Sunday, 31 January 2016

A pub, a name and Mr Wahlhauser

Now I really would like to have met Mr Louis Wahlhauser if only to get his side of the story about the Waldorf on Gore Street.

According to one history the pub dates from the 1880s when he named it after a Victorian general who was visiting Manchester to open a lodge of the Masons.

Part of my problem is that the source in question spells the pub’s name slightly differently to that of the general.

And by one of those annoying hiccups in the historical record the street and trade directories list only the name of the landlord not the name of the pub.

Added to which by the 1920s the place has become the Waldorf all of which is most unsatisfactory.

Nor do the maps help.  In the 1840s in to the 1890s there is no reference to a pub on Gore Street and while the Fire Insurance map of  1900 records a public house it sits there with no name.

Of course I could ply through all the directories from the 1850s onwards to find the first mention of a beer shop/ pub but I won’t.

Instead I will go off and explore the life of Mr Wahlhauser who was born in Germany in 1847 was married in 1870 to the daughter of a sea captain and by 1881 was running a boarding house  opposite what is now the Waldorf.

Later much later it appears to have gone up market trading as the Temperance Hotel but later still had reverted to a plain “boarding house” and by 1911 had become a printers.

By then Mr Wahlhauser had himself moved on, first to Moss Side and finally to Blackely and during that time his fortunes seem to have ebbed.

In 1881 he had run the boarding house, a decade later and  he described himself as a “hotel porter” and in 1911 a “hotel servant.”

Not that he had owned the boarding house.  The rates show that he was merely the tenant running the business and so far his name fails to appear on any other rate record.

Added to which by 1886 the pub is listed under the name of another landlord.

All of which makes Mr Wahlhauser a continuing enigma and gets us no further with the name of that pub.

Location; Manchester

Painting; the Waldorf, © 2015 Peter Topping 


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