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Market Street, Wigan   Views: 3086
Market St. Wigan.   Comments: 86
Photo: . Ozymandias .   Item #: 31262  
Market St. Wigan.

Alert Image scaled down from 1000px to 923px wide Click here, or click the photo to view original
  Here's another one that arrived to me via Facebook. The photographer isn't credited, although judging by the quality of the shot, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be another one of Frank Orrell's excellent images of Wigan.
Hope you don't mind Frank.


 [<< Back] 86 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Irene Roberts, 9th June 2019  tizziesgirl@gmail.com 
Fantastic, Ozy! And the old underground toilets as well. We all of us on Wigan World owe a big Thankyou to Frank Orrell. Thankyou, Frank, for these precious memories. xx

Comments by john, 9th June 2019  
Superb picture.

Comments by Roy, 9th June 2019  
White City Irene as the underground toilets were christened. I've spent some time waiting on Jackson's corner for the girl who was to become my wife, who, unfortunately is no longer with us.

Comments by DerekB, 9th June 2019  
This photograph can be dated post late 1964 as the fourth car in the queue is a Vauxhall Victor 101, launched in October of that year. Buses on the stand for Martland Mill and Standish and one probably Beech Hill bound at the bottom of Market St. Looks like a delivery is being made at Sara Lynn's? confectioners and opposite was Bulloughs electrical goods store. The wires feeding the overhead lamp which lit up the point duty policeman at night are also in shot.

Comments by Veronica, 9th June 2019  
Doesn't look as if there's need for any re planning or demolition in this photograph - it just looks like a well -to -do town should look like.

Comments by News man., 9th June 2019  
It could well be Arnold Hall from the Wigan Observer or Tom Sutch.

Comments by Elizabeth, 9th June 2019  
Yes,brilliant photo of the town way back in 1964.Just puzzled by the sign for Fleece Hotel over what appears to be the transport office ?

Comments by Mr X, 9th June 2019  
This photograph was probably taken in the late 1960s judging by the cars in Market Street, a Rover P4, Ford Anglia, Hillman Minx or Hunter, Vauxhall Victor FC, and Triumph 2000. Another car parked outside Brooks Bros shop looks like the FC Victor's replacement, a white Victor FD. I dont remember Brooks Bros but looks like a gent's clothes shop, like Jackson's next door. Thomas Cook and Pound Bakery are now there. Next door was the Wigan Corporation transport offices, and then the underground toilets that were there until about 1984. Another Brooks Brothers were a not well known pop group in the 1960s but had a lively song called Warpaint. There is also the Black Horse pub, and probably a policeman on traffic duty just out of the picture at this junction. The Queen's Hall tower is prominent but also in the distance is the Mesnes Park cafe. There is a baker's van and in front is one of Wigan Corporation's oldest buses at the time, possibly a rear entrance 1950 Leyland PD2, JP8300-8329 (the other two buses are newer front entrance).

Comments by irene roberts, 9th June 2019  
Sorry to hear that, Roy.

Comments by Philip Cunliffe, 9th June 2019  
An excellent photograph. In reply to DerekB comments. Bulloughs was on the corner of Mesnes st. and Standishgate. The Sara Lyns that I knew was on the same side as Bulloughs but further down Market St.

Comments by Philip G., 9th June 2019  
Superb tempo shown here Ozy: Not much more than a hundred persons along a two hundred yard stretch of market roadway yet creating a scene of atmosphere and vitality; The Driver unloading his Bread van The young girl holding her wicker basket as she daintily crosses the road and The Office worker hurrying to catch his bus hold it all together.
Now where's my copy of Monro's 'We're Gonna Change The World'?

Comments by Mick, 9th June 2019  
Look like the pie are being delivered

Comments by RON HUNT, 9th June 2019  
Elizabeth, The Fleece Hotel was a strange pub,it had two entrances, one down an alley at the side of the bus offices and the other under the WALKER sign in Market street but there was no front to the pub it was located behind the shops

Comments by Mick LD, 10th June 2019  
The pie delivery might be for the UCP shop, which was all around where the bus can be seen.

Comments by Elizabeth, 10th June 2019  
Ok Ron,thanks for that.

Comments by Linma, 10th June 2019  
Used to stand in Jacksons doorway 'courting' whilst waiting for the last bus &#128652; to Standish.

