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Name: The Alma

Address: 176 Moor Road, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 2NT


The Alma was one of two pubs (the other being the Sebastopol) that were named after events in the Crimean war, the Alma River (Ukraine) being the site of the 1854 Battle of Alma.  

Listed landlords at the Alma were Joseph Fowler (1866-71), Henry Sumner (1881), John Wood(s) (1883), Thomas Holmes (1891-1919), Thomas Stephenson (1929) and Henry Hedges (1936).

Census records for the pub date back to 1871 although it was there as far back as 1866 from press cuttings below: the first landlord was a Joseph Fowler.  He was from Chorley and worked as a Warper in the cotton mill, as well as running the Alma.  He was married to Elizabeth and they had six children. 

Preston Chronicle 4th August 1866 

1871 Census
Ten years later they had moved out and Joseph was working as a grocer at 204 Moor Road. Henry Sumner from nearby Charnock Richard was now the publican although he too worked as a labourer to supplement his income from the business and wasn’t to stay long. 

1881 Census

The baptismal record of Stephen Wood below confirms that his father John Wood was running the Alma in the early 1880's following Henry Sumner.

Baptism: 9 Feb 1883 St George, Chorley, Lancashire, England
Stephen Wood - [Child] of John Wood & Jane
    Abode: Alma Inn Moor Road
    Occupation: Beerseller
    Baptised by: Geo. Horsfall
    Register: Baptisms 1877 - 1887, Page 171, Entry 1366

    Source: LDS Film 1526077

By 1891 Thomas Holmes aka Hulme (also from Charnock Richard), a coal miner by trade had taken over at the Alma and he was to remain there for at least the next twenty years.  What happened to Thomas is not known but the directory from 1936 confirms the inn was still running with a Henry Hedges as the licensee.  

1891 Census

The baptismal record below confirms the landlord's name as "Holmes" as the census records are unclear and appear to record it as Hulme or Holme.

Baptism: 27 Dec 1895 St George, Chorley, Lancashire, England
William Thomas Holmes - [Child] of Thomas Holmes & Catherine
    Born: 24 Nov 1895
    Abode: Moor Road
    Occupation: Licensed Victualler
    Baptised by: J. E. Jelly
    Register: Baptisms 1887 - 1897, Page 259, Entry 2065
    Source: LDS Film 1526078

1901 Census

1911 Census

Thomas Holmes Probate 1919

Lancashire Evening Post 30th October 1920

More recently the business closed then reopened on a number of occasions but finally closed for good and was converted into flats in 2014 (as pictured below).

Lancashire Evening Post 4th December 1929
Lancaster Guardian 9th February 2010 - Chorley rapist is caged
A prominent Chorley landlord has been caged for more than five years for rape. Vile Neil Fairhurst raped the terrified woman at The Alma pub in Moor Road in a booze-fuelled attack last July. Preston Crown Court heard how the former publican, who ran the Gillibrand Arms and the Golden Lion pubs in the past but now has no involvement with them, pinned down his terrified victim and subjected her to two disgusting attacks. After the ordeal, the victim was left bloodied on the floor while he carried on drinking in another room. Fairhurst admitted two counts of rape and was sentenced to five years and four months at Preston Crown Court on Friday, February 5.
Judge Heather Lloyd said: "You have a background of violence and this attack ended in violence of the worst kind. You would not let her go and she could not escape your clutches. Even her screams did not stop you and she was left bleeding." Fairhurst, formerly of Moor Road, Chorley, has a string of previous violent offences, including common assault and affray, and non-violent convictions for dishonesty and traffic convictions. Most recently, he threatened his father with a carving knife at his home in Manchester. He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison last year. The court also heard he subjected another woman to violent abuse during their relationship, which ended a number of years ago. The previous victim, who the Guardian cannot name for legal reasons, wrote a letter to the court saying Fairhurst threatened her with a hammer and broke her wrist, ankle and cheekbone in numerous violent confrontations.

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