This Hampson painting depicts Bolton Union Mill on Vernon Street, less than a mile from Bolton Town Hall. The first mill on the site was built in 1875 and was owned by the Bolton Union Spinning Company in its heyday, when Bolton was one of the world’s leading cotton spinning areas. After the interruption of the First World War encouraged British Colonies to build their own spinning capacity, Bolton fell into decline. Bolton Union Mill was one of the 104 mills acquired by the Lancashire Cotton Corporation in 1929 in an attempt to rationalise and save the industry Originally several mills, the site continued to operate for many years before various of the mills were demolished in the 1970s and 1980s. The remaining building, pictured in the background of Hampson’s painting, still stands and is currently various light industrial units. There are plans to convert the Mill into apartments.
The vantage point of the painting is looking down Kent Street towards Vernon Street. The pub on the corner, first mentioned in 1871, is the Poplar Inn, which was a Wilson’s Pub when it closed in approximately 1970. Like many scenes from Hampson’s paintings, this vantage point is very different today. The houses on Kent Street were demolished in the early 1980s, and a new development of properties built on what is now called Pleasant Gardens (with thanks to www.lostpubsofbolton.blogspot.com)