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Bamber Bridge - McKenzie's Arms

Name: McKenzie's Arms

Address:  319, Station Road, Bamber Bridge

The McKenzie's Arms was located on the corner of Station Road and McKenzie Street in the middle of Bamber Bridge; some records show its postal address as 1, McKenzie Street, others place it at 319 Station Road (previously Chorley Road). 

Records date back to the early 1800s but the business no longer exists today having closed in 2008 and finally demolished in 2013. It has been known as the MacKenzie's Arms and more recently as Mackenzie's In Brig bar, named after residents of the town. Bamber Bridge is often referred to as "Brig" by residents and those born there are known as "Briggers" .

1845 Map 

The Inn was built sometime in the early 1800s and was located alongside the old tram road from Blackburn to Preston.  On the map above its location can be seen on the opposite side to the coal yard from where its name is derived. Early directory records for Bamber Bridge show that the local coal merchants were Kenneth McKenzie & Co and I believe they started the business to capitalise on passing trade for their own and other services in the area e.g. the railway. Kenneth McKenzie Esquire also held offices on Fleet Street in Preston and the Bamber Bridge office was run by a James Sharrock, as referred to in the newspaper excerpts below.

1824 Baines Directory

McKenzie Street

1834 Pigot's Directory Coal Merchants (Preston area) - Kenneth McKenzie

All that substantial and commodious Inn, or Public House, known by the name of ‘McKenzies Arms’ situate at Bamber Bridge, with newly erected Brew-house, three-stalled stable, and lock-up Coach House, together with an extensive Orchard well stocked with choice fruit trees.  Tenders will be received at Mr McKenzies office, Preston, also at his office, Bamber Bridge, until Saturday the 27th, instant, when the taker will be declared.  Mr William Procter, the present tenant, will show the Premises, or James Sharrock at K McKenzies Office, Bamber Bridge.  May 12th 1837
Preston Chronicle 20th May, 1837

1834 Pigot's Directory - Thomas Wilson (beer retailer)

On Wednesday morning, between the hours of 10 and 11 o clock, a servant girl at Mr Wilson’s, the M’Kenzie Arms, Bamber Bridge, went into one of the bedrooms and discovered the bed, bed hangings, and linen, completely enveloped in flames. An alarm was instantly raised, and by the timely assistance of some persons who were near, the fire was extinguished; but the bed and its furniture were entirely destroyed. 
The cause of the fire has not been ascertained.
The Preston Chronicle 30th March 1844

Listed landlords at the Inn were William Proctor (1837), Thomas Wilson (1834-), Betty Wilson (1851), Richard Oxendale (1854-55), Thomas Sharples (1861-69), Henry Hull (1871), Thomas Darbyshire (1881), James Lancaster (1891), Alice Sharples (1901), Albert William Greenhalgh (1911-17) and Paul Simon (2007).

The 1841 census return below shows Robert and Betty Wilson running the inn, located next door to James Sharrock (Coal Merchant). James' brother Peter was working in the pub for Thomas Wilson as a servant providing further confirmation of the link between the cal merchants and the McKenzie's Arms. 

1841 Census

VALUABLE ESTATES, COAL MINES, BUILDING LAND, COTTAGES &C. TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, by Mr Wren (By order of the Devices in Trust under the Will of the late Kenneth McKenzie, Esquire) At the house of Mr Billington, the Bull Inn, Preston, on Tuesday, the 20th day of May next, at five o'clock in the Evening, for six o'clock precisely, in the following or such other Lots as may be agreed upon at the time of sale, and subject to such conditions as will be then produced. 
Lot 2. All that commodious PUBLIC HOUSE and Premises, situate in Bamber Bridge, in Walton-le-Dale, in the said County of Lancaster, on the east side of the turnpike road leading from Preston to Chorley, known by the name of the ‘McKenzie Arms’ now in the occupation of Thomas Wilson, with 5 acres of Meadow, Pasture and Garden Land. (Pasture Field on the South West side of the Canal Company’s Tram Road, together with the Weighing Machine and Coal Yard adjoining thereto. 
Preston Chronicle 10th May 1845

1851 Census

1854 Mannex Directory - Richard Oxendale

1855 Post Office Directory - Richard Oxendale

1861 Census

1869 Slater's Directory - Peter Sharples

1871 Census

1881 Census

Marriage: 14 Aug 1889 St Saviour, Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
Alfred Tickle - 22 Weaver Bachelor of Bamber Bridge 
Mary Derbyshire - 22 Spinster of Bamber Bridge 
    Groom's Father: William Tickle, Mechanic (deceased)
    Bride's Father: Thomas Derbyshire, Inn Keeper (deceased)
    Witness: John Thomas Derbyshire; Martha Tickle
    Married by Licence by: James Taylor Vicar
    Register: Marriages 1887 - 1900, Page 23, Entry 45
    Source: LDS Film 1471151

1891 Census


Marriage: 16 Nov 1897 St Saviour, Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
Alfred Derbyshire - 23 Plumber Bachelor of Bamber Bridge 
Catherine Jane Jones - 20 Winder Spinster of St Aidans Bamber Bridge 
    Groom's Father: Thomas Derbyshire, Publican (deceased)
    Bride's Father: Owen Jones, Coachman (deceased)
    Witness: George Edward Houghton; Margaret Jane Jones
    Married by Banns by: James Taylor Vicar
    Register: Marriages 1887 - 1900, Page 111, Entry 222
    Source: LDS Film 1471151

1901 Census

1909 Map

1911 Census

1911 Census

1917 Barratt's Directory - Albert William Greenhalgh

Pub ban man threatens legal action Thursday 04 January 2007 
A war veteran barred from most pubs and clubs in his town – at the age of 80 – says he is prepared to go to court to clear his name. Former army sergeant Joe Eccles was banned for alleged violence after a fracas with a 73-year-old near his home in Bamber Bridge in June 2005 – but the case was later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. Mr Eccles, who turns 81 tomorrow, is so angry that he is considering taking legal action against the ban from all establishments in the local Pubwatch scheme. However, Pubwatch organisers have said they may soon review his ban. Now the great-grandfather says unless Pubwatch and the police apologise to him, and compensate him for his ordeal, he plans to sue them and will next week consult with a relative who is a barrister. He said: "The ban states I was violent but that is not the case and I have been cleared by the courts. "But they have still banned me when there is no proof I'm guilty. In this country you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but in my case I'm guilty until proven innocent." PC Richard Howarth, community police officer for Bamber Bridge, confirmed all proceedings had been dropped against Mr Eccles. Paul Simon, chair of Bamber Bridge Pubwatch and manager of the McKenzies Arms on Station Road, said he could not comment on individual cases but added: "Over the last couple of months we have decided we will automatically review bans. "We will consider the circumstances and how long ago the incident happened. This will apply to all members of the ban list, including Mr Eccles."

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