Comments by Veronica, 10th June 2019  
The days when Wigan had all the investment it needed - every shop a potential goldmine! It really needed a a few hours to get around - a veritable shopaholic paradise!

Comments by Maureen, 10th June 2019  
This is the Wigan I loved...where did it go to.

Comments by A.W., 10th June 2019  
Elizabeth, there was an entrance to the Fleece Hotel where the sign is, it was just a doorway between other businesses, the doorway was intact until the 1990's with a fanlight over the door with "Fleece Hotel" in gold lettering on it.

Comments by DTease, 10th June 2019  
Look at the men in this picture. All Sunday suit, collar, tie and polished shoes. I canít imagine any of THEM with their trousers half way down their backsides and their shirt laps flapping about in the wind can you?

Comments by Albert.S., 10th June 2019  
The bus with the rear winding staircase, to the upper deck, where there was a foot well passageway, with bench seating towards the near side. At the passageway end of the seat, there was a chrome knob, to assist your balance.

Comments by Frank Orrell, 10th June 2019  frankorrell@sky.com 
It is my picture taken in 1971 and I don't mind any being used on wiganworld as long as I can remind people that any of my pictures used on here are in my nine books. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

Comments by Zoonie, 10th June 2019  
Is the vertical sign on the left for Sweaty Bettys Indian?

Comments by Ray, 10th June 2019  
Another great picture from Frank Orrell. The content of the
picture is fine, and the photographic quality is excellent.
The bus on the left is from 1958, a Leyland PD2 with bodywork by Northern Counties.

Comments by Pw, 10th June 2019  
The sign looks Chinese.Pacific Ocean or Happy Palace?

Comments by PB, 10th June 2019  
It was the happy palace,the pacific ocean was lower down near the junction with new market street.

Comments by Elizabeth, 10th June 2019  
Thanks A.W. and you are right Maureen,where did it all go?

Comments by Mick LD, 10th June 2019  
Pw - the sign is on the Happy Palace, which closed all around 1980, and was then opened as the Delhi Indian restaurant, under the sterling management of that splendid couple Ronnie and Betty Adikhuri, whom many of us remember.

Comments by Zoonie, 10th June 2019  
Think Happy Palace with with special lunch menue lower down road (street).

Comments by Querulus, 10th June 2019  
The Wigan town centre as I remember it over 50 years ago when I left. Itís a great photo but thatís also because the place looks ďrightĒ. Thereís character, style, functionality etc., and wait a minute, where are the potholes, the graffiti, the boarded up shops, the tattoos, the litter, people with holes in their trousers etc., etc., Letís not kid ourselves, not everything was ďperfectĒ in those days but letís also call it what it is, a severe drop in standards, culturally and aesthetically. The decline of town centres has continued since those days and sadly shows no sign of abating. But we can't have it all, large out of town shopping centres with free parking hastens the decline.

Comments by Chris, 10th June 2019  
Definitely the Happy Palace. The other restaraunt was the Pacific Ocean and that was at the bottom of the street a couple of doors up from Battys corner.
I knew Ming who had the Pacific Ocean well and did a few jobs for him at the restaraunt and at his house up Winstanley

Comments by . Ozymandias., 10th June 2019  
I feel obliged to say that it's been some time since I read a post that made quite as much sense as yours does Querulus.
I'll readily admit that I'm pessimistic about Wigan's future, for a variety of reasons that space won't permit me to list,.....and not just for the future of Wigan either if I'm being honest.
I don't pretend to have any answers, although I feel encouraged by the continued assurance from certain quarters that the next generation will sort it all out. ( pause for stifled laughter ).
Not that it will make much difference to me though, as I'll most likely be gone by then.
But like yourself, at least I can claim to have lived in Wigan when the place was still worth living in.

Respect. Ozy.

Comments by Mick, 10th June 2019  
Thanks Frank for letting the world see this old photo

Comments by Julie, 10th June 2019  
I personally am very optimistic for the future of Wigan. I am convinced the young people of today, with their imagination, determination and youthful energy will carry Wigan forwards towards a very bright future indeed. I was speaking to some young people a short while ago and their enthusiasm when discussing a wide range of subjects was a joy to behold. I am sure in the future they will have investment pouring into Wigan and make it into a town that can compete with any other. True, I may not see it, but at least I will leave knowing Wigan is in good hands for the future.

