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Birkett Street, Scholes   Views: 1214
Birkett Street 1955   Comments: 10
Photo: Keith   Item #: 30606  
Birkett Street 1955
  A photo taken in Birkett Street showing the re-building of the Crispin Arms in 1955. The pub has been demolished apart from the front half and work then started on the new building. In the meantime the pub never closed and we lived in what was remaining for probably 6 or more months. Every time a lorry or heavy vehicle passed down Birkett Bank the remaining building would vibrate, no doubt confirming the workmen's comment that the pub had practically no foundations.
I've worked out that the building itself probably dated from the 1880's, making it around 70 years old. We eventually moved out to the new part of the building when it was completed and the remainder was demolished and rebuilt to complete the new building. However just before it was fully completed my parents moved to a new pub at Beech Hill, the Wellfield Hotel in February 1956.
The person leaning over wearing a hat (and usually smoking a pipe) with hands behind his back, monitoring the work of one of the workforce, is Fred Dickinson or possibly Dicconson, the foreman. The company was Dicconsons from Bolton but I'm not sure if he had family connections with the building firm or that he just shared the same name.
You may just be able to make out the street sign on left of the photo, it was the usual "Traffic Prohibited" sign that were quite common in those days, indicating it was a children's play street. My sister was playing here shortly after this photo was taken, and swinging around this post when without wanting it crashed to the ground narrowly missing her.
The door that can be seen was a side entrance to the pub that was rarely used, it led directly into the vault, in summer it was sometimes opened on hot days and on Sundays, after drinking hours had finished in the Ince quarter, a posse of men could often be seen marching towards the Crispin along Manchester Road, to enjoy a further half an hour of drinking time since the hours on a Sunday in Wigan were slightly longer.

 [<< Back] 10 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Keith, 22nd June 2018  
Sorry about the "correcting" of my wording, my Mac insists on replacing the text with what it thinks is better. In this case wanting instead of warning. My sister certainly didn't "want" the post to fall, it simply fell without "warning" - there I feel better now. The houses in the background I think are in Birkett Bank Terrace, if not then Leader Street.

Comments by Veronica, 22nd June 2018  
I think the cobbles are still there and some of the houses. I walked up there every Saturday visiting mam and dad with the children.

Comments by Keith, 22nd June 2018  
Unfortunately Veronica if they are still there, they are hidden by a layer of tarmacadam. Very few cobbled streets are left in Wigan and no vehicular access is now possible directly from Birkett Bank to Birkett Street with bollards and a pavement blocking the way.

Comments by Veronica, 16th July 2018  
Have just noticed, amongst all the re-construction, the steps look as if they have been 'donkey stoned' around the edges! ( Whatever happens appearances must be kept up!)

Comments by Veronica, 16th July 2018  
Something else I remember very well. The way the windows were 'dressed' with the curtains and the 'frill' across the top - usually made with the same material or thick lace cotton. Women took pride in things like that and it was usually someone local who made the curtains - no 'ready mades' then.

Comments by Keith, 16th July 2018  
My mother ‘donkeyed’ the steps Veronica (there’s a photo on this site showing her doing the work) and you’re quite right she would spend a lot of time on the fabric of the pub (we were tenants and responsible for that kind of thing) and mam would spend many hours on our trusty Singer sewing machine.

Comments by Veronica, 16th July 2018  
I must look for the photo Keith! Will it be under the name of the pub?

Comments by Keith, 16th July 2018  
Yes Veronica, it’s under “Places”, “Crispin Arms” and the photo is Crispin Arms 1952, in case you’re wondering who the little boy is leaning on the corner of the pub it’s yours truly aged about 10 at the time.

Comments by Veronica, 17th July 2018  
I've just looked at the other photo Keith it's brilliant - it tells a story of that time. Your mam scrubbing the steps and wearing her turban and overall. You leaning on the wall and that little lad wondering what you were doing! I went past that pub many a time on my way to Jack Tomorrow's chemist - only to go back again the day after! He always reminded me of a nutty professor! So many memories tied up in Scholes - it was another world then looking back. Just running errands was an adventure in a way because it meant you were exploring the neighbourhood. I remember a short cut from Scholefield Lane and through Holland St and down some steps which brought you out onto that road. ( Well it seemed like a shortcut at the time!). It didn't seem to matter how long it took either when you went on an errand - dawdling and dilly- dallying with playmates!

Comments by Keith, 17th July 2018  
You summed up the area and the era perfectly Veronica. The “nutty professor” is a precise fit for the unforgettable Jack “Tomorrow”. I only lived here for 6 years but it remains an indelible part of my memory 70 years on.

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