Building Name

New Reading and Conversation Rooms Bridge Street Bolton

Bridge Street
GMCA, England
Bolton Co-operative Society
New Build
J Marsden

The addition comprised in the basement a large bake-house in the back, fitted with four ovens, lighted from the river side, and at the front a store cellar, both fireproof, the floor over being formed with iron beams and concrete arches. On the ground floor are a tailor’s and butcher’s shop to the front, store warehouses behind, and covered loading shed, in connection with which are steam and hydraulic hoists. The first floor is occupied entirely for warehouse purposes, except a portion at the back, which is used as a tailor’s workroom; whilst on the top storey is what is in some respects the most interesting of the operations of the Society. Hitherto the Literary Department had to be content with a small room fronting Bridge Street, and the only accommodation for the Board of Directors and the Manager was a room at the back with a portion partitioned off for an Office. Now the partition is removed and the whole room made into a convenient, well-lighted Office; and a new Boardroom, 28 feet by 28 feet, is provided on the upper storey of the addition. The old Reading-room was also given up for trade purposes, and a handsome new Reading- room, 38 feet by 33 feet, was formed on the upper storey also, fronting Bow Street, and a Conversation-room, 23 feet by 19 feet, at the back. Additional ante-rooms were also formed for use in connection with the large Hall in the old building. The only entrance to this storey was formerly from Bridge Street; afterwards a second entrance, with a broad, easy staircase, was provided from Bow Street, and a spacious corridor at the side of the Hall connects the two staircases, and gives much greater facility for ingress or egress. At each end of this corridor extra lavatory and closet accommodation has been provided. The Reading- room measured 17 feet high and had a plastered ceiling, formed into panels, with pitch pine beams and moulds, and a pitch pine moulded cornice. All the rooms on this level, and the corridors and staircase leading thereto, were wainscoted with pitch pine varnished boarding. The Reading and Conversation Rooms were am ply furnished with reading stands, tables, chairs, lending and reference library, bookcases, writing desks, chess tables, etc., all in wainscot oak from Messrs. Waddington (of Bolton). The whole of the additions were designed by and carried out under the superintendence of Mr George Cunliffe (Architect), the contractor for the building portion of the works being Mr J  Marsden (of Bridge Street). [History of the Great and Little Bolton Co-operative Society 1859-1909 page 102-3],

Opening     Saturday 9 June 1877.

Reference    History of the Great and Little Bolton Co-operative Society 1859-1909 page 102-3.