving out from the Wheatsheaf was the old wholesale Market and the Labour Exchange that moved from Bark Street. Then past Spring Gardens and Blackhorse Street came Ormrod Street. A railway line ran across here from Crook street goods yard Through to Bessemer's Forge and on to Deansgate goods yard behind the White Lion Pub. Another line ran to some buffers just across Ormrod Street, it was here the runaway train ran through a wall across Crook Street into the basement of a house across the way.

On the left hand corner of Ormrod Street coming out of town, was Thomasson's plumbers shop, this faced the Flash Street Mills of Ormrod and Hardcastles which has been demolished. The only other change is Hargreaves House, it was all placards up to Crook Street corner. On the right hand side opposite was the 'Flying Horse Pub' next door to the smithy which put horses shoes on.

Across the road were the Peacock Inn and proffitts jewellers where I got my wife's wedding ring from in 1935. Further up the left hand side was a shop where you could buy a sit down dinner. It was kind of an early restaurant.

Back over to the right side was another pub called the Grey Mare. Then, the boy's schoolyard for Derby Street Council School. Its railings ran between, the pub and the ferriers shed. Just past here, in the road just outside Gregory and Porritts Warehouse, was a grey granite horse trough. This was the junction of Derby Street and the horse trough had been there from the early days so the horses could have a drink before the long climb up the hill to High Street and then Daubhill. Horses could stop in the street then as there weren't so many cars around. The trough disappeared one Sunday morning and was found two days later in the drive of a gentleman's house up Markland Hill.

Derby Street turned towards Moor Lane here and in those days it was paved with wooden blocks set in tar, these were done away with when the road was resurfaced.

Back on the road to Daubhill we come to Dr Cochran's surgery on the right. His house had a garden front with railings round and his next-door neighbour was a tailor called Hodson. Then across James Street was the Progress stores owned by a person named Wise.

On the other side of Derby Street next to Fletcher Street was Towers furniture shop. Then came the Ancient Shepherd pub, Joe Hiltons Butchers and the Oatcake and Crumpet shop.

Over Derby Street again, was a plumbers shop owned by a man called Rothwell. His son, Jim served his apprenticeship there while his father was the caretaker of the Gilnow Road Church until his retirement. Next come a fruit shop on the corner of John Street and over it was the Derby Arms. Roy Hines and his wife kept this pub and they always had a monkey on the bar, but this was long before the war. Nest door was a Crumblehulme's fireplace showroom while behind all this was the Coop stable. Here they kept all the horses that were used for the vans which supplied all Bolton's Coops.

Across the road was Brabbin and Rudd's. I went there for our building, materials for over 50 years, Mr Brabbin and Mr Rudd always served you. Next door was the bakery making meat pies etc for the local shops.

On the same side of the road stood Boots Chemist. It was there for years, at the end of the row of houses which had railings and small grass plots in front. In one of the houses was a dentist called Greenwood whose business was taken over by Horrocks and Reads. They moved to Farnworth after the war.

Just down Cricket Street was Magees Brewery where my grandfather built the chimney. It's still a landmark but the building has been taken over by Cambrian soft drinks.

If we go back down Derby Street and cross over the road again at Noble Street. On the corner is the Pilkington Arms, I assisted the joiners to put a new roof on there in the early 1920's. Further up there were more shops and Charlton's were they sold horse beef and all provisions for horses and other animals.

Further up on the right was the picture house built aver the mill lodge, then years later it was renamed the Tivoli. Next came more shops one of them was called Skinny Nancy's. She sold all sorts of joke stuff, such as stink bombs, puzzles, boxes of caps and miniature gun repeaters. In fact if you wanted anything at all, she'd have it or she would get it for you. For this statement I am going back before the 1920's to my school days.

After the shops we come to the corner of Canon Street where the Cavaliers charged from. Next came Peace Street were Courtney's had their workshop for years. They were the only firm who made coloured lead lights for churches, pubs and the wealthier people to put in their doors and windows.

Across Derby Street from Peace Street was the Pike View pub and one of Voses Tripe shops. They had shops scattered all over the place. Back over on the right and travelling up Derby Street was the chemist shop, Drinnans the ice-cream shop, Derby Street Church (which became a carpet ware house) and a variety of other shops.

On the other side were more houses and shops and Sunninghill School, then still more shops with Fosters hairdressers in the middle, this later became the bookies. Switching over to the right again where houses, were the TSB bank is now. On the comer were Willows lane starts we have the handy house. My father renewed these premises in 1922. He put in new windows, counters, shelves and deck lights. It's all still there and still in good condition, only wanting for a coat of paint.

Across Willows Lane is the Railway Pub and at this point Derby Street changes into St Helens Road. It's still much the same, on the right hand side, a variety of shops up to the Oddfellows Arms pub. But the Coop super market used to be St George the Martyrs C of E School.

While over St Helens Road on the left, there were houses and the Waggon and Horses pub up to the 1930's. These got replaced by some placards which ran to the warehouse of Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee then the Majestic Cinema. This is a petrol station now but this was originally it was the Rumworth Skating Rink. My father was the foreman joiner on it in the early part of this century. The firm that built it was RJ Tyson of Great Lever and they also built one on Spa Road, this changed, to the Olympia picture house and the New Olympia and then the Regal and then back to a Skating Rink called the Nevada. It was in recent years mysteriously burnt down.

When it changed to the Regal it had a new verandah to cover the queues waiting for the next house. It had more plush tip-up seats and became the biggest or-e in Bolton The screen was moved back twenty feet, this meant you couldn't sit on forms behind the screen anymore. Holding a mirror at the side of your face to be able to read the words the right way round. Behind the Mirror you could read DNE with a mirror this read END.

Other things they altered were the entrances and pay boxes, with new mahogany polished doors, an orchestra pit, stage and new dressing rooms behind the stage. These were for all the new performers like Newland and Edwards, the Sand-dancers, Wylie, Kimbal and Betty and Morecambe and Wise. Then the good silent movies went and TV brought on -the modern times, it was good bye to all the good, pictures, such as Ben Hur, 42nd street, The Singing Fool, Broadway Melody, All Quiet On The Western Front and many others. Now we'll go back to 'Dobble' and finish the walk.

Facing the Majestic used to be houses and shops that dipped down and flooded in bad weather. These are now a petrol station. Further up was a wall with steps going up both sides to a row of old cottages now demolished. Then came the Railway Level crossing were the runaway train started from, mentioned earlier. There was the stag Cottage the Stag Hotel and Entwistles coal offices. While across the way was a row of old shops taken over by Lees, the DIY shop the Electrician and many others.

We finally come to a halt at the junction of the road to Leigh, Morris Green and Deane. I hope that this has been an enjoyable walk and if your as old as me you can verify these memories.