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342 Old Colonial Taylor St & 167 Bridge Street
once known as Grapes Hotel

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Mark #278583 29th Dec 2008 4:24pm
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raftl raftl raftl at the banner on the pub and then look at the steel shutters on the windows raftl raftl raftl

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That's opposite the Transport Museum isn't it? The tram line runs behind it.


Carpe diem.
chriskay #278665 29th Dec 2008 9:31pm
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Thats the one Kris wink


Mark #376003 24th Dec 2009 12:29am
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That was a great pub that. Used to drink in there and the Commedore, god must be getting on for 20 years ago now.

When did it shut?

Rhoobarb #376005 24th Dec 2009 12:44am
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I went there in 2001 for my mates 30th. Wasnt it a bikers pub?

RUDEBOX #379527 11th Jan 2010 9:54am
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Last time I went there was in the early 2000's, mainly because on a nice summer's day you could sit in the back, bask in the sun and watch the trams.

RUDEBOX #383842 26th Jan 2010 1:36am
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The Commedore was yeah. I used to work with a girl who was a barmaid there part time.

Rhoobarb #386221 5th Feb 2010 3:06pm
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The Old Colonial is being converted into offices, although they're supposed to be keeping the sign on the corner as a reminder of the buildings past.


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uptoncx #386337 6th Feb 2010 10:07am
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Another great shame. Used to have some good jazz nights there.

Tatey #386470 6th Feb 2010 8:41pm
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Used to have grat stay-behinds there in the early 90s, watchin the boxing from America.

uptoncx #390740 23rd Feb 2010 7:41pm
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Originally Posted by uptoncx

The Old Colonial is being converted into offices, although they're supposed to be keeping the sign on the corner as a reminder of the buildings past.



My father has bought the pub. I have posted a history request on the history forums in search of any old pictures and info etc. It is being turned into offices. I have lots of pictures of when we bought it, inside and out, and I will post them, along with what it looks like now 6 months on and then eventually, when the place is finished.

The location of it is not great for a pub and from what ive been told it was in good hands towards the end. We are trying to keep some of the history of the building by including some of the signs, and all other things we have, such as the bigger signs and old doors etc, have gone to the museum across the road, where they are going to make a bar scene from the things we have given them.

If anyone has any interesting facts or pictures of the building then I would be really grateful

BennyBoy #390777 23rd Feb 2010 9:24pm
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Grapes Hotel on 1950s map

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derekdwc #390817 23rd Feb 2010 10:39pm
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Great map, really interesting. Ill dig around tonight, I have an 1860 ish map somehwere where I think its on there...its just speculation until I have properly researched it at the archives centre in the cheshire Lines Building

BennyBoy #390830 23rd Feb 2010 11:03pm
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The 1911 Census shows it as a Public House owned by Yates Castle Brewery, but doesn't name it. The landlord was John Allison, aged 64, from Carlisle.



uptoncx #390857 24th Feb 2010 12:16am
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Going back, the 1901 census lists the landlord again as John Allison, but 10 years earlier in 1891 he is listed as the landlord of the Meadows Hotel.

The 1891 census names the pub as the Grapes Hotel and the landlord as Joseph Wynn. 10 years before this, the 1881 census lists the landlord as William Oliver Gray.



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uptoncx #390862 24th Feb 2010 12:27am
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I can"t find it on a 1909 ordnance map .could be when it was a morgue or was not built??

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from 1916 Wilmers Street Directory
167 Bridge Street Grapes Hotel

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
I can"t find it on a 1909 ordnance map .could be when it was a morgue or was not built??


Unlikely as it appears in the 1901, 1891 and 1881 censuses as a pub.

It also appears in the 1857 Post Office Directory (forerunner of Kelly) as the Grapes, with Mrs Margaret Jones as the victualer.

uptoncx #390888 24th Feb 2010 8:14am
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The 1864 Morris and Co Directory of Cheshire lists Mrs Margaret Jones still at the Grapes.

Putting all these together, we have the landlords as:

1857 Mrs Margaret Jones
1864 Mrs Margaret Jones
1878 William Oliver Gray
1881 William Oliver Gray
1891 Joseph Wynn
1901 John Allison
1911 John Allison
1916 Ernest Briscoe


uptoncx #390943 24th Feb 2010 1:12pm
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"I want my money back" the grapes is missing and another one at the bottom of Pool street I have high lighted thirty eight pubs up to now and Birkenhead Park takes up half the map "What are we like"?

uptoncx #390984 24th Feb 2010 5:56pm
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After spending a couple of hours in the archives centre of the cheshire lines building on canning street, I have found out alot of information about the pub. I will start be telling you of what Ive found out about the owners up to the 1911 entry the previous post stated, and I havent gone past there.

