Old Boars Head Pub

Old Boars Head Pub

Old Boars Head Pub, photo from Harold Howarth

Old Boars Head Pub

Old Boars Head Pub in Middleton

  Ann Whitley I have a drawing of this by Burke in 1975. In box me if anyone is interested in buying it.

14 July at 08:44


  Andrea Thrussell My grandparents lived at 15 durnford street – my grandad was parks superintendent for Manchester and the greenhouses which supplied the parks were behind the old boars head just off durnford street.
13 July at 20:19


  John Michael May Used to live around the corner
13 July at 19:49

The Old Boars Head Pub

The Old Boars Head Pub

The Old Boars Head Pub, photo from Harold Howarth

The Old Boars Head Pub

The Old Boars Head Pub

  Lynn Geraghty Apparently dick turpin used to go here and escape capture via a tunnel which runs from the pub to the church across the road ?
3 November 2013 at 20:42



  Adrian Fitzgerald Olde boars head?
3 November 2013 at 15:28



  Valerie Hoyle Middleton
3 November 2013 at 17:09



  Susan Buckley great photo
4 November 2013 at 15:41

Ye Olde Boars Head

Ye Olde Boars Head

Ye Olde Boars Head, photo from Harold Howarth

Ye Olde Boars Head

Ye Olde Boars Head


  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. on the main Road into Middleton opposite the Library ish
13 July at 18:39


  Deena Brooks Middleton and believe it or not its not Rochdale Past, Present & Future.
13 July at 20:55


  Sarah Duty Is it true there are secret passages linking it to the churchyard/library or somewhere, can’t remember the details? Used to love looking at this building when we went past on the bus when I was little and my mum told me about the secret passages. Hope it is true
14 July at 11:57


  Nikolai Brooks The Boars Head
13 July at 21:36


  Kevin Potter on the way to mid from hopwood collage

13 July at 18:38


  Jayne Aggiemoo-QuietOne Preston Where’s this?,x
13 July at 18:31

Old Boars Head Public House

Old Boars Head Public House

Old Boars Head Public House, photo from Gareth Gurth Kenyon

 Old Boars Head Public House




  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Lovely photo Gareth, welcome to the page
19 November 2013 at 20:57


  Gareth Kenyon Thank you
19 November 2013 at 21:02


  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. We have a lot of great photos on here, we are so lucky to have you all
19 November 2013 at 22:32
  Gareth Kenyon Ha ha that would be the 7 bus passing


19 November 2013 at 21:23


  Susan Buckley great photo
20 November 2013 at 07:05


  Meg Barlow It’s supposed to be haunted isn’t it?
19 November 2013 at 23:53


  Peter Jackson Looks like the BT superfast broadband ad!
19 November 2013 at 21:02

Rochdale Hangman

Rochdale Hangman

From the Rochdale Observer of Wednesday 21st September 1932

Rochdale Hangman


Last night Mr John Ellis, the former hangman, was found by his son, Mr Austin Ellis, at his home 3 Kitchen Lane, Balderstone Fold, Rochdale, with a wound in his throat. He was 58 years of age. The discovery was made about 8:15pm.
Dr Harris was summoned, but on his arrival he pronounced life to be extinct.
Mr Ellis was public executioner for twenty-three years, and during that time officiated at about two hundred executions. Amongst those who paid the extreme penalty of the law at his hands were Dr. Crippen, Major Amstrong,
George Smith of the notorious “Brides in the bath” case, Sir Roger Casement, and Mrs. Edith Thompson, He tendered his resignation to the Prison Commissioners in March 1924. In 1927 he appeared at a theatre in Gravesend in a play based on the life of Charles Peace, taking the part of the hangman Marwood. Practically all the executions of Sinn Feiners in Ireland were done by him, and one morning, he used to say, he hanged six before breakfast. The most upsetting execution he undertook was that of Mrs. Edith Thompson. She was the first woman he hanged, and as he admitted, it was a “most upsetting experience”