Comments by Linma, 11th June 2019  
Can't remember which one of the Chinese restaurants it was but in the sixties it was 2s 6d for dinner, or lunch as we call it today.

Comments by Pw, 11th June 2019  
I remember the 2/6 three course lunch when I went to Wigan Tech in the early 70's

Comments by Veronica, 11th June 2019  
There may even come a time when the 'large out of town shopping centres' go into decline. My washer after 14 years service (Bosch) has 'conked out' at last. My instinct was to go to Horwich and look for a replacement,but my neighbour came to my aid and ordered one online for me. At last even I have succumbed - but I still do not care for the idea of putting bank details on line. I await delivery and hope for the best! As for the decline of Wigan Town Centre - the jury is still out.....

Comments by DTease, 11th June 2019  
What IS the future of Wigan Julie? As a shopping centre the town is almost dead and buried. Who is going to invest in manufacturing in Wigan? What can we make that China and India canít make and sell cheaper than we can? Are the young people of Wigan prepared to work for the same wages that the Chinese and Indians work for? because thatís the only way they will be able to compete.
We are lumbered with a Government that is only interested in laundering other peopleís dodgy money for a living. Where does Wigan fit into that scene? How many Russian billionaires are clamoring to buy mansions in Wigan?
However you look at it, the future for towns like Wigan looks pretty bleak and I canít see the ragged, drugged up, tattooed, idle youth of the town having enough get up and go to turn things around.
Having said that, I do hope they prove me wrong.

Comments by Veronica, 11th June 2019  
Discussions and enthusiasm are all very well- talk is cheap. Practical solutions is what counts and investments where will these come from for a dead town? I don't believe in 'Shangrila' either,keep sending these brilliant photos in at least we can wallow for a while! Like Dtease I hope all is not lost for Wigan but it does look decidedly bleak,

Comments by Eric, 11th June 2019  
One of the options for the 3 course was soup,beef curry with rice or chips,and ice cream,all for half a crown,incidentally ,that looks like the queue for the beech hill bus at the bottom of the photo

Comments by Veronica, 11th June 2019  
In my experience the 'bright young things' University educated,usually leave their home towns for the bright lights and big money.. Not much hope there then.

Comments by Alan, 11th June 2019  
You know it's Frank Orrell's photo Ozy, this image is taken from his book. One of the biggest comments is in item 18388
over 6,267 views so far.

Comments by Helen of Troy, 11th June 2019  
I remember this scene well, waiting by the loos for the Corporation bus to take me up to Cherry Gdns....

Julie, you seem to be having a hard time convincing folk that Wigan is going to come in for massive investment & a bright future. There are many places that deserve investment & I dont think Wigan is one of them however much you wish it. I would think the demise of the town lies heavily at the doorstop of its Council & shoddy planning. Though I give you
for your faith that things will improve.

Comments by Poet, 11th June 2019  
All this and Herr Tauber live at the Black Horse. I'll wager Philip is within sawing his frothy flagon before him and roaring along to ' Das Jaegerlied'.

Comments by Gerry, 11th June 2019  
The first Tuesday after Easter i started my first job at Brooks Bros in Market Square it belonged to a group called united draperies which took in Peter Pell John Collier, Weaver to Wearer, and a host of others too the window cleaners ladder you see there belonged to a jolly chap named Maurice he always popped in for a brew people i worked with were Peter Wright From Orrell Betty Cunliffe from Scholes .Mr Cockbain from Euxton

Comments by Gerry, 11th June 2019  
Although Frank says this is 1971 I beg to differ (sorry Frank). I reckon its about late 1968. Thatís when Brooks closed down and we all moved to Peter Pells. Brooks old shop then became Sarah Lynns confectioners.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 11th June 2019  
Yes, I am aware that it's one of Frank Orrell's photos Alan, I think you'll find that I stated as much in the initial heading, even though at that time I had no hard evidence of the fact.
I also fail to follow your reasoning regarding item 18388 Alan . I've had a look, and it's a photo of Ince Bar, submitted by Colin Harlow.......Your point being ?.....
The thing that I find most endearing though, tucked in amongst all the pseudo political argy bargy is Eric's little gem of a comment about the various dinner options available for half a crown back in the day......oh!, and the queue for the Beech Hill bus........Priceless.

