(Now the Border Rose)



After the Beerhouse act was passed in 1830, many beerhouses sprang up all over, opened by opportunists seeing it as a way to earn a bit of extra money. One purpose built beerhouse was the Butchers Arms, which if the date stone of 1830 over the door is correct, was probably the first one of its kind to be built. The year can just about be made out today

The landlord was Eli Crossley, and he and his descendents were to be in continuous occupation of this pub for nearly a hundred years. Eli was a butcher by trade, born at Bottomley around 1805. He married Sally Newell, a local girl from Horsepasture, and by 1830, they were running the beerhouse-cum-butchery-cum grocers shop at Bottoms in Walsden. It became known as the Butchers Arms, taking the name of Eli's occupation, as was sometimes the custom.

Many of these original beer houses can still be found today in rural areas, still serving only beer and acting as a shop. It is like stepping into someone's front room and back into a forgotten era.

Eli and his family of three daughters and one son carried on their business in the busy Bottoms area of Walsden. With the factories and concentration of housing built for the mill workers, trade would be good in both the pub and the shop. Much like today's one stop shops, you would be able to buy most of what you needed under one roof and have a drink into the bargain.

Eli's son Samuel went into the iron foundry and the daughters eventually married. The youngest daughter Hannah had two chance children, Samuel and Eli, by 1860, and she helped at home, working in the shop and house. She later married Thomas Newell and they produced six daughters.

The eldest daughter of Eli and Sally was Deborah born in 1823. She also had two chance children, Sally in 1843 who died in 1858 and James born in 1854. She had married John Kershaw from Calderbrook by 1860 and they had two daughters together.


Eli died in 1862 and the business then passed to John Kershaw, Eli's son-in-law. Sally, Eli's widow, went to live with her married daughter Hannah Newell and family at Co-operative Street and died aged 83 in 1917.

John was not adverse to a bit of law breaking, and he had not been landlord for long before he found out that the law was not easy to evade in Walsden and was vigorously upheld where possible. It was reported in the Halifax Guardian on the 17th Oct 1863 that he had appeared before the Petty Sessions charged with allowing gaming on Saturday the 3rd of October. Not only that, but he had also assaulted two police officers, P.C. Stopford and P.C. Turner on the same day. He was fined 40 shillings for the gaming offence, and 20 shillings for each case of assault. Together with the costs, it added up to £5-10s-0d.


Maybe he learned his lesson, but gaming did go on in the back rooms of pubs and was a common occurrence, so he no doubt was a bit more careful in the future.

John and Deborah Kershaw carried on the family business until John died in 1885 when James Crossley Kershaw took over. James or Jim as he was known, was born to Deborah before she married John Kershaw, but Jim took the name of Kershaw and was noted in some sources as Jim Crossley Kershaw. His father may well have been John but whatever the case, he carried Eli's bloodline and carried on the family ties with the pub. He married and had children. His wife Martha came from Clitheroe and they ran the pub until he and Martha retired and went to live at Dampier St., Walsden, where she died in 1916.


Photo by kind permission of Frank Woolrych

Jim died in 1923 and he is buried with his wife in Lumbutts Methodist Chapel graveyard. It seems a strange choice of burial place for a publican.

On Jim and Martha's retirement, their son John William became the landlord of the Butchers Arms and remained there until at least 1922, possibly making them one of the longest serving families to run one pub. A continuous line from 1830 right through to the 1920's and maybe longer.


Lawrence Lupton, who was born in 1889, became the landlord at some point after John William Kershaw. Lawrence's father, John Lupton, came from Bacup, married a Todmorden lady and lived in Bacup for a while after they were married. They came to Todmorden by the early 1880's and then moved to Walsden. Lawrence's mother, Susy, was left a widow at 41 with six children still at home. Two were full timers in the mill and Lawrence was a half timer at 12 years old.

In 1901, the family was living at 785, Rochdale Rd., Walsden, not far away from the Butchers, which was at 772 Rochdale Road. Perhaps Lawrence used to help as a lad and so gained knowledge of the trade, which enabled him to qualify as a landlord. He would be familiar with the local people and was probably a popular landlord.


During the 1920's, a lady arrived in Walsden and became a barmaid at the Butchers Arms. She was from London and was a revelation to the people of Walsden. She smoked and wore lipstick, and young boys would hang from their bedroom windows to catch a glimpse of this exciting creature from another world. It is thought that she was related to the landlord, otherwise why come to Walsden from London. Whatever the reason, she certainly brightened up the lives of some of the young lads in Walsden.


The pub finally became fully licensed in 1952, and in the 1980's, the name was changed from the Butcher's Arms to The Border Rose. It has changed hands many time since then and every landlord leaves their own mark on a pub and alters it according to the times. Whether this is a good thing is open to debate, and sometimes it is good to preserve the history as well as moving forward. A hard thing to do and difficult to achieve.


It is still there, offering hospitality to all who care to partake of its welcoming signs.