How he came to take up the idea of public executioner he himself explained in an interview;

 “I was working in a textile place in those days,” he said, “and, when there was an execution, I remember saying, “I wouldn’t mind doing that job” Other people laughed at me and said “ What tha’ hang anybody?”
I made an application for the job and was fortunate enough to get it. It was not a matter of influence, I must have been lucky I suppose, or unlucky. “I was instructed to report to Newgate, and I trained there. Hangmen always had to do a week’s training first. This consists of practising on a dummy, calculating the drop, getting used to pinioning, practising putting on the ropes, and so on. The training was done on a real scaffold, which is now in Pentonville. Later I hanged scores of people on the same scaffold.”

For many years Mr Ellis was a hairdresser in Oldham Road, and his hobby was the keeping of dogs and poultry.
In August 1924, Mr Ellis made an attempt on his life. He was found at his home with a fractured jaw supposed to have been caused by a bullet wound, a revolver was found by his side. Later he was brought before the magistrates on a charge of attempted suicide, and on an undertaking not to repeat the offence he was discharged.

Bull Brow Upgrade

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Bull Brow Upgrade

Bull Brow Upgrade, photos from Mathilde Guerin

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[dt_button size=”medium” animation=”none” icon=”” icon_align=”center” color=”#59d600″ link=”http://rochdale-past.co.uk/bull-baiting-bull-brow/” target_blank=”true”]Bull Baiting[/dt_button]   [dt_button size=”medium” animation=”none” icon=”” icon_align=”center” color=”#59d600″ link=”http://rochdale-past.co.uk/bull-brow-blue-plaque//” target_blank=”true”]Blue Plaque[/dt_button]

Diane Daveron very nice,hope it keeps like this,no graffiti please ..

Colette Wren looks great .x.

Trish Cartner Chuffed about this.

Kath Parrington Love this x

Please Comment Below?



Bull Brow Sign

Bull Brow Sign

Bull Brow Sign, photo from Mathilde Guerin

Bull Brow Sign

 Bull Brow – the passage from Baillie Street to The Butts, were bull baiting displays were held until 1820.— at Rochdale, Lancashire.

  Ed Carr Bull baiting? Really?
5 March 2013 at 18:08
  Steve Mullington Now frequented by youths smoking weed. Bring the bulls back I say.
5 March 2013 at 18:13
  Laura O’Hagan Dalton This leads you out where tasty bite is right ?
5 March 2013 at 18:16
  Norton Magiera It’s true. It stopped when a bull pulled a wall down and it killed 5 people.
5 March 2013 at 18:27
  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Why Paul, think of all the blood sports we used to have, it makes sense, in a town, near the market…
5 March 2013 at 18:28
  Joanne Watchorn Walked through here many a time in my youth…yep, the tapas bar is lovely place to eat – i like to support a local business.. :0))
5 March 2013 at 18:52
  Dave Sanderson What exactly is bull-baiting?
5 March 2013 at 19:06
  Denis Williams Record in St Chads burial register reports 5 deaths attributed to bull baiting 1820 in Rochdale.
5 March 2013 at 19:22
  Tekna Peter Basicly Bull baiting is like bull runnibut dogs a used to attack the
5 March 2013 at 19:38
  Carole Anne Orme Bull baiting was a cruel bloodsport were dogs were set upon a bull to entertain people.
5 March 2013 at 20:56
  Kathy Okay Now should be named the urinal passage i walked through there today and it stank
5 March 2013 at 22:45
 Diane Daveron and I did today Kathy,your right it stinks.
7 March 2013 at 19:36
Please Comment Below?

Rochdales Bull Brow

Rochdales Bull Brow

Rochdales Bull Brow

Rochdales Bull Brow

Photo kindly supplied by Paul Jones — at Rochdale, Lancashire.

