Memories Are Made Of This

Bury Archives new online service has furnished me with two photos of particular personal interest. Both of these featured pubs having been on my street. And that’s about as local as it gets.

This picture is of the Fernhill circa 1978 and is just how I remember it. It was the second pub I ever bought beer in and was often the first port of call on a Friday night crawl. It was never any great shakes as a pub, but served a regular and loyal clientele. I remember my father, at one time, used to go in regularly once a month to catch up with a friend. This friend, despite living locally, used to insist on driving there and back in his Hillman Minx. Sometimes, being too drunk to do so himself, he was driven home by my father. Quite a feat for someone who never possessed a driving license.

There were several problems over the years. Not so much with the nearby gypsy site (the guy in charge was called a gypsy warden, so they were indeed officially gypsies), but rather “travellers” who invariably got barred. After one such incident, a group returned intent on revenge and smashed all the windows and assaulted the landlord. As some of the locals were a bit handy, a mini-riot soon ensued and necessitated a call out by the police tactical aid unit.

Ah, those were the days. Sadly, though, that seemed to do for the Fernhill, and it gradually declined and subsequently closed. The building still stands, however, and is now a community centre.

The second pub is more of a mystery. The Spread Eagle looks a big street corner boozer. It features in the 1871 census and this picture shows it circa 1952. But it must have been shut by the 60s’ as none of the old soaks round here remember it. From the signage it can be seen that it was a Walker & Homfray’s pub. W&H were a Salford brewery who later merged with the more famous Wilsons brewery.


RedNev said…
Interesting posting, especially the mini-riot! No ASBOs in those days, but it didn't do them any harm.
ricardon said…
I think that the spread eagle was on fern st or every street in a ghetto that i entered with fear as a 10 year old in the sixties. I have seen another photo of this pub on imagebank (adjacent to a shop...see image b01559} I cannot be certain but this image seems to be looking at the rear of hardmans mill chimney on hornby street.
Tyson said…
I think you could well be right.

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