How many of these Preston pubs do you remember
Keith Johnson goes on a pub crawl of Preston’s boozers from 30 years ago, some long gone, some alive and kicking
News of pub closures is commonplace in the city continuing a trend begun in late Victorian days when Preston could claim to have no less than 460 public houses or beer houses within the old borough boundaries.
Thirty years ago, when the UCLan Student Guide welcomed students for the new term it included a public house guide which listed more than 140 local pubs.
Within a stone’s throw of the university campus on Corporation Street the Ship Inn, Adelphi, New Britannia and Variety, now the Vinyl Tap, still remain although Nonno’s previously the old Globe, the Dangerous Sportsman, previously the Boatman’s, the Maudland Inn, the Elephant and the Lamb and Packet, closed in 2017, are no more.
Friargate offered students pubs aplenty the Sun Inn, Duke of York, O’Neill’s now the Northern Way, Dog and Partridge, Old Black Bull and Black Horse all serving ale in those days and joined later by Greyfriars, in the converted furniture store and more recently by the historic Plau Gin and Beer House. Alas, the good old Duke of York is now a fish and chip shop.
A route along Moor Lane to Garstang Road was also suggested with the Cross Keys, North Euston (later the Queen Vic), Prince Arthur, Mitre Tavern, Unicorn Inn, Moorbrook and Moor Park to quench a thirst. Of those only the latter two remain open with the North Euston, a fish and chip shop since 2010, and the Mitre Tavern, a place for vets and pets.
A long route beginning at Preston railway station along Fishergate and Church Street with the odd back street diversion also beckoned. The Station Hotel, Victoria and Station, the Oddfellows Arms - nowadays the trendy Hartleys Wine Bar - the Fox Street duo of the Exchange and Fox and Grapes, Yates’s Wine Lodge, Bull and Royal, Lou’s Long Bar now Rift and Co down Main Sprit Wiend, Wellington Tavern down Glovers Court, Gastons down Avenham Street, Red Lion nowadays Popworld, The Old Dog Inn, the Bears Paw trading as the Church Street Tavern, the Olde Blue Bell, George Hotel, Lamb Hotel, Joplins the former Kings Arms, and finally the County Arms besides the prison.
The Old Dog recently joining the latter four in oblivion, a car park occupies the County Arms site and the Exchange is nowadays Kuckoo, while the neighbouring Fox and Grapes called time in 2012 and became the Beachcomber. The Dog and Pheasant, more recently known as Oblivion, the New Inn on Grimshaw Street, the Balmoral and King Street Tavern on Manchester Road all destined to suffer a similar fate.
On a positive note, next to the Bull Inn bar nowadays is Hogarths and across Church Street are the Baluga Wine Bar and the Twelve Tellers, a converted Preston TSB Bank and Fishers, originally Wall Street, occupies the former Nat West Bank building.
A wander around Winckley Square and Avenham also presented an opportunity for a pint or two. Not so these days, only a dry run with Winckley On The Square long gone, as are the Avenham Lane haunts the Frenchwood Hotel, Palatine and Avenham Park Inn and the nearby Brunswick on Charlotte Street and Selborne Hotel on James Street.
For those students who wished to simply wander around the centre of town the list was also extensive. The Stanley Arms, Golden Cross, Market Street Tavern, Blackamoor, on Lune Street the Corn Exchange (now named 1842) and the Angel Inn, the Jazz Bar and its neighbour the Guild Tavern later known as Lionels Bar, Tithebarn, Blue Moon, Percy Braithwaites Last Stand at the Crest Hotel and on Lancaster Road North the Spindlemakers Arms and Crystals.
Alas, all but the first six are no longer public houses. Mind you before Covid-19 struck the latest micro pubs the Guild Ale House, Plug and Taps and Orchard Bar in Market Hall had appeared.
Plungington was another area identified as worth a visit by thirsty students. The Wellfield still caters for drinkers as do the Eldon Hotel and the Plungington Hotel, while the Cattle Market Inn is nowadays the Brook Street Tavern.
Alas, the Tanners Arms is now home to students, the Royal Oak is now a Pizza Hut, the old General Havelock is a property shop and the Plungington Tavern closed in 2014.
The Hermon Inn, Prince Consort and Lime Kiln on Aqueduct Street have long since past into folklore as have the Brookhouse in Parker Street, North Star on Hawkins Street and the Hornby Castle and Cottage on Brook Street.