  •   Paul Jones The Lady on the left is the very girl that works for the council and is responsible for the work that has been done on Bull Brow. Well done that girl, had a quick chat about the stocks at the parish church and also the re positioning of the statue of John Bright into the town center once the river has been re opened….
    25 September 2013 at 07:39
  •   Greg Couzens And more lighting
    25 September 2013 at 08:01
  •   Jackie Kershaw Gracie Fields statue is what we should be planning on
    3 October 2013 at 00:21
  •   Joe Kozarzewski The colours are too harsh, they should have been pastel colours and more subtle in keeping with what was there before
    2 October 2013 at 06:27

Bull Brow Refurbishment

Bull Brow Refurbishment

Bull Brow Refurbishment, photo kindly supplied by Mathilde Guerin

Bull Brow Refurbishment

This photo shows the restoration work undertaken in Bull Brow ginnel this week
 (September 2013) — at Rochdale, Lancashire.

  • Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Thank you Mathilde, Brilliant
    19 September 2013 at 20:16
  •   Peter Jackson ‘Ginnel’ yeah, a proper Rochdale term that !
    19 September 2013 at 21:19


  •   Colette Wren looks great .x.
    19 September 2013 at 20:43


  •   Anita Howarth I’m 47 born bed in Rochdale 
    Mum and uncle Frank give me plenty a story to smile about
    It’s is a ginnel ? What other word would you use
    27 June at 22:04
  •   Steve Mullington Good to see
    20 September 2013 at 09:32
  •   Kath Parrington Love this x
    19 September 2013 at 20:32
  •   Denis Williams Looks great.
    20 September 2013 at 17:54
  •   Meg Barlow I love that word ,Ginnel, I was born on bury rd, at the end of our row of houses we had !! A Ginnel, used by many a courting couple
    20 September 2013 at 07:42
  •   John Woolfenden great, brings back memories
    20 September 2013 at 02:10
  •   JoanneHall PaulaGeorge Looks great x paula
    19 September 2013 at 23:09
  •   Pauline Mertens Ginnel is a northern word, they say it in Corrie.
    19 September 2013 at 23:08
  •   Diane Daveron very nice,hope it keeps like this,no graffiti please ..
    19 September 2013 at 22:48
  •   Greg Couzens Love it!
    19 September 2013 at 22:29
  •   Trish Cartner Chuffed about this.
    19 September 2013 at 21:04
  •   Paul Fidler Ginnel: what such a Rochdale word!
    19 September 2013 at 21:02
  •   John Rymer And as it was before the restoration:

    Thanks to Caroline Bunford for this fabulous shot. Bull Brow, Rochdale.

    19 September 2013 at 21:34

Bull Brow Rochdale

Bull Brow Rochdale

Bull Brow Rochdale

Bull Brow Rochdale




  Rochdale Past, Present & Future. I do hope somebody can explain this anomaly that it crushing our town
7 October 2013 at 03:29


  Gordon Monks Is it the rateable value that’s set by central government and the actual rate (based on that value) set by local government? That’s the way it used to be.
7 October 2013 at 17:03
  Paul Jones This shop is still there although a little damp inside, have been making some inquiries about renting this but the rates are ridiculous..

6 October 2013 at 19:41


  Kath Parrington Ring Simon mp, see if he can help,
6 October 2013 at 20:09


  Paul Jones This would be the perfect place for a little Antique shop, used to be one many years ago…
6 October 2013 at 20:16


Rochdale Past, Present & Future.how much were the rates Paul Jones
6 October 2013 at 20:20


  Moira Garrod The rates in Rochdale have killed the town. I can’t believe after all these years it’s still the same. The multiples won’t entertain these costs let alone independants. Very sad they can’t see the wood for the trees.