In the Mortimer and Harwoods directory dated 1843 I found an entry which stated that their was an owner of the Grapes Inn (what the colonial used to be called) called Thomas Jones.

From the 1841 census, I found that a Thomas Jones lived on Bridge street, he was aged 54 and was born around 1787. His occupation was a Liquor vendor, but the writing is hard to read. He had a wife, Margaret who was 40 years old and a daughter also called Margaret who was 6, another daughter called Mary who was 4, another daughter called Martha who was 2, and a son called Dan who was 5.

In the 1861 Wirral Hundred, there is a business posted as the Grapes Hotel, owned by a Margaret Jones. I might of been the wife who would of been around 60 or the daughter who would of been 26.

I then found a liscense book from 1880-81, which shows the pub, still called the Grapes Hotel, owned by a Margaret Jones, and the liscensee is a William Oliver Gray. It may of been the wife, she would of been 80, but it could be the daughter who would of been 46 by now.

Thats the owners history up to 1880, it would be nice if anybody else could trace the other family members or the other owners of the pub, but I didnt have enough time today to research it all.


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BennyBoy #390986 24th Feb 2010 6:09pm
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Now I can tell you a bit about the building.
There was no evidence of the building being registered as the records only go up to 1843, and it was already built by then. A map in 1824 shows no sign of the pub or streets surrounding it. One of the archives staff pointed out that Hamilton square wasn't built until 1825 or so and he doubted that anything around there would of been built then because Hamilton square was the birthplace really of Birkenhead. So we decided that the building was built between 1830-1843, possibly making it one of the oldest pubs in Birknhead.

There are maps from 1842 and 1858 which show the building to have an L shape, although I cant put them on here because of the poor quality, but the 1880 map shows that the building has changed slightly. If you look at the picture, at the top, this section of the pub has been built since 1858, origionally there was a gap, possibly a garden area. Also, if you look at the 1951 map which was posted earlier, you can see that the building is different from the 1880 map (below). The shape of the building in 1951 is more rectangular. We can see evidence of this extension in the pub today.
Also, if you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see a row of houses, which are part of the pub, these, we are lead to believe, are the inn houses where people stayed. Behind these buildings are we think, stables. To the left of the picture, are houses, these have been here since the first map in 1842, they are no longer here, but it may explain the large amount of housing brick we found under the car park which is where these houses used to be.

Thats the history of the building from the information ive gathered today, I have some other pieces of information to follow that may interest some of you

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BennyBoy #390988 24th Feb 2010 6:13pm
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One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.

uptoncx #390990 24th Feb 2010 6:22pm
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It also appears in the 1857 Post Office Directory (forerunner of Kelly) as the Grapes, with Mrs Margaret Jones as the victualer. [/quote]

So from this it seems that Thomas Jones was the owner from 1843 until 1857 at the very latest. He must of died or something?

Also, the Margaret Jones in 1857 must be the wife, she would of been 56, the daughter would of only been 22? Would it of been right for a woman of that age to run a pub in those days? Interesting....

BennyBoy #390998 24th Feb 2010 7:32pm
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Adding yours, plus a few more I've found, to my origanl list, gives a list of landlords as follows:

1841 Thomas Jones ?
1843 Thomas Jones
1857 Mrs Margaret Jones
1861 Mrs Margaret Jones
1864 Mrs Margaret Jones
1878 William Oliver Gray
1881 William Oliver Gray
1891 Joseph Wynn
1894 Joseph William Wynn
1896 John Allison
1900 John Allison
1901 John Allison
1902 John Allison
1911 John Allison
1914 Ernest Briscoe
1916 Ernest Briscoe
1938 Laurence McCarthy

The pub was still called the Grapes in 1938.


uptoncx #391002 24th Feb 2010 7:42pm
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Before 1841, there is a gap of a few years, my guess is the Jones family bought and built the pub. It would be interesting to find out where Thomas Jones was born, the census information shows that he was not born in birkenhead. He must of been well of or had a good family to be able to undertake a project like this. Unfortuantely, he was born in around 1787 and I cant find any information that far back.
Also, if you look on the Wirral News archives, the landlords from 1997 were barry and gill mcdonaugh, followed by anne macdonaugh in 98.

BennyBoy #391040 24th Feb 2010 11:00pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war.