Comments by Veronica, 11th June 2019  
Actually those are the sort of comments I like to read about in' all our yesterdays' Ozy, And yes I find them hilarious in the middle of comments on the future of Wigan- why spoil these lovely photos? We are looking at the past for goodness sake!

Comments by Veronica, 11th June 2019  
One Saturday morning in '69 I went to Harts in Market St for satin and guipure lace and veiling for the wedding dress, if a shop in Scholes sold such fabric I would have gone there! As there was only a 'rag' shop near Scholes Crossings, Harts it was. A few doors down was Coleclough and Massey that was where the headdress came from,all on the same sunny morning. Further down still was the photographers - guess what was ordered there! A couple of years previous was a shop named Singers - a sewing machine was purchased. The seamstress who made the dress had to borrow my machine as hers had broken. There is still a cigarette burn on the side of the machine where she placed it- Than goodness there was no mark on the dress...Market St holds many memories for us all and it is lovely to share them. I wonder how many women looking on here went inside Harts to buy material - it was a superb shop in the days before Big Fat Gypsy Weddings!

Comments by Albert.S., 11th June 2019  
I remember one of the first Chinese restaurants to open in Wigan, in the late fifties, was in Mesnes Street, you went upstairs to the restaurant. I believe a lot of Wiganís riff raff thought the Chinese were a push over for a free meal. One Saturday night I was doubled up on the Market Place, and we got called to this restaurant where there was trouble. We were confronted with a big chap, who had smashed crockery, and had damaged a table. He was asked to leave the premises. He wasnít going to leave until heíd finished his meal, which consisted of chicken, and all sorts of noodles, and sauces.. My colleague suggested that he could take his meal with him, and emptied the meal into this chapís overcoat pocket. We then dragged him down the stairs, and sent him on his merry way. My colleague suggested to the Chinese proprietor, in his excellent Chinese ď What you wantee, is a very big chuckee outee.Ē

Comments by Arthur, 11th June 2019  
So glad when I bought the book it has none of these silly comments inside.

Comments by irene roberts, 11th June 2019  
Brilliant, Albert! I have a George Formby song called "Mr. Woo's an air-raid warden now"...it is hilarious but the lyrics would be considered offensive now, (not to the Chinese people, I'm sure, but to the PC Brigade). Veronica, I remember going to Hart's with my Mam for material for Walking-Day dresses, and for a tablecloth I made and embroidered at Hindley Grammar School. My wedding-dress material came from Debenhams, where I worked, but my hat and parasol were from Coleclough and Massey. They ended up in school plays at Abram Primary School!

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 11th June 2019  
Your mention of Coleclough & Massey has just sparked a memory Veronica. Years ago, I recall a bloke from Coleclough's used to call at our house. My mother regularly bought stuff off him and the chap would call round weekly to collect the instalments.
I'm guessing it's the same company that you're talking about as they were based in Wigan, although I never heard the name Massey mentioned, it was always just Coleclough's .
I still have an overcoat that she bought for me when I was about 14 . In fact, I've just been up to the wardrobe to have a look at the thing.
I have no idea how much she paid for the item, but the workmanship is impeccable and there's a label inside that reads ' Maitland ' if that has any significance.
At the time of purchase, the overcoat was a little bit too big for me to be fair, although she assured my that I'd ' grow into it ', and guess what, she was bang on, as she quite often was, as the overcoat now fits me perfectly .

Comments by Maureen, 11th June 2019  
I have so many memories of Market St..the UCP cafe at the top of the st,where I would take my then youngest Son..and a business man used to come and sit at our table,my little one would keep sending his toy car across the table,and he would send it back..the man said it made his day.
I'd just nipped in there on the way back from night class for art with my Mona Lisa tucked under my arn..the woman behind the counter bought it off me.
The Queens Hall where all Schools gathered to sing'Land of Hope and Glory..never forget it.
Carleys gents outfitters wbere I had to measure men for suits,it wouldn't be allowed today though..I also worked in the office upstairs aged 16.
The cafe on the corner further up wbere after dropping the little 'un off at School I would call for a coffee before setting off shopping..I could go on and on about Wigan itself..I practically was brought up near the town centre,and no matter what destruction is carried out in Wigan..and no matter what the clever folk think,thats what it is..they will never take my memories away ever.