Along Cambridge Walk the New Welcome Inn closed recently, but its next door neighbour the Princess Alice still remains. If drinking in Deepdale was the chosen option in Kent Street there were the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Kent, the Lovat Hotel on Lovat Road, Charnock on St Anne’s Street, the Deepdale Hotel, the Duke of Edinburgh on Deepdale Mill Street, the Hollywood Bar on East View, the Royal Garrison, the newly built Sumners and the White Hart. Only the Charnock and the White Hart remain following the recent demolition of the short lived new Sumners.
A jaunt to the Meadow Street area was also suggested where the New Fleece Inn, Royal Consort and Army and Navy still remain. The Meadow Arms which spent its final years, as Mister Pickwick’s, is a derelict ruin and its neighbour the Clover Inn is now home to students.
There is no trace of the Hyde Park Inn on St Paul’s Road closed in 1996 and the Stone Cottage, later known as Chadwicks, was long since converted to apartments. The nearby Windsor Castle, Red Rose Inn formerly the Edinburgh Castle, and the old Stephenson’s Arms, later trading as Churchill’s, have long since put up the shutters.
One suggestion was a trip along London Road although the Rosebud had been knocked down in 1988 you could still wet your whistle at the Cheethams Arms, William IV, Greyhound Hotel, Shawes Arms and over the river to the Bridge Inn. Not so these days the Bridge Inn has become a nursery the same fate as the Bridge Inn at Penwortham, the Shawes Arms is in need of restoration, the Greyhound became an Egyptian restaurant in 2012, the William IV closed in 2009 and there is no trace of the Cheethams Arms.
New Hall Lane was another proposal for a pub crawl ending up at the Hesketh Arms by the Preston Cemetery gates. Back in late Victorian days the lane had 15 public houses and 30 years ago the Queen Adelaide, New Hall Lane Tavern, Birley Arms, Belle Vue and Acregate were all still serving ale. All gone now except the Hesketh Arms, on the site of the Princess Alexandra is a newly built Polish store, a solicitor’s now occupy the revamped Birley Arms building and the Belle Vue closed in 2014 is nowadays a grocery store called Maya Delikatesy .
Alternatively the almost parallel Ribbleton Lane was a 1990s pub crawl option beginning at the County Arms with the Fox and Grapes, Derby Inn, Skeffington Arms and Old England all having survived the slum clearance days, as had the nearby Cemetery Hotel. Yet again you would be struggling to quench your thirst nowadays.
Students trekking along Fylde Road and Watery Lane heading towards the docks and the riverside at Avenham had plenty of choice, especially if they meandered off the beaten track. The Hogshead - now the Guild, Watering Trough, Princess Alexander, Doctor Syntax, Fylde Tavern, Wheatsheaf, Grand Junction, Wellington Hotel up Tulketh Road, New Ship Inn and Ribble Pilot and Waterfront on the dock basin. Broadgate then beckoned with the Ribbleside Inn, Cricketers Arms, West End Tavern and the Continental ahead.
The Fylde Tavern closed in 2011, both the Watering Trough, closed in 2002, and the Princess Alexander are home for students and the Doctor Syntax became a Chinese restaurant in 2009. Only the Guild, Wheatsheaf, Grand Junction, Wellington, Ribble Pilot and Continental survive with the Waterfront, rebranded as Baffitos, a recent casualty.
The Bow Lane and Marsh Lane area also had temptations for tipplers with the Kendal Castle, Springfield Inn, Oak Tree Inn, Fox & Duck in Croft Street and Neptune on Strand Road. All gone now, the Kendal Castle being the last to close in 2008.
On the outskirts of town the Weavers Arms, a reminder of Courtaulds days, was short lived closing in 1992, but the Fulwood and Railway at Gamull still prospers. The Savick Hotel on West Park Avenue and the Cotty Brook on Lea Road have been knocked down, a fate shared with the Falkland Heroes at Tanterton, the Brookfield Arms and the Plough on Blackpool Road which closed in 1998. The residents of Fulwood welcomed the Sherwood and the Anderton Arms has proved to be another welcoming inn.
The Lane Ends at Ashton continues to thrive being extended in recent years, the John O’ Gaunt in Ingol, closed in 2014, is now a nursery, but the Ancient Oak at Cottam and the Guild Merchant In Ingol have compensated for that loss.
The Withy Trees on Lytham Road is the latest casualty, the Black Bull on Garstang Road, the Phantom Winger and the Broughton Inn, after days as Burlingtons, Trader Jacks and the Shuttleworth Arms, are still trading, although the Golden Ball at the Broughton crossroads is no more.