Pub patrons are angry over plans to convert the popular ‘estate drinker’ into a nursery

A popular ‘estate pub’ that has served the community for around 60 years is under threat of closure after plans emerged to turn it into a nursery. The Cotton Tree Hotel, which has been serving punters in the School Hill area of ​​Bolton since the mid-1960s, is the subject of a planning application submitted last week by The Nest Therapy Ltd to convert the pub building into a nursery with a perimeter of fence.

The building, just north of Bolton town centre, is still in use but has been put on the market by its owners on property websites in recent months for around £295,000. The Prince Street boozer has an adjacent banquet hall that has hosted numerous wedding receptions, funeral wakes and other celebrations over the decades.




A recent post on a Bolton-focused Facebook nostalgia group about the pub brought back dozens of fond memories of the Cotton Tree. Those who posted their thoughts described fond memories of country and western nights, rock shows and karaoke nights.

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Many remember their wedding receptions being held upstairs, many from the pub’s ‘heyday’ in the 1970s. The Bolton pipe band would practice upstairs with the thirsty pipers in the 1980s and then retire downstairs for a beer, and those who worked at the nearby Wallis and Hartley mill would go in there on Friday afternoons to make a dent in their pay packages.

Plans have been published to convert the Cotton Tree Hotel into a nursery

To this day, on Armistice Day, the pub welcomes dozens of veterans who drop by for a pint or two and to exchange stories after parading to mark the council’s commemorations, and the pub’s clientele and management proudly support various charities.

As several estate pubs close every month as people’s social habits change, the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the Cotton Tree early on Wednesday evening to ask customers what it would mean to lose the only pub in the area.

It would be fair to say that the unpretentious Cotton Tree has seen better days. The outside of the building looks a bit run down, but that is more than compensated for by the warm welcome inside.

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