The Liverpool Echo reviewed the Old Colonial in September 2002, and within their article they state:

Originally Posted by Liverpool Echo, 7th September 2002
And it wasn't just Liverpool that took a battering in the early 1940s as some are wont to forget - the one-eyed town across the Mersey had its own fair share of death and destruction to handle.

Sixty years on and it's hard to believe that the apparently thriving area of warehouses and light industry in which the Old Colonial takes centre stage, was literally flattened by the Luftwaffe assault.

In fact, so the pub posse was reliably informed, the Colonial has its own war-time tale of tragedy attached, the original building having taken a direct hit that killed the mother, father and five children inside.

Its present state gives no hint of this, the pub having been acquired by Cains in 1995 and in a fourmonth revamp given the Victorian feel that regulars to its other pubs will already be familiar with, genuine faded photographic prints and other paraphernalia being used for decoration.


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There is a book in the archives which I can't remember the name of, the catalogues all the bomb damage to
buildings in the war.there is no mention of the colonial but other pubs that were hit ad caused fatalities where.you'd think if there was loss of life then there would be some sort of record of this???

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BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P

BennyBoy #391089 25th Feb 2010 10:13am
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.


Hope do find something on the march, that would be very interesting, good luck.

Last edited by bert1; 25th Feb 2010 10:14am.

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P


that would be interesting. I will go back down to the archives place later this week and have a look. I will look at the map and see where it is supposed to be and I might have a better idea.

bert1 #391159 25th Feb 2010 1:39pm
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Originally Posted by bert1
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.


Hope do find something on the march, that would be very interesting, good luck.


It would be, there are alot of books on the building of the Alabama, and i was told that there is a reference to a march down bridge street. Its just a matter of finding it off the internet or in books.
hopefully my search in the birkenhead library may get a picture or something! Of all the old birkenhead pictures, there are alot of pictures of Cleveland street, corporation road, and the docks, and in the middle of all them is the pub, im hoping there is a picture somewhere. Ill keep you all posted

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I thought the alabama was a cloak and dagger job built as a merchantman sailed With a local crew to Cherburg or somewhere refitted and re- crewed . smack on the bottom for Mr Laird and Co
I daubt if John Wayne was staying local as it would of given the game away.

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Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


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Originally Posted by nickynocky
I thought the alabama was a cloak and dagger job built as a merchantman sailed With a local crew to Cherburg or somewhere refitted and re- crewed . smack on the bottom for Mr Laird and Co
I daubt if John Wayne was staying local as it would of given the game away.


Yeh, it was called something else, and was built as something else, because Britain was a neutral country and weren't allowed to make war ships. They made one for the confederates and snook it out. The crew were mainly british and this is where the pub comes in because they marched down bridge street. Im still searching for this information

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I went to the Birkenhead reference library today and no look. I looked at all the pictures of bridge street that they had and none of them show the pub! Ill keep searching, I find it hard to believe that such an old pub as this wasn't photographed.Unonless all of the pictures were destroyed??

As for the pub being missing in the early 20th century map, I will be going the archives place again tommorow and will look it up. If it has been damaged or knocked down then there should be some record of this.

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P


Done some digging today. I looked at the 1911 map and I found that there was the building on the map, bu it wansnt ised as a public house?? So I looked at a later map in 1927, and its back as a puclic house again. So I looked up the census information on John Allison and he was the owner of the Grapes Hotel between 1901 and 1911. So something must of happened in that gap between?

I got hold of a Kelly's street directory in 1902 and it has it listed there. I wondered whether there has just been some istake but the man at the archives said it is very rare that the ordinance survey people get it wrong.

The map was surveyed in 1908-09 which means that the next thing I have to do is get hold of a street directory from these years and see what the pub is listed as. Alternatively, I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.

It is really confusing. Why is it not listed as a Public House? Its interesting but it might be just a mistake on the map. Ill find out soon though and let you know

BennyBoy #391811 27th Feb 2010 7:26pm
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let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please

BennyBoy #391829 27th Feb 2010 8:59pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).


derekdwc #391847 27th Feb 2010 10:09pm
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Originally Posted by derekdwc
let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please


1996 I think, it was when Cains took over the pub did they rename it to the Old Colonial

uptoncx #391848 27th Feb 2010 10:12pm
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Originally Posted by uptoncx
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).




Yeh they only have financial information in there. The archive people said that I might have to go to Manchester to get some other information...
If you want any information about that pub then I think you might have to go there. I think my best bet is to go to the Birkenhead reference library and get the gore street directory.

