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Stanley Ams

Name: The Stanley Arms

Address: 223, Water Street, Chorley

The Stanley Arms was located on the corner of Water Street and Waterloo Street in Chorley and whilst the building still stands today, now a private residence, it ceased trading as a licensed premises many years ago.

It first appears on census records from 1871 with the listed landlords being James Entwistle (1871), James Hall (1881), Edward Tattersall (1891), Peter Taylor (1901) and Charles Olden (1911).

1871 Census

1881 Census

1891 Census

1901 Census

The Stanley Arms c.2017

1911 Census

Resident at the Stanley Arms in 1911 were the Olden family, which included young Charlie, who was later to become the entertainer-comedian Ted Ray. 

As a major radio personality and comedian of the 1940s and 50s he regularly demonstrated his extraordinary ad-libbing skills in his weekly radio show "Ray's A Laugh", which ran from 1949 until 1961. A much sought after music hall comedian, Ray usually played the violin (badly) as part of his act. He also played straight roles in several British films- notably as the lead as the headmaster in "Teacher". He also played in early "Carry On" films. He was, however, best remembered for "Ray's a Laugh", which was a domestic comedy in which he was accompanied by Australian, Kitty Bluett, who played his wife. Many later to become well known actors and actresses cut their teeth on this radio show, including Ted Yule, Patricia Hayes, Kenneth Connor, Peter Sellers, Pat Coombs and Graham Stark 1940 and 1950 saw Ray as King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats. He was a very keen and accomplished golfer who frequently appeared playing with professional sportsmen. Later in his career Ted Ray appeared together with Jimmy Edwards, Arthur Askey and Cyril Fletcher in the comedy radio panel game "Does the Team Think?". He never managed to break successfully into television, though his son, Robin Ray, was a well known television personality in the 1960s and 1970s, having initiated "Call My Bluff" and other specialist classical music shows. Ted Ray died in 1977.
(Information provided with thanks by Paul Topping)



  1. Once again thank you Richard.I wondered how Peter Taylor arrived at The Stanley arms front Harpers Lane.I now realize that his 3rd wife Margaret, was married to the previous landlord Edward Tattersall

  2. I'm glad you've found it useful Linda...if you need anything specific drop me an email

  3. I have found that it appears to have ceased trading within two months of the 1911 census. It had had six transfers of licence in just eight years, had a poor conviction rate and with NINE other licenced premises within quarter of a mile, it's fate was sealed in late May 1911. On other question I had been asked about the Stanley Arms is who was Stanley? It was suggested that it could have been named after Henry Morton Stanley, explorer of Africa and the man who allegedly said "Dr Livingston I presume". I'm afraid not, the pub was named after wealthy landowners, the Earl's of Derby, who owned vast swathes of land in Lancashire - hence the Derby Arms and Stanley Arms (Stanley being the family surname).

  4. Thanks very much Paul. So many of the pubs were names after local landowners such as the Towneley and Parkers Arms but I didn't know the link to the Stanley. Cheers.