Faulkner Street

The first record of Faulkner Street, built on land belonging to the Faulkner family, appears in the 1851 Census showing 23 houses. The 1861 Census records the 60 premises we see today terminating where Griffiths Terrace used to be. The continuation of Faulkner Street was not built until the 1880’s on the field called Cowpastures (see Lightfoot Street article).

The name Faulkner is derived from 'falconer' which explains why until recently three black falcons appeared on the prominent corner pub sign of the Faulkner Arms.

Residential to Retail

Faulkner Street was initially virtually all housing, usually let on short term rentals. The 1861 Census shows 26 railway workers living there. Retail businesses started from front rooms which were eventually converted into shops joining the very few purpose-built ones.

An 1857 Directory lists two boot and shoe makers, a provision dealer, a tailor and also a school academy; the 1861 Census added to the range of outlets with a butcher, a cowkeeper (fresh milk), a baker, a grocer and a beer retailer.

In 1888 James Freeman Fletcher who owned Upton View (recently Natwest Bank) built a block of shops in his garden (now Boots etc.). One of the first occupants was David Dickinson, a chemist [whose prescription book Hoole History& Heritage Society has been able to study]; he also ran the Post Office which had transferred from No.2 Charles Street, and which continued until the 1950's under Goodman Roberts. The addition of these shops and the demolition of houses to allow the later built Walker Street access meant that Faulkner Street properties had to be re-numbered.

An extract and plan from the deeds for five houses at the original end of the street show the renumbering on that side. No.74 (originally No.66) was occupied by Leonard Riley from before 1871 until his death in 1892. He was a cowkeeper, using the yard and outbuildings there, and the field behind called Cowpastures, to raise his dairy cattle.

Like Goodman Roberts some family businesses thrived throughout the first part of the 20th Century. Many readers will remember, among others, Dinwoodie the butcher, originally at No.2 but later at Nos.65 and 67, Tommy Lloyd the fishmonger at No.38, whose front window opened completely to display his wares, Dawson's newsagents whose business was in Faulkner St for 102 years and Smith's (Pioneer) shoe sales and repairs, run by the father and grandfather of Bill Smith, Hoole’s well known participant in the Isle of Man TT Races.

Past members of the Boys' Brigade will recall Faichney's taxis and coaches at No.10 who provided transport for the Brigade on their outings.

Only four private houses now remain in the northern part of the street where takeaways, estate and travel agents, cafe, bar and restaurant are now a part of the vibrant street scene.

Licensed Premises

The first pub to open was the Faulkner Arms an advertisement for a pigeon shooting there appearing in the Chester Chronicle on the 16th August 1851.

From the Chester Chronicle 16th August 1851

In 1855 the landlord was a Mr. Brown who also worked at the Leadworks. A succession of landlords followed until the Stringer family took over in 1878, running the pub until at least 1906. The brewery was Wilderspool Ales from Warrington. The Faulkner Arms was often used to hold coroner's inquests sometimes with a jury present.

 

The Bromfield Arms is first mentioned in a licence transfer in 1864. The earliest innkeeper recorded in 1867 was Thomas Balshaw who had opened one of Hoole's first shops in Peploe Street (this shop later became Lewis's Ice Cream shop). He died in 1874 and there were then 6 other landlords to the turn of the century. A keystone over the door on the Walker Street corner shows that in 1900 the Bromfield doubled in size following the demolition of two adjoining cottages Nos.45 and 47. The Northgate Brewery were then the owners.

 

The Hamilton Arms appears to have been an earlier name for the Royal Oak whose first landlord was Edward Edwards in 1864. He was followed in 1871 by Philip Gorst, in 1878by Rebecca Hughes and in 1899 by George Ryan who was also a taxi driver. The Gatehouse Brewery, Birkenhead which became the West Cheshire Brewery supplied the beer. Eventually the West Cheshire Brewery was taken over by Threlfalls of Liverpool.

There were also two other licensed premises in Faulkner Street at the end of the nineteenth century: Dickinson the Chemist for medical purposes and Denson the grocer at No.8 who was also a wine merchant.

[Article by Ralph Earlam, some parts of which were initially published in ‘Hoole Roundabout’ in April and May 2015 - http://www.hooleroundabout.com]