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    the thick smelly fog

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I remember them.My nan always put me a scarf over my mouth as well,when going to school,it itched me alot,as it was that scraggy itchy wool,but it helped,when I took it off I had a face like a beetroot butty,with panda pie eyes.I got pnemonia in 1958,so her scarf and that rotten itching did not do me any good,you just had to get on with it and when bad some times a proper pea souper,then many of us going to school would be walking with arms on shoulders.We don't have all that now,but it makes me wonder today,why with such clean air apparantly,many have asthma,and bad chests.They cleaned up the air with the air pollution act,in the 50s' and today with not many chimneys,mills,and the like,there seems to be,too many with bad chest complaints.I could always taste something like matches when I was going to school,I don't know what it was like sulphar or something,but it was rotten,unless my nan had cracked a bad egg in my scarf. Holly, Bradshaw, Lancs

21st Nov 2016

In 1965 before smokeless fuel, dad had an old clapped out Morris (we were posh as we had a car)We visited our aunty for her annual boxing day family party and on leaving at probably 8pm,dad a little tiddly, we ventured out into the smog. No reason to leave the car behind as breathalysers not in force. I remember him pulling the window down and hanging his head out (not even wind up windows then, let alone electric)he couldn't see a thing and made mum in her winkle pickers with stiletto kitten heels walk in front of the car waving her white starched hankie with a scarf around her mouth The daft thing was we only lived a 10 minute walk away but dad had a car and he was using it. The stench of the smog was a cross between sulphur and bad drains. Jackie Oakes, Hindley, Wigan, England

20th Mar 2015

i remember as a kid going to school and not being able to see your hand in front of your face n my mam used to always say they were pea souper's. alison hockey nee smith, WIGAN, United Kingdom

25th Jul 2013

When I was 7 tears old in 1935, I lived at No.1 Stratford St., Springfield, Wigan and went to Bluecoat school in Hallgate - where the bus station is now. The tramlines went past the bottom of Stratford St. and went from Wigan to Martland Mill - the trams had finished. In thick fog I followed the tramlines home from school !! I can`t find out what happened to the tramlines - does anyone know? Ernest Pyke, Shevington, Lancashire, England

3rd Jul 2012

I used to deliver orders for mortons grocers in vauxhall road off scholes in wigan.this night was a pea souper. I was told to take an order to Plat lane which was nearby.I reluctlantly set off not being abled to see very far.I made it to the house but no one was at home,i was seething .So i made my way back to the shop,when turning into vauxhall road from scholes i hit a patch of black ice ,and ended up going through the pub door of the harp inn just missing a bloke stood at the bar,he had the shock of his life.There were eggs and milk everywhere.I had to clean it all up,which was not funny joe tighe, leigh, England

5th Aug 2011

My Dad was a bit of a trainspotter and railway modeller, as some of his patients, Ken Lowe, Walter Lunn and Stan Wilkinson would remember. On the rare occasions when he wasn't on call as a GP in Pemberton,in the late 50s, he would take me to Wigan Wallgate or North Western to "admire the locomotives". I couldn't see them....all I remember was the choking fog, and as he had a grey Sunbeam Rapier at the time (SWM 205), we couldn't find where he'd parked the car as the fog was so impenetrable....when the fog-induced influenza hit Pemberton, I remember the pile of death certificates mounting on the sideboard before taking them to OUDC offices on Orrell Road on a daily basis. Sad times. No 'flu vaccines in those days. Jane Bancrofft (was Searle), Formby, UK

16th May 2011

standing at saddle juction newtown near grandma martins watching americanarmy wagons going throughin the fog 1940 s joseph holland, eccles, uk

11th Dec 2010

I remember one Christmas period in the 1950's,I think maybe 1957, being taken to a Pantomime in Bolton. I think it was a trip arranged by either Moorfields Coaches of Pemberton or Maybe Unsworths. The panto starred Jewel and Wallace but was more memorable for the fog that descended during the performance. The journey back to Pemberton was only achieved by adult passengers walking in front of the coach when the fog patches were at their densest. Allan, Wirral, United Kingdom

16th Jan 2010

I remember, as a teenager, walking home to Tanpit Cottages in Winstanley( one mile from the nearest Bus Stop in those days)in thick fog and seeing this dark shadow in front of me. Feeling rather scared I squeeked " hello! whose there? No answer. As I approached nearer I felt so stupid when the ghostly figure turned out to be the fence post. Betty Draper, Invermoriston, Inverness-shire

28th Dec 2009

My first winter away from Platt bridge. I got lost in the last Smog in London. next morning I had bronchitis. my landlady had to call the doctor to me. maggie, Bath, England

30th Nov 2009

I remember my mum wrapping a thick scarf around my mouth to stop me breathing in the horrible stuff, when I unwrapped it it was wet through & soggy with my breath ugh!! shez, golborne, england

8th Oct 2009

Hi Bert from Hindley,Many times i have stood across from the Royal Hotel in the fog after a day at Naylor Bros,then had to walk to Bryn. brian ashcroft, Paraparaumu, New Zealand

25th Jun 2009

I can remