Salford, Todmorden


Nearly every town in England has a street, road, inn or arms named after General Havelock but few people could tell you who he was. He was a Victorian military hero whose service record was outstanding. He served in the First Anglo Burmese war of 1824-1826, the First Afghan War of 1839, the Sikh Wars 1842-1849 and lastly the Indian Mutiny 1857 where he was second in command. In November 1857, he was present at the relief of Lucknow and from there, he was involved in another siege, but succumbed to dysentery and died. Such was his heroic standing in the estimation of the people of England that a great outpouring of grief followed his death and later a statue of him was erected in Trafalgar Square by public subscription.


To Major General

Sir Henry Havelock


And his brave companions

in arms

During the campaign in India


Soldiers! Your labours

Your privation Your suffering

And Your Valour

Will not be forgotten by a grateful country.

Photo by kind permission of:


So, it came about that a beer house at Salford came by the name of the General Havelock Arms. The early days are not well recorded, but in 1837 one James Whittaker was keeping a beer house at Salford and four years later a lady named Sarah Whittaker with what appear to be her daughters, Hannah and Jane had taken over. James may have died and his widow had kept on running the pub. This may have been the Havelock in earlier times. Some time after the Whittakers, in 1853, Joseph Greenwood is recorded as keeping a beer house in Salford.

In 1861, Enoch and Betty Gibson were running a beer house with their three children and eight lodgers at Salford. Enoch and Betty had previously lived at Bridge End, Shade, and Betty was the daughter of Robert Barker of Inchfield. She was Enoch's second wife, married in the late 1840's.


Enoch and Betty stayed in the licensing trade and subsequently ran the Royal Oak at Three Lane Ends, near Hollingworth Lake, and then the Musicians Arms on Halifax Rd., in Littleborough. Enoch died in 1888 and Betty was left a widow, left the pub trade and lived with her unmarried son Barker.

One of their sons, Jackson, married Sarah Anne Bentley in 1881 - another family who had connections with the Todmorden pub trade and had at various times been involved with the Greyhound at Wadsworth Mill and later at the Waggon and Horses at Redwaterfoot, Cornholme.


Another Barker connection took over some time after the Gibsons left. Robert Barker and his family were to play an important role in the history of the pub and they had moved to the Salford area by 1861. Robert was an iron moulder and was born around 1827, the son of Robert and Peggy Barker. Robert and his brothers were all either millwrights or iron moulders.


In 1861 he, his wife Elizabeth, and young family of four were living next door but one to the Gibson family who were running the beer house at Salford. There well may be a connection between Robert and Betty Barker, the wife of Enoch Gibson, with the two families living so close, but the Barker name is a such very common one that it would be foolish to speculate.


So, by 1871, the beer house at Salford had acquired the name of The Havelock Arms and the landlord was Robert Barker. Robert carried on with his trade of an iron moulder as well as running the pub. The area was heavily industrial and trade would be good.

Today, it is still an industrial area, but the foundries have gone, giving way to separate units of various trades.

Robert's family had grown to eight and only three were of working age. Smith, the eldest son who had been named with his mother's maiden name, and his brother Frank both followed their father's trade of iron moulder, whilst 13 year old Fred went into the cotton factory. Smith served his apprenticeship at Astin and Barker's iron works, which was nearby at the Victoria Works.

Elizabeth would have been left running the beer house, seeing to the four children of school age and tending to baby Martha. With a total of ten in the household, her work would be hard, the washing, cooking, cleaning and other chores would have tested a woman much younger than Elizabeth who was then 40. Her workload was to increase as another son, Robert, was born in 1872. Elizabeth must have though her world had come crashing down, when in February of 1880 her husband Robert unexpectedly died. She was left with six children and a grandson at home, but at least all but two of her children were working and putting some money into the pot.


1880 was a momentous year Elizabeth's life, her husband died and her son Smith left for Paterson, New Jersey in America, where he lived for a time with a family of Sandersons, also from England and working in the iron trade.


Elizabeth carried on at the Havelock until she too decided to follow her son to North America, and she and her family also settled in Paterson. Her daughter Martha died there at the end of January 1900 aged 29.

Paterson was the first planned industrial city in the United States and was a powerhouse of industry. Located on the Passaic River, which supplied the water for power, it was not surprising that many English ironworkers emigrated there hoping to find a better life than they had in England.

Smith returned to Todmorden some time during the 1890's and became a foreman at the Sandholme iron works. He decided to return to America in September1898, and three days before he left he attended a sit down tea at the Golden Lion, which 30 of his workmates also attended, and where Mr. T. Lord presented him with a silver mounted walking stick, a meerschaum pipe and tobacco pouch; the walking stick bore the inscription: "Presented to Mr. Smith Barker as a token of respect from his fellow work people."

After the Barker family had left, the next known keeper was Mr. T. Redman and during his brief spell as landlord, a wager was made in December 1884 by Henry Orrell, a weaver of Honey Hole in his 40's, to go from the pub to Shawforth and back in two hours. The distance as the crow flies is about 3 and a half miles, but in December, and taking the paths and packhorse trails, it would have been a difficult journey. Henry must have been confident in his fitness as he did it with 3 minutes to spare and won his wager.


The pub shut its doors in October 1886 and not one stone of it remains to prove it ever existed.