South Yorkshire Times November 22, 1969
The “old-timers” in Bolton often talk over a pint of beer of underground tunnels and wells, which are reputed to exist in the village, particularly in the vicinity of the parish church and the “Angel” public house in High Street. The story goes that in years gone by there was a tunnel leading from the church to the cellar of the “Angel” and one is left to form one’s own conclusions about the use to which it was put!
Many people dismiss the stories as just pub tales, but extensive alterations, now nearing completion at the Angel have shed new light on them and created new interest.
For in the middle of what was the concert room, where hundreds of people have danced over the years, a 50 feet deep well was unearthed by workmen. Consequently, tales of secret tunnels and bottomless wells have been revived at the pub . . . but the Angel itself has also been “revived.”
Gone all the tiny rooms with their rather sparse furnishings, and in their place spacious rooms have been lavishly furnished and tastefully decorated.
The present building is thought to have been converted from an old farmhouse many years ago, when the original “Angel” was demolished.
Indeed many typical farmhouse – features — oak beams and small rooms — exist today, or at least did, until the Angel took on its new look.
When Joseph and Eve Abrams took over as licensees at the Angel 10 years ago, it had a tap room, concert room and a tiny lounge, which could seat only a handful of people. A passageway from the front door led to their private sitting room and kitchen.
When alterations starred in April, the passageway was removed, walls, many of them up to two feet thick, were knocked down and the concert room was demolished.
The result is a lounge large enough to seat over 60 people in comfort and a car park which can accommodate the vehicles of as many not-so-breathalyser-conscious customers as are likely to sample the luxury of the new-look Angel.
Mr. and Mrs. Abrams now have their own upstairs flat, leaving all the ground floor space for the use of customers.
The old bar has been removed and the tap room extended to provide more room for the dominoes and darts men. New lighting has been installed and a false ceiling fitted, adding to the warmth and appearance of the room.
A particularly effective feature of the decoration is the oak panelling along one wall, while the new bar, by normal tap room standards, is large and luxurious.
In extending the lounge, every effort has been made to maintain the olde worlde atmosphere of the original room. The original tables have been given a face lift and retained chandeliers have been fitted, to maintain what Mrs. Abrams describes as “the Angel atmosphere.”
The comfortable seating is luxuriously upholstered in maroon, matching the fitted carpets and surroundings, while central heating has been installed throughout to add to the comfort.
Increased comfort, however, is of little use without efficent service and, with this in mind, a longer bar has been installed to facilitate serving.
During the seven months of alterations every effort has been made to try not to inconvenience the customers, as the lay-out of the building was being transformed, but any inconvenience would, I feel sure, have been justified by the end product.
Few people who knew the Angel as it was could imagine such a transformation as has been achieved.
Tetley’s bitter is, of course, on sale at the hotel. Main contractors for the alterations: George Sharman and Son (Hoyland) Ltd.: electrical installations by Deans (Rotherham); and sanitary fittings by W. Ewen and Co. Ltd. (Sheffield).