Tommy Ducks - East Street
The image above is shown with the permission of deltrems.
Tommy Ducks pub once stood on East Street across from the Midland Hotel. The sign above the building declared that it was established in 1762 but I suspect that if we could read the writing on the far end of the board we'd discover that the date actually refers to the fact that the Greenhall Brewery was established in 1762, not the pub.
Tommy Ducks had a colourful history. It apparently featured glass-topped coffins as tables and ladies' knickers nailed to the ceiling. The name itself is said to be the result of an errant sign writer who set out to write the landlord's name, Thomas Duckworth and ran out or room. Whether or not that's true, it is a good story. However, in the 1990s it found itself in a wasteland of demolished buildings on land that others had plans for. You can see it in the images below, shown here with the permission of Dr. Neil Clifton
Below is the same view in December 2010
Apparently, its supporters managed to arrange a preservation order for the building but, according to the excellent Pubs of Manchester website, that order expired at midnight on February 12, 1993, and the pub was literally reduced to rubble before anyone could seek a renewal on February 13th.
As for the age of the pub, what we can deduce is that there was a pub in that building in 1886. Below is my version of a map of that time and you can see an unnamed public house near the end of East Street. If you look carefully at the image at the top of the page, you will see that the pub is made up of four terraced cottages. The front door of the second from the right appears to have had its door replaced by a window. So although the pub on the map only inhabits two sections of the terrace, it must have expanded over time into the adjacent pair. The remnant of the stone gateway, that remains attached to the end of the pub, is likely all that's left of the shipping warehouse that used to be next door.
If you click on the links below you can see images of the pub and its neighbour
Tommy Ducks 1
Tommy Ducks 2
If you go back further to the 1845 map it shows the long terrace of houses along East Street but doesn't identify any of them as pubs, which is unusual because that map does name any pubs. This "suggests" that while the houses were there in 1845 the pub may not have been. The Laurent Map of Manchester, dated 1793 show no buildings of any kind west of St Peter's Church. The River Tib is there running through open country. Even by 1819, when the Johnson Map was drawn, there were only houses on the opposite side of East Street. The 1863 Directory of Manchester and Salford does not include a listing for Tommy Ducks and in fact only lists one business on East Street, Richard Haworth Co at Britannia Mills, East Street, Lower Mosley Street. So, it seems more likely that Tommy Ducks dates from the middle of the 19th century and almost certainly from 1886.
Below is an aerial photograph taken in 1953 that shows the collection of, by then, mostly commercial buildings between East Street and Lower Mosley Street with Tommy Ducks indicated by the white arrow.
Today the site is home to a Premier Inn.