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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
Originally Posted by derekdwc
let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please


1996 I think, it was when Cains took over the pub did they rename it to the Old Colonial


I used to drink there in 91/92 and it was the Old Colonial then.

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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
Originally Posted by uptoncx
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).




Yeh they only have financial information in there. The archive people said that I might have to go to Manchester to get some other information...
If you want any information about that pub then I think you might have to go there. I think my best bet is to go to the Birkenhead reference library and get the gore street directory.


FYI - 'The Brewing Industry: A Guide to the Historical Records' says that all they have at Manchester Central Library is a plan of the Ardwick Brewery in 1896. There are some Yates's records with John Smith's at Tadcaster, but they're just listed as 'Miscellaneous records (unlisted), so I've no idea what they are.

If you just want to trace the history of the pub, you would probably be better off going to Wirral Archives in the Cheshire Lines Building at Woodside, as they have the Birkenhead Licence Registers covering the period from 1880 to the early 1960s.

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No luck with the Gore street directory. I cant find the book on 1909. Ill keep looking for it though.

In the meantime I was thinking about the old bridge that made up part of bridge street, does anybody know about it? It was knocked down a while back and im sure that there would be some pictures and documentation of it surely.

BennyBoy #398593 31st Mar 2010 7:27pm
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No pictures, but looking at this 1910 map, the bridge spanned about 12 rail tracks. Is it all gone now?

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Carpe diem.
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Bridge Street 1997 and 2007

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Bridge-Street-2007.jpg (81.53 KB, 307 downloads)

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And 1971

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Didn't we go under Bridge st on Haymarket tunnel walk

derekdwc #398614 31st Mar 2010 8:49pm
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Originally Posted by derekdwc
Didn't we go under Bridge st on Haymarket tunnel walk

YES WE DID MATE!



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derekdwc #398615 31st Mar 2010 8:50pm
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Originally Posted by derekdwc
Didn't we go under Bridge st on Haymarket tunnel walk
No mate, we went through it because the bridge ain't there any longer wink

The old cast iron bridge pillars were on the ground not far away.


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see pic

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the pillars

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Yeh the pillars are still there, they are down the path, away from where the bridge was. The guys at the tram museum told me that they are huge and the council or whoever dont want to move them because they are so big...

I hope that this new lead will help because im sure that a huge bridge such as this would definately have some coverage when it was built. Ill keep digging for now...

chriskay #398806 1st Apr 2010 5:41pm
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Originally Posted by chriskay
No pictures, but looking at this 1910 map, the bridge spanned about 12 rail tracks. Is it all gone now?


There gone now, but on some maps the bridge is still there, and people everyday are coming down bridge street thinking that the bridge is still there lol. Its funny watching them driving up to it, then having to reverse out

BennyBoy #445121 19th Nov 2010 3:54pm
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i used to live there 1979-88,it was a john smiths pub my mum was the licencee it was haunted we think we used to hear something down the cellar around 9 am every morning


Every dog has its day!
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I know its been a while but I re started my research today. After the omission of the public house sign on the old colonial on a 1912 map I think it was, it had me wondering as to whether it wasn't a public house for a period.

However, after looking through the Gore's street directory, the place is still listed as a pub? Is it possible that the map surveyors made a mistake. The guys at the Archive centre assure me that they rarely make mistakes but I cant think of any othr reason why they would'nt put it as a Public House.

Its a mystery.....

Pictures of the new pub will follow shortly, plus an old brochure for the theatre which we found behind an old wall

BennyBoy #481347 6th Mar 2011 8:33pm
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Here are some pictures of the outside, before and after. Unfortuanately, the file size of most of the pictures is way more than 1mb. I don't know how to reduce the size, any help would be appreciated. More to follow

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P1010074.JPG (828.27 KB, 164 downloads)
055.JPG (966.3 KB, 162 downloads)
Mark #485322 14th Mar 2011 2:38pm
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Hi i used to live here 78-87 ,looking at your pictures above it has changed so much that entrance was never there it looks like they have knocked through from ladies toilet
Bennyboy that stained glass window i was on about to you was to the left of the entrance door on your picture

mum reckons a historian told her years ago when he was writing a book that the angel was oldest pub and then the grapes was second oldest
we have a book somewhere that mentioned a murder there in the 1860's will dig it out


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I walk past this every day so thought I'd snap it this morning...