Comments by Barrie, 11th June 2019  
Seeing Linma's comment about the last bus to Standish reminds me of when I was going out with a girl from Beech Hill in 1960 and catching the bus from BH to the town centre only to see the last bus to Standish depart.If memory serves me right ,there was a later bus to the Bleechworks. Caught that and walked home from Boars Head. I was grounded by dad for a week for coming in late.(15 years old then)
Looking at #16343 on Street Scenes(town centre) only 4 years between them and the changes then. We used to call this "Top of the Town" when younger.

Comments by Philip G., 11th June 2019  
Spotted him, Poet, Spotted him, . . . our monocled jolly toper at bottom-left.
And yes, what a night 'Herr Tauber at The Black Horse' - Following his success at The Old Vic', Aspull -, could have been for yourself, DTease, and me; A night compounded by our travel to, and from, the venue in a 352 brougham.
All the olde songs - with scant regard for the hunt song -, being enjoyed by ourselves; and some with riotous frolic.
And DTease's favourite 'Goodbye' could also have been heard, . . . Oh, . . . there's another little wrinkle, 'Goodbye' is from The 'White Horse' Inn, so perhaps the three of us could also imagine Herr Tauber performing up at your beloved Lakeland's White Horse Inn, as well. I'll consult my imaginary Bartholomews . . . just to see if our brougham would be able to take the strain. Adieu da da, . . . .

Comments by t, 11th June 2019  
the bus in front of the pie delivery van is going to martland mill.

Comments by baker, 11th June 2019  
oh to be leaning on that railing watching the world go by.absolutely fantastic picture.

Comments by tuddy, 11th June 2019  
Wasn't there a dentist just further up than the junction with Woodcock Street? I think his name was Prentice.

Comments by Keith Beckett, 12th June 2019  
I spent many hours walking up and down Market Street. Five years between the Grammar School and the Ashton bus stop and then more of the same from the Technical College.
In my first year at the Tech. three of us used to walk to the Minorca for a bite to eat between the day and evening sessions. Around half way up Market Street there was a ladies dress shop and inevitably the same young lady was altering the window display every time we passed. After chatting to her for a few weeks we decided to sing to her the next time we passed. We knew her name was Rhona so we settled on a couple of lines from the lyrics of Ramona made popular by Jim Reeves and later The Bachelors.In our version Ramons was changed to Rhona.
Rhona, I hear the mission bells above
Rhona, they're ringing out our song of love
Happy carefree days.

Comments by John D, 12th June 2019  
One shop I particularly remember, and miss, is the Army and Navy surplus store on the corner of Market Street and Hallgate. As a young lad, I bought all manner of military odds and ends with my spending money. The shop probably influenced my decision to join the Army after leaving school.

Comments by Albert.S., 12th June 2019  
I am no expert in relation to the makes of various carsí, but is the first car waiting to turn into Wallgate, a Rolls Royce?. I see the light had been erected to illuminate the policeman on point duty. Must have been sometime early sixties.

Comments by priscus, 12th June 2019  
Albert, it is a P4 Rover, as Mr X has already said above.

You may know them better as Rover90, Rover 100, or Rover 110. (Not sure if there was also an 85 and 105)

Comments by Pw, 12th June 2019  
I hope Garry is OK.He usually comments about lorries and cars.

Comments by Veronica, 12th June 2019  
What great memories you all have of those far off days- I enjoyed reading them and I bet you enjoyed writing them down. I felt I was there when Rhona/ Ramona was in the window and being serenaded - I wonder if she remembers the episode as well! The Batchelors were quite popular at that time - so clean cut - l wonder if they are still knocking about...;@)

Comments by Veronica, 13th June 2019  
Irene the pattern for my dress and the bridesmaids came from Debenhams. The lady who made the dress came with me for the fabric. In a way she took command! We looked in there first. I can see it all in my minds eye even to this day...good memories.

Comments by Garry, 13th June 2019  
Yes I'm ok PW, thanks for asking.
The car to the far right is Ford Zephyr, top of the Que Rover P series, Ford Anglia, Hillman Minx, Vauxhall FC, Triumph 1300, the lorrie facing is a Dodge the lorrie going away Bedford, in the distance Austin/Morris 1100-1300, Mini and further back Austin J4 van.

