Bolton Smithills Coaching House

Bolton Photo: a fantastic Bolton Photograph Featuring Smithills Coaching House

Photograph Taken On Saturday, January 1, 1983

Smithills Coaching House, Bolton, 1983 This place was used by us for many a family occasion over the years. In the early 1980s when this photo was taken, we used to take groups of bikers who used to visit from the South of England there as they couldnt believe that you could get a meal of that size so cheaply. One time we were extolling the virtues of the Bury Black Pudding which was one of the inclusive "starters" (and unlimited bread rolls!) but it really didn't suit the "southern" palate shall we say? We then used to complete the "northern" experience with a Warburtons loaf, a glass of Vimto and many many pints of Timothy Taylor's Landlord. It was good for family parties as there was always something solid (ie nothing fancy) on the menu that suited most people. You got a free ice cream but could upgrade to a more substantial desert but after all that grub, most people I know just had the ice cream! The menu used to have these names of main courses / dishes named after characters in Charles Dickens novels - Mr Tupmans treat (or something like that anyway). Mr Pickwick is on the wall. These days (or at least before the pandemic) it was easy to take a family out for a meal in a pub, but when I was a kid that really wasn't possible so for a family "do" it was always off to Smithills. One cute touch which I rememmber was if someone ordered a steak it came wth a little plastic cow stuck in it which said how it had been cooked - y'know - rare, medium, well done etc. In its death throes it was a bit sad and empty and was well past its hey day, which was really a shame as we had some great times in there. At the end of the meal it was possible to help yourself to as much fresh fruit and cheese as you could eat on the premises. One day we took and elderly Aunt who shall we say tried "smuggling" an apple out of the door and was apprehended! At the end of the meal you had to leave the restaurant and sit in the lounge to have the coffee as getting a table in the main restaurant was always in demand. The last time we went in before it closed it was literally us and Shaun Ryder (out of The Happy Mondays) and his wife and kids in there. I was reading Shaun's autobiography at the time and I was going to say something but I didn't - which I kind of regret now. RIP Smithills Coaching HouseView image on Flickr

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