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Tuesday, 13 March 2012


124 - 125  (later 212 - 214)  Lancaster Road
THREE generations of Spindlemakers' Arms:

This was the position of the first two photographs.
1849 - 71                John Dobson     d. 1871
1871                        Thomas Coup
1877 - 92                William Dobson
1892 - 94                Hugh Gibson
1895 - 1913            James Bramwell Dobson
1917                       William Dobson
1926 - 27                William Bagwell
1932                        Eleanor Livesey
1936                        Anthony Brindle
1940                        William R. Brooks
1944                        Thomas Brindle
In the last quarter of the 19th century, the house
was owned by:
Elizabeth Dobson (widow)
5 Beacham Street,
Oxford Street, Morecambe.
At the house of Miss Clitheroe, the
CHURCH HOUSE TAVERN, Lancaster Road, Preston
On the 9th July 1849.
LOT 2    The Fee-simple and Inheritance of and in all
that BEER-SHOP, situate at the corner of Kilshaw
Street, in Lancaster Road, together with the PROVISION
premises belonging thereto, now occupied by John DOBSON,
as tenant thereof.
Preston Chronicle 7th July 1849
John Dobson - The Provincial Corresponding
Secretary of the Independent Order of
Oddfellows, Manchester Union, Preston District.
Preston Chronicle 28th December 1861
Two BANDS, for the procession of
the Independent Order of Oddfellows,
Preston District, on Friday 4th October.

State terms, number of performers, and
if in uniform, to
JOHN DOBSON,   124 Lancaster Road,
before 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening next.
Preston Chronicle 31st August 1867
Preston Chronicle  10th June 1882
Lancashire Evening Post  12th November 1895
Blackburn Weekly Standard  11th February 1899
 Manchester Courier  24th August 1907
 Lancashire Evening Post  14th December 1931
FOR SALE:  Fish and Chips Business, living for two; owner took public business; must sell quick; no reasonable offer refused; rent 16/- clear.
Apply: Spindlemakers' Arms, 214, Lancaster Road, Preston.
Lancashire Evening Post  25th January 1933
Information from a relative:
John Dobson (1824-1871) was my great great grandfather. In the 1851 census he's listed as a Brewer living at 140? Lancaster Rd. I think the number is a mistake as your listing from the 1849 Chronicle has him as tenant at what became The Spindlemakers. I think he bought the pr exemises because, as you know, his widow Elizabeth still owned it towards the end of the century whilst she was living with her daughter in Morecambe.

An interesting fact - make of it what you will! - John Dobson's father in law, Thomas Procter of Caton is listed in the 1841 census as a spindlemaker.
[Pers comment: I think there is little doubt that this is why the house was so called.]

John died in 1871 and Thomas Coup took over briefly. I have no record of him as a family member and don't yet know how he fits in. Then John's son William took over, living there with his wife and 2 children.

His brother James Bramwell Dobson became a schoolmaster and ran Satterthwaite School for 18 years. Elizabeth Dobson died in 1892. That's when you have Hugh Gibson taking over the pub. Again I don't have anything on him. Don't know what happened to William ( maybe he died ) but Hugh took over (as tenant?) till James Bramwell Dobson gave up teaching and took over the pub in 1894. I don't know if he was owner or tenant at this stage.

James B died in 1915. By then his sons William and James were running the pub but I don't know for how long. They are listed there in a 1917 Trade Directory but that's as far as I've gone.

His daughter Edith and her son William ( my dad) lived there for a few years from 1913 and my dad told stories of being a very small boy there and dancing for pennies in the bar!
Thanks to S.McC. 
John Dobson                         27 years                     Retail brewer                b. Preston
Elizabeth Dobson                  30                              Wife                              b. Caton
Thomas Dobson                    5                                Son                              b. Preston
Easter Dobson                       4                               Daughter                                do
William Dobson                     2                               Son                                        do

John Dobson                         37 years                     Beerseller                    b. Preston
Elizabeth Dobson                  40                              Wife                            b. Caton
Thomas Dobson                    15                              Son                             b. Preston
Esther Dobson                       14                             Daughter                              do
William Dobson                     12                             Son                                      do
James Bramwell Dobson         9                              Son                                      do
Mary Dobson                         7                              Daughter                              do
Ruth Dobson                          5                               Daughter                             do
Margaret Ellen Dobson           5 months                   Daughter                             do

Thomas Coup                       48 years                      Beerseller                    b. Walton-le-dale
Catherine Coup                     50                               Wife                           b. Preston
William Banks                       24                               Son                                      do

William Dobson                     32 years                      Beerseller                   b. Preston
Elizabeth Dobson                   33                               Wife                                   do
John Dobson                         12                               Son                                     do
Mary Dobson                        10                               Daughter                             do

William Dobson                     42 years                      Innkeeper                   b. Preston
Elizabeth Dobson                   44                               Wife                                    do
John Dobson                          22                               Son                                     do
Margaret Dobson                  20                                Daughter                             do

James Bramwell Dobson        49 years                      Innkeeper                  b. Preston
Emma Dobson                       48                               Wife                          b. Ireland
William Dobson                     23                               Son                            b. Satterthwaite
Elizabeth Dobson                   21                               Daughter                               do
Tom Dobson                         20                                Son                                      do
James Dobson                       17                                Son                                      do
Mary Dobson                        16                                Daughter                              do
Margaret Esther Dobson        15                                Daughter                              do
John Maurice Dobson            11                                Son                                      do
Sidney B. Dobson                   5                                 Son                          b. Preston
Harry Dobson                         3                                 Grandson                          do


  1. I had always been told by my mum that my great great grandfather James Dobson had been the landlord of the Spindlemakers pub on Lancaster Road in the late 1800's. It was a corner pub and I had took it to mean the end going into Church Street. I googled the pubs details just recently and thanks to your site found a picture of the pub, with people stood outside (I don't know if it's my family), with a side inscription confirming my grandads name, in addition the number translating to present day 212, meaning it's actually the opposite end going onto the ring road. This is particularly special for me just now because I lost my mum recently. So thank you,
    In addition to that, I've just read about the traumatic event concerning my great grandmother Elizabeth in 1897. I did not know about this attack and subsequent court case. My late mum recently passed, grew up with Elizabeth her gran just across the North Road in Salter Street between 1943-1950 before moving to Inskip in the early 1950's taking Grandma Elizabeth with them. She passed away in 1968 at the age of 89.

  2. ddc. Thanks for that. I presume you've spotted the interesting detail about John Dobson's wife being the daughter of a spindle maker in Caton. If you have any relevant information that would add a piece of two to the jigsaw, please let me have them. Many thanks. Write to me on