6 October 2013 at 20:22


  Paul Jones Neil you would not believe the rates mate. A shop this size is over 12 grand a year just for rates. The same size shop in Bury would be under 4 grand….Rents are the same, so high in Rochdale it’s farcical..It’s as if it’s a deliberate policy by the Council to kill off the Yorkshire St area in favour of the new development….
6 October 2013 at 20:29


  Kath Parrington Paul a little Antique shop would be great, Simon has his office on Cheetham street/ st Mary’s gate , give him a ring, i’m sure people would enjoy a shop like this x
6 October 2013 at 20:30


  Kath Parrington Why don’t we stop knocking Rochdale, and try to support people who are trying to improve !!
6 October 2013 at 20:33


  Nick Barton Rates are not set by the Council, they are set by the Valuation Office on behalf of the government. The Council have a duty to collect the rates, but no control over the amount. Rents are not set by the Council either, suggesting that either is some kind of Council led conspiracy is bonkers!

6 October 2013 at 23:18


  Paul Jones Could you therefore explain how the rates in our town and those of Bury are so different?
7 October 2013 at 00:02


  Paul Jones Harrods rates are £189 per sq mtr, Shop on Yorkshire st £375 per sq mtr….Care to explain?
7 October 2013 at 00:08


  Nick Barton I suspect the rates are not very different from Bury when you start to look more closely. Was it the rates or the rateable value in each example? Did the Bury shop benefit from small business relief, which many businesses in Rochdale also benefit from? No denying rates are a big issue, but is not just a Rochdale problem, as I have said, they are not set locally.
7 October 2013 at 10:00


  Paul Jones As of Today the figures are that Rochdale shopkeepers pay on average 40% more than our local neighbours, this does not include any discounts for small business, this is comparing like to like. One of the latest to close on Yorkshire Street was the fish and chip shop on the right that used to house Gregg’s the rateable value of that shop was 39k, actual yearly rates payable were over 18k and the rent for that shop was 10k a year. Outgoings before any utility bills of 28 thousand a year, rates are tied to the rents payable, be it a council owned property or in private hands, as rents fall rates go up to cover the shortfall. this is a government set system, however there are still many buildings in and around Rochdale that are in council hands, and in those cases they do set the rents and offer discounts for new businesses at reduced rates. This in turn drives up the rates payable, this anomaly was to be looked at this year by the ConDems, however this planned reform was shelved by the Govt, am sure the MP for Rochdale is part of this coalition being a Liberal…One of the few winners in this are M&S on Yorkshire St, they in fact own the building they are in and therefore do not pay rent, if this were not the case I have it from the horses mouth itself that M&S would pull out in rapid style. As the post above stated a shop on Yorkshire St is rated at £395 per sq mtr and Harrods of London are rated at £189 per sq feet, those figures are correct as of yesterday…If anyone could explain this divide between the south and the north I would love to be in on that discussion…I do not wish to turn this into a political debate but it is quite obvious that this part of the country is being monetarily raped by this Govt, and previous ones I might add……

7 October 2013 at 15:35


  Nick Barton I agree rates are a problem, but I don’t think you understand the issue in the article. Lower rents don’t make the rates rise they just change the ratio. I suspect the MP would rather not be referred to a member of the government, as he is a member of the Labour Party.
7 October 2013 at 21:35


  Paul Jones Is he, I always thought he was a Liberal lol, my mistake…Re the rates, the figures quoted are correct and the differences between areas are indeed vastly different, where rents are falling in Rochdale and remaining fairly constant in other areas there is a marked difference in the rates payable…And guess where they are higher? Where rental income is falling…You would tend to think that in the more affluent areas of the country the rates would be higher, this is not the case. Rents are higher in those areas but the rates are less…..It is not the ratio that is different..The rate charges for each square foot of floor space is higher here than say London and the South East…..To regenerate areas that are suffering the rates have to be significantly less to encourage the take up of premises in the retail sector. The system we have works in exactly the opposite way…

7 October 2013 at 21:51


  Nick Barton I am going to try and get my hands on the university of Liverpool report.
7 October 2013 at 22:19
 Ed Carr Please explain how?
6 October 2013 at 19:23


