A POSTCARD sent 110 years ago by a weary traveller staying at Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton has been discovered by a collector — who sent the message back to the historic Churchgate pub.
On the postcard, addressed to his wife back home in London, sender Will Gough describes Bolton as the most miserable place he had visited on his journey.
The message was found by collector Gaynor Alford from Wiltshire who found it when going through some of her old postcards.
In the letter Mr Gough is complimentary about the pub itself — Bolton’s oldest watering hole — but has far less kind words to say about the town.
After wishing his wife well, he goes on to write: “Just finished packing and preparing to leave this place, hoping never to return.”
He then describes Bolton as “the miserable’s place we have visited yet” before offering a glowing review of the Man and Scythe, describing it as “splendid digs”.
Mrs Alford sent the postcard and a letter to the pub's current owner Richard Greenwood.
Mr Greenwood said it was “lovely” to receive this piece of nostalgia and that he found the author’s words amusing.
He added that the image of the pub featured on the front of the postcard raised some interesting questions about the socio-historical context of the time.
He said: “It was great that this random lady sent this postcard to us and I just love Will Gough’s comment about hoping never to return but having splendid digs.
“What is very interesting is the colour of the man on the sign that you can see on this postcard.
“I have been told before that the man on the sign used to be black but that was changed to a white man at some point in the last 100 years.
“I have never seen evidence of this and we have been looking — so it is great that the evidence just came through the post along with this great card.”
He added: “It would be good to see what people know about the colour change of the man on the sign.
"We have been told that it was changed as it depicted slavery and was not politically correct — perhaps people could shed some light on this.”