The Smith’s Arms is still standing on Sherratt Street (formerly Spittal Street), but not for long, as it was given its execution date a few years back. Despite much local objections, property developers thought it best to yet again strip away a part of the historic community of Ancoats and what was a vibrant hub for the locals to meet and greet and put the wrongs of the world right over a pint or two.
Since the destruction and the aftermath of the industrial revolution, the area declined, which put real pressure on such resources has The Smith Arms, which before it was due for demolition, it had been closed for a number of years, mainly due to declining population of the surrounding area. This trend however has been reversed greatly and given the chance this pub would could still have been has it was a great meeting place and central important component in the community. It is positioned directly next to the newly restored Italianate church, a mere 20m away. Visitors could have chatted to locals and got a real sense of the history of the place and how the church, the pub and community was in times gone by and what it is like now. It’s still there, but the tragedy is that property developers once again as in the past have the power to irreparable damage our communities without the say of the community.
The Smiths Arms is locally known as the Hammer after the football team which once played from there. Other names it has gone by are the Blacksmiths Arms and the Hammer in Hand in the 18th Century. It was a Taylors Eagle brewery house then a Tetley’s brewery house, has seen in the pictures days when it didn’t stand alone. There was a very nice workshop on the left of it until that was demolished about 5 years ago. Again, that could have been made in to a local chippy or a corner shop to serve the people who the flats which will eventually replace the Smith Arms with, would have utilized.
A archeological survey done by Manchester University revealed this to be the oldest surviving public house of it’s type in Ancoats. A very important building in this amazingly rich historic area. Much has been lost through systematic demolition in the past 50 years, but this public house still stands. What a shame not for long.
Below are details of the planning applications submitted to demolish the Smith Arms Public House and some of the correspondents trying to save it as well as additional pictures showing this fine architectural gem.
If you would like to add any further information, memories, pictures or stories regarding the post, HistoryME would love to hear from you.
Please contact us by using the form below: