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Kay St

Updated December 21, 2016 9:03 PM

Photo courtesy of Bolton Museums

1873 June 24th
Last night, the Golden Lion, Kay St, kept by Robert Atherton, was entered by thieves and some £450 in money stolen. It appears about half-past ten o'clock a man went in and asked for a glass of ale, for which he tendered a sovereign. In order to get change, Atherton had to go upstairs and empty the contents of a bag, containing about three pounds in silver and a half-sovereign. He put the money back into a box, on which he piled a quantity of lumber, and went down with the change. Shortly afterwards two other men entered, and looked round the room, but the first-mentioned fellow had left, and after remarking 'He's not here', the two men went off. They returned again, however, very shortly, and each had a glass of beer, after which they left. At that time, there were five persons, including the landlord and his wife, and three neighbours. When Atherton and his wife went to bed, the latter, seeing that the lumber was lying around the room instead of being in its usual place, asked her husband why he had left it there. He replied that he had placed it on the box before he had gone down. On looking at the window, they found it half open, and Mrs Atherton exclaimed: 'They've taken the money'. The box was searched and it was found that the money was missing, together with a bag containing a number of medals, in copper and iron. The money was in two bags, one of which had in it 300 sovereigns, and £9 in crown pieces, and the other, which was inside the first, £140 in gold.

The Kay family were, in the year 1779, manufacturers in The Folds, and when the machine breaking riots were in progress the famous potter, Josiah Wedgwood, who was in Bolton at the time recorded that the mob "next proceeded to Mr Kay's, of The Folds, and destroyed the machine and water-wheel."Later (1817), Robert Kay, of the same family, was a local attorney and a clerk to the magistrates.His sister married John Horrocks Ainsworth, of Smithills Hall. He was a joint secretary to the committee which founded the Bolton Exchange (1824) later the Public Reference Library.It was after this family that Kay St was named.
The street seems to have been the first natural outlet from Bolton in the direction of Blackburn. It was not deliberately planned as were Bridge St and Higher Bridge St.
It's lower end was formerly named Manor St, because the Little Bolton Manor House stood there on the site that later the Co-Operative Society's Abattoirs stood.

In 1839 John Musgrave commenced the well known engineering firm Musgrave and Son in the street by taking over the Globe Works and considerably extending them.

In 1846 the firm of Dobson and Metcalfe later Dobson and Barlow (in photo), transferred their machine works to the street. Both firms disappeared after the first world war, but they made Kay St. one of the most prosperous centres of industry in the town for a great number of years.

Ex St Marks School/Church

'Charles House'

Josephine A Stansfield,

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