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polo_phil #486058 15th Mar 2011 7:21pm
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Derek has given me a tool which will enable me to reduce the size of the pictures so I can show all the pictures of the interior aswell. Thanks for taking that pic polo.

A murder?? That would be really interesting. Im sure when you see the pictures of the interior then it will bring back some memories!

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Been meaning to put these pictures up aswell. When we took the building apart, I found this old theatre programme behind the walls. Its really interesting, all the old advertisements for shops. Its dated as 1914, you will see in one of the pictures the date of the show that they are playing. That is about 6 months before the start of the first world war!

BennyBoy #486070 15th Mar 2011 7:48pm
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These are the pictures:

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....

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prgramme 1.GIF (81.17 KB, 321 downloads)
programme.GIF (59.95 KB, 319 downloads)
programme 2.GIF (67.06 KB, 318 downloads)
programme 3.GIF (108.43 KB, 321 downloads)
programme 4.GIF (88.87 KB, 317 downloads)
programme 5.GIF (106.51 KB, 317 downloads)
#488131 18th Mar 2011 6:27pm
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Hi all my mother was licencee here from late 70's to late 80's.

Many customers at that time said it was second oldest pub in birkenhead,the oldest being The Angel.
Can anyone confirm this please.

The only other thing i can add at the moment is that a murder occured there in the 1860's.


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poodlepup #488450 19th Mar 2011 5:55pm
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my wifes grandad owned The Angel not long before it closed.

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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I know its been a while but I re started my research today. After the omission of the public house sign on the old colonial on a 1912 map I think it was, it had me wondering as to whether it wasn't a public house for a period.

However, after looking through the Gore's street directory, the place is still listed as a pub? Is it possible that the map surveyors made a mistake. The guys at the Archive centre assure me that they rarely make mistakes but I cant think of any othr reason why they would'nt put it as a Public House.

Its a mystery.....

Pictures of the new pub will follow shortly, plus an old brochure for the theatre which we found behind an old wall


Contrary to what the guys at the Archives said, mistakes were quite frequently made on OS maps - I've found dozens of them over the years. When the maps were drawn up the cartographers had to rely on the Surveyors' notebooks, and if these contained mistakes or inadequate information it wasn't really practicable to send them out again to redo the survey. In many cases it seems that the artists simply made the best of the info that they had, so the fact that a pub isn't named as such on a particular map doesn't mean it wasn't a pub. It should be a simple matter to check through the Licence Registers and see if there's been any break in the licencing history. This would actually have been unlikely, as once a licence was lost, it seems to have been very diffucult to get premises relicenced again.

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my nan worked in the angel for a few years ,her name was emma hill wonder iff anyone remembers her,we lived on marion street

poodlepup #494282 30th Mar 2011 3:39am
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I beleive the oldest pub in Birkenhead on the time scale as viewed was the "County Arms" which was on the Priory estate, the oldest part of Birkenhead,however when the "County Arms" was pulled down when they Industrialised the Priory, The "Angel" did indeed became the oldest pub in Birkenhead...sadly looking lonely isolated on the wasteland it occupied when the Council decided to ethnicly cleanse all the neighbourhood streets and roads. hope this confirms your information.

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I have spoken with some people at the archive centre on canning street and they are of the opinion that the oldest pubs in birkenhead are located on Chester Street. They didn't say exactly which ones but they were the oldest pubs, however I dont think they are still standnig. The oldest standing pub I believe is the Grapes Hotel (Old Colonial)

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In Birkenhead I think the Cleveland Arms and the Market Inn (now part of Hornblowers) would be in the running
Chester st
the Hamlet now Gallaghers
Worsley Arms / Queens Arms (Cuckoo) now Riverview
possibly throw the Royal Castle into the mix

The first hotels/inns may be the ones to accomodate travellers off the different ferries. There were several near to Woodside Ferry.
In Rose Brae there was the Adelphi also a Ferry Hotel.
the Woodside Hotel all gon
All the ferries seemed to have a Ferry Hotel

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Merging the following 6 posts into this thread.

Wizzo #497624 5th Apr 2011 12:53am
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Originally Posted by Wizzo
I beleive the oldest pub in Birkenhead on the time scale as viewed was the "County Arms" which was on the Priory estate, the oldest part of Birkenhead,however when the "County Arms" was pulled down when they Industrialised the Priory, The "Angel" did indeed became the oldest pub in Birkenhead...sadly looking lonely isolated on the wasteland it occupied when the Council decided to ethnicly cleanse all the neighbourhood streets and roads. hope this confirms your information.

Thanks wizzo.