Comments by JJP, 13th June 2019  
Veronica, yes the Batchelors are still on the go, though only two now, Con and Dec the two brothers, John left many years ago now. You can see them in Blackpool next march I think, appearing with the Houghton Weavers at that big hotel on the sea front.

Comments by JJP, 13th June 2019  
Veronica, I should have said, The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, March 2020.

Comments by Veronica, 13th June 2019  
I must look them up on YTube or google - I had forgotten about them. They always seemed to be playing on the radio in the early sixties. If I hear any sixties music I am right there! That's the beauty of music..If I'm correct they styled their hair like the Beatles! Thank you JJP

Comments by Linma, 14th June 2019  
Barrie, what time was "coming in late" then. Boyfriend,, who lived in Worsley Mesnes, used to take me home and the bus which turned round at Pepper Lane was the last bus to Wigan. He then had to walk home. Up to being 21 I had to be home by 11 o clock. Young ones today are only going out at that time.

Comments by Veronica, 14th June 2019  
11 00 was the deadline for me Linma and not a minute later - that was up to getting married- no arguing either. Allowing an hour to get ready, and out at 7 00.

Comments by Julie, 14th June 2019  
Veronica, just read your comment 8th of June , Rose and Crown . I agree completely what you say and was in fact greatly moved . I , agree , I do get irritated, but you explained it beautifully. Unfortunately, reality is stark and painful. No one likes change , change makes people feel uncomfortable. Believe me , I hate change more than anyone ,. I can relate to every word you are saying Veronica , but I also relate to the reality
I see before me . I want for Wigan more than anything , and that has to be for the next generation. I want them to love Wigan as do , and take Wigan to the future. You are right Veronica, a change of name maybe for WW .
Wigan has to go forward , like it or not , here on WW . We need investment to survive, to provide jobs etc . If we hold ourselves in the past , tell me please WW , what is our gain ?.

Comments by Veronica, 14th June 2019  
Change has already happened Julie there is no getting away from that fact. Like History it is continuous. But on here 'Album',we share memories because that is why the site was developed in the first place. Its a trait common to older people because they like to indulge in those memories and find humour in our younger selves. I can't put it any plainer.
Even the great poets were fond of looking back!
" Though nothing can bring back the hour,
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
we will grieve not,rather find
strength in what remains behind"......
William Wordsworth "Intimations of Imortality from Early Childhood"
memory is one of the last things to go - so keep it sharpened!

Comments by Barrie, 14th June 2019  
Hi Linda-re your question, I think 10.30 was the time set by Dad if I was out anywhere. I was about to leave Gidlow School at the Summer so exams(tests) had to taken. Needless to say leaving Beech Hill terminus by 1000 most nights into Wigan was a"struggle". I think it was to teach me a lesson.My elder sister had the same problem in the early 50's and she was coming up for 20 years old!!. We had to walk if we missed the bus not like now with the younger generation taking taxi's rather than walk a mile or so. I hope that in the future the younger generation look back at Wigan as it is today and discuss what it was like for them on websites like WW. There are many sites like WW where memories/photographs are shown on the web with similar comments.Glasgow & Irvine in Ayrshire are just 2 such sites.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 14th June 2019  
Well quoted Véronique, I'd just like to add the following couple of lines however, with which most people will no doubt be familiar...." But yet I know, where'er I go . That there hath past away a glory from the earth."..... I'm guessing it was ever thus.

Comments by Keith Beckett, 15th June 2019  
A touching acquaintance with the past is invariably a good starting point when planning a better future.
The slum clearance, a terrible phrase, of areas within walking distance of the market place deprived the centre of its most valuable asset, the people.
The abolition of the grammar schools led to a migration of the AB social class, now representing over 20% of UK population, from Wigan. Their spending power went with them.
The era of executive management of Wigan Council with people from a town planning background gave us the Wigan of today that so many dislike.
However, we are where we are. How do we effect change to improve the present situation in a way that leaves Wigan prepared for the future?
Town centre retail faces a constant battle against the online offer and the very high cost of business rates and rents. In parts of the town the low footfall compounds the problems.
My solution would be to reinvent the town centre as a mix of retail, housing and leisure.
The retail space should be reduced by at least a quarter and rearranged into specific areas. Parts of the outer town centre could be retail free and developed for housing and leisure. The Galleries should be demolished and replaced with housing and a market hall with an entrance on Standishgate. The redundant retail space should make way for housing, leisure and car parking.
To improve the offer for shoppers and visitors a mini bus service from the bus station to the retail areas on a circular route would be a boon.

