The Waggon and Horses
the most historic and famous of the Longsight pubs
was the Waggon and Horses on Stockport Road.
It seems that there was a pub on
the site of the modern day Waggon and Horses as
early as 1690. The pub you see above though was not
there at that time, although part of the original
cellar existed and the mounting steps on the corner
were thought to be 200 years old.
The pub was a
coach stop for travelers heading south out of the
city. It is also connected with at least one of the
explanations of the origin of the name Longsight. As
the story goes, Bonnie Prince Charlie stood outside
of the Waggon and Horses and declared, while looking
in the direction of the city, "What a long sight it
is to Manchester."
The picture above was taken in 1983 by Mick Regan
above was donated by John Shorthose. It shows his
sister-in-law and his parents in the cocktail bar.
Anderson's late Grandmother Ada Wilkinson was the
Landlady of the Waggon during the war and his
Mother was a barmaid and had fond memories of the
place. Graham's father took the images
I was contacted by Sir Frank Lowe regarding the history of the pub. He said that he was, "... reading the material about the Waggon & Horses pub in Manchester, and …. would be interested in correcting some of the facts that aren't right.
So here goes:
I know the accuracy of the facts because I was brought up in the Waggon & Horses by my grandmother, Mrs Ada Gertrude Wilkinson, who ran the pub for many years, including the war years. Gertie, as she was known, was called the "Mrs" by virtually everybody in that area of Manchester. The pictures you have of the pub are very accurate (I can even see my bedroom window).
Graham Anderson's mother - my aunt Bettie - was the daughter of Gertie's sister, who died when Bettie was a baby. She then brought Bettie up in the pub as her own daughter. She was not a barmaid, but ran the finances of the pub, which was owned by Wilson's Brewery. Bettie then married Arthur Anderson, who was an accountant at the Greenhall Whitney Brewery in Warrington. They had three children, one of whom was Graham Anderson. So Gertie was effectively his great-aunt, not his grandmother. The picture you see of a man with glasses, looking out from behind the bar, was Arthur Anderson. And the photo of a lady attending to the till, was my auntie Bettie. I left the pub, having been brought up there from 1941, in 1959, and headed for London to find a job. I eventually made a career in advertising.
As far as the pub itself was concerned, from an architectural point of view, the one I remember was the neo-Elizabethan pub featured on your site - picture taken in 1983. I went back to the pub from time to time, but grandmother had retired, and my auntie Bettie and uncle Arthur had moved. The last time I went to see it to show my own sons where I was born, was in the late '90's, only to find that it had been demolished. The reason this happened in the dead of night, was to stop an order preserving it, so that the developer could turn it into what is a very unpleasant block of flats.
The pub was enormous and was at the heart of the community. On a Saturday night it would always have at least 500 customers.
Finally, one interesting memory I do have as a child, was that every time there was a bombing raid, I was quickly removed with the parrot, to the old stone cellars below.
Hope this is all useful.
Sir Frank Lowe"
The Waggon and Horses was demolished in the dead of night. The image below, taken in 2009, shows the site that it occupied.