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BennyBoy #535618 19th Jun 2011 9:18pm
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hey
i use to work and live in th eold colonial from 2001 to 2007ish. great memories from this pub met some of my closest and bestest friends in this time. Also the love of my life hahaha was a customer and hes still with me. the post in the echo from 2002 me and a guy who worked there got interviewed by him. this was and will be the best pub ever

Mark #535650 19th Jun 2011 10:03pm
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Hi Hannah,must agree best pub ever,my mum had it late 70's to late 80's.
Were you the owner after the lady that renamed it The old colonial?


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poodlepup #536139 20th Jun 2011 9:05pm
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hiya

i was the assisatnt manager there it was dean who was the licencee then.ive only known it as the old colonial

Mark #536142 20th Jun 2011 9:13pm
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Ok thanks anyway.


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Hi my dad who had his own Wholesale company selling beer to the pubs owned the Old Colonial during the late 1980's and early 1990's he bought it when it was called "The Grapes" and he was the one who renamed it "The Old Colonial". It had a restaurant and one of its dishes was drunken bull steak.

smile

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Did your Dad build the two extensions on either side of the building? They were completed in the 90's I think. When we moved one of the extension parts was the kitchen behind where the bar was. Might of changed since you knew it though....

The other extension was where the pool table was.

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i word over the road from they at twelve quays, every Friday lunch time we used to go for a pint of Fax mmmmmmmm, so good and strong


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Here are some pictures which I promised of the Old Colonial. This first batch are of the Ground floor. This is the double glazing business area with built in showroom.

Here are the before and afters:

Attached Images
P1010082.JPG (1.42 MB, 219 downloads)
P1000811.JPG (1.16 MB, 213 downloads)
P1000980.JPG (1 MB, 214 downloads)
Ground Floor Original
P1000814.JPG (1.15 MB, 217 downloads)
New stairs fitted and new walls and floor
P1000981.JPG (1.41 MB, 214 downloads)
Old Bar near entrance
P1010081.JPG (1.29 MB, 211 downloads)
Same from another angle
P1000812.JPG (1.19 MB, 216 downloads)
New ground floor
P1010080.JPG (1.29 MB, 211 downloads)
Old seating area on ground floor
P1000813.JPG (1.21 MB, 215 downloads)
New conservatory showroom for the Double Glazing business
Mark #604866 20th Oct 2011 8:34pm
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Very nice

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Wow,what a makeover! None of the wood paneling was orignal,certainly wasn't there when it was The Grapes,also there has been a few walls knocked through,and the bar has moved.

When i eventually find my photo's i will upload them,its hard to believe how much its changed over the years!


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The wood panelling is courtesy of Cains when they took over. I will post some of the upstairs (1st floor) now and I will post some of the 2nd floor tommmorow

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Thanks for sharing Benny,it brings back fond memories.


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BennyBoy #604881 20th Oct 2011 9:09pm
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As promised, this is the 1st floor

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P1000989.JPG (957.29 KB, 184 downloads)
P1000818.JPG (1.16 MB, 175 downloads)
P1000988.JPG (1.07 MB, 177 downloads)
P1000819.JPG (1.01 MB, 173 downloads)
P1010084.JPG (1.01 MB, 173 downloads)
P1000816.JPG (1.14 MB, 171 downloads)
BennyBoy #604887 20th Oct 2011 9:21pm
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This is a photo of the old bar. This was donated to to tram museum who are creating an old fashioned bar with the donations we have given them

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oh wow you have done so much work looks really good.

hannahj #617546 8th Nov 2011 7:42pm
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thank you! click

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hi are the photos still available to see i cant seem to access them thanks

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Planning permission been put in for the Old Colonial to restore the basement into licensed premises https://planning.wirral.gov.uk/onli...b=summary&keyVal=_WIRRA_DCAPR_103775


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BennyBoy #1055701 30th May 2018 11:47am
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Could you let me know when this is opening please I used to hear my uncles speak about drinking in there and they said it was a great pub who is taking it over Aswell do you know. Thanks

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Phone Thextons on 0151 670 1122 , they are remaining at the premises.


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Originally Posted by Rooster202
Could you let me know when this is opening please I used to hear my uncles speak about drinking in there and they said it was a great pub who is taking it over Aswell do you know. Thanks
pm Benny Boy on here he will know mate ..


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Recent pic. (yesterday)

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Old Colonial remake is still going as Molly's Chambers Cellar Bar

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IMG_0122-s.jpg (63.73 KB, 10 downloads)

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