The story of Band on the Wall begins as a little corner pub, the George & Dragon, probably a converted dwelling, way beyond living memory. Our 19th century history of the venue is in four chapters; each is a continuous narrative, though for convenience, topic sub-headings are individually accessed in the index column.
Chapter 1 – An Eventful Century
The George & Dragon not only survived the vicissitudes of these times, but expanded to become an important market tavern. All of life was here, within the catchment area of the pub, at the centre of the Industrial Revolution – and of street and pub culture.
Chapter 2 – The Landlady and Landlords (1803-1856)
The first licensees of the George & Dragon.
Chapter 3 – The McKennas
The Irish entrepreneurs, brewers and inn-keepers who for half a century were vital to the operation and development of the George & Dragon.
Chapter 4 – The Building/s
Our attempt at piecing together the scant information to produce an account of the physical evolution of the buildings throughout the century.
There have been two previous research documents about the history of the venue, one, referred to above, by Brian Holmshaw and the other by Fergus Sutherland, of iCosse, in 2007. Both documents are referred to several times in this history. The current research (2012) also has accessed primary archives, including Census Records, Street & Trade Directories, Poor Rate Books, Ordnance Survey and other maps, Alehouse Recognizances and other sources, in an attempt to build upon this excellent prior work and to answer a number of questions posed by these researchers.
A rich mine of information about the songs of the street and the pub, of music hall and of official attitudes to musical entertainment was discovered in a 1997 PhD thesis by Manchester University graduate Philemon Eva, ’Popular Song and Social Identity in the Victorian City’, from which we have quoted extensively. The books published by the late Neil Richardson have also been invaluable, as has the assistance of Mrs Susan Richardson. Acknowledgements also to: Alan Gall, Steve Little, Pete Martin, David Govier, Fatimah Ashrif, David Hilton, Chetham’s Library, Manchester Central Library, Greater Manchester County Record Office, Manchester City Planning Department, Manchester Police Museum and Lancashire County Record Office, Preston.