 Rochdale Past, Present & Future. Ed do you really think it looks this bad now? send us some photos to compare

6 October 2013 at 20:17


  Ed Carr here is one for a starter.
  Julie Robinson Still doesn’t answer why burys rates are so much lower
6 October 2013 at 23:56


  Nigel Lancashire With pages like this, people always rush to Rochdale’s defence, seemingly wilfully blind to the slow death the town is experiencing. If Rochdale’s rates are killing it, why don’t those who have power and profess to love Rochdale not tackle the problem? In the main, today’s Rochdale Council and the people in grey suits who are there ensuring ‘business as usual’ as councils come and go don’t care as long as they are OK – exemplified by the ridiculously ugly and expensive new premises they’ve built with our money that they believe is more important than spending it first on a town dying from indifference. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns…

7 October 2013 at 11:28


  Warren Ballantyne Im guilty of being synical towards rochdale like many other people in this town but im tired of being ashamed of my home town this page does a good job of reinstating a bit of nostalgia and pride and its good to see recent investment in our town i.e new transport links, new shopping centre but watching the local economy crumble and to find out the decline is assisted by government is disheartening. Maybe our local m.p can answer some of our questions.
7 October 2013 at 10:32


  Warren Ballantyne Seems artificially high business rates are the problem which doesn’t seem to be a problem isolated to rochdale alone.
7 October 2013 at 09:05


  Warren Ballantyne Makes for an interesting read.


  Warren Ballantyne My mum used to run this shop selling second hand furniture in the 90s, it was quite busy at the time i dont know how she managed I look in sometimes when going to la mancha, its tiny inside.
Have to agree about rates in this town its as if the council are trying to suffocate any chance of a thriving business, if a multi million pound firm like macdonalds cant remain in this town what hope has any ambitious new start up got rochdale doesn’t have a brilliant track record when it comes to supporting new business 25 ten boutique is one example of a succesfull business that crumbled under the pressure of ridiculously high rents.
6 October 2013 at 22:39


  Julie Robinson I thought the rates were set by the government. Why are bury rates so low do they subsidise them
6 October 2013 at 21:05


  Nick Barton Are they much lower in Bury? They cannot subsidise them, they are set by the same Valuation Office and the problem has been primarily identified as a north / south issue.

7 October 2013 at 21:41

Kath Parrington Bull brow has been painted it looks neat, nice and bright x
6 October 2013 at 19:55


  Meg Barlow In what way has it improved?
6 October 2013 at 19:29


  Julie Anne McGrann Bull brow has been painted now, looks great and the floor is a lot better than it is in this photo, with hanging baskets on the Italian restaurant opposite bullbrow
7 October 2013 at 12:12


6 October 2013 at 19:25


  Dave Lee And this photo shows it eh!
6 October 2013 at 19:20


  Joanne Watchorn Remember the cafe on left was the Lincoln Green. Many a happy time in there with college friends.
28 August at 08:53


  Nick Heywood from a dump to a lot bigger dump
7 October 2013 at 16:23


  Julie Robinson Shall we all get in touch with our local council. This should have been sorted out years ago I think k its to late now

7 October 2013 at 09:40


  Marilyn Shaw Well there must be a problem with the valuation officer’s if they think the buildings in Rochdale are worth more than the likes of Bury. Something not right.
6 October 2013 at 23:39


  Bev Hughes I remember that shop!
6 October 2013 at 20:27


  Nigel Lancashire Ooo look, an open shop in Rochdale… And it wasn’t even cashing cheques or offering loans. Improved how exactly?

6 October 2013 at 20:25


  Neil Bainbridge Not really at least the shop was open now it’s shut like most of town
6 October 2013 at 19:49


  Gordon Monks The Grapes (extreme left) closed! (I don’t know why, but the Grapes always had a bad reputation in my youth.)
6 October 2013 at 19:39