And so on ....

Comments by Helen of Troy, 17th June 2019  
I think you have something there Keith, especially the shuttle bus. Ashbourne in Derbyshire has just that. The bus runs from the outskirts of town shopping area into the bus station. Its free of charge ( it was when we used it) & funded by the stores in the retail park & maybe the local council, it does them good & the shops in the town good.

Comments by Keith, 19th June 2019  
Helen, I live fairly close to Shrewsbury (a lovely town) and always use their excellent shuttle bus service whenever I visit, as do many others. However, just this week, like many of our public services I hear it's under threat because of financial constraints.

Comments by Albert.S, 20th June 2019  
Southport have, or did have an excellent shuttle service, from the extensive car park at the southern end of Southport, straight into Lord Street. Very clean toilet facilities, and waiting room. Also cheap to park. Pick up points in Lord Street, to take you back to the car park.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 20th June 2019  
There is, or at least there was, a relatively newly built park and ride on Foul lane, between Kew roundabout and Meols Cop station. The car park is capable of accommodating 500+ vehicles, but appears to be abandoned now. In fact this time last year, the site was occupied by....err....let's call them travellers shall we as they appear to find any other description offensive, surrounded by their usual mountains of detritus, and the empty propane cylinders that have become their trademark. The cleaned up and as far as I'm aware, still redundant site can be seen on Streetview

Comments by Julie, 22nd June 2019  
Veronica, I do hope you and others will read Keith Beckettís most wonderful post . Not only does he recognise the past of Wigan , as I do , but he looks to the future of Wigan . He is objective! Instead of taking sides . Life does not stand still . We have to embrace the future of Wigan for the sakes of our young people . Memories are wonderful, and should be replayed how many times as you desire , but Wiganís future projection should apply in the same way.
There are so many on WW who feel safer in the memories of the old WW, which I completely and totally respect . But pray , be like Keith Beckettís
post , show me your objective and constructive view , how we can combine the old of Wigan , with new Wigan for the future . I know many disagree with me with a passion because I have the impertinence to challenge the sands of time , of WW , but I do so , only because of my love for Wigan, where I was born , and desperately want the young Wigganers, ( few on here ) to have jobs and the elderly to be cared for . This can only be achieved by investment into the future, whist remembering our valued past . The greatest insult you can give me , is I donít love the old Wigan as much as you . Keith , asks us , which we each need to ask ourselves, How can we combine the two . The old Wigan, and the acceptance of new Wigan of the future . Sadly , there are quite a few here on WW , who quite simply refuse to enter the argument in any shape or form . They are moulded into a shape of generation. , which only takes Wigan backwards ,
time and time again ..

Comments by Veronica, 23rd June 2019  
I most certainly appreciate Keith's love of History, as the photos he posts and knowledge,clarify his great interest in the subject. That's what WW Album is all about. We can learn more from History than any 'tin-pot' ideas floating about.

Comments by Maureen, 23rd June 2019  
Julie,just who do you think you are,all the balderdash you come out with is rubbish..this site was created for the present but mainly for looking back,you seem to have overlooked that small detail,do not try to sound clever,it only comes across as arrogance.I personally do not care if you're ninety or nineteen,stop trying to preach as that is how your comments come across,you are so wearisome.

Comments by Querulus, 11th July 2019  
No one can tell what tomorrow will bring nor what the future really holds - so predicting what Wigan's future will be is futile at best. However, the Romans seemed to like being here so there's a good chance Wigan will be around for a little while yet. However, the past is a different kettle of fish, we do know, within limits, what the past held and what it was like to a degree. The challenge, and I suspect the main "raison d'être" for this site, is to try and establish as accurately as one can just how the town and its inhabitants lived, worked, played etc., all those years ago - or am I missing the point?

Comments by Veronica, 14th September 2019  
You are most definitely not 'missing the point' in fact you describe what this forum is about admirably, succinctly and even further ... TO the point...which some, however they try just do not. As you say none of us know what the future, or tomorrow will bring, we can live in hope and learn from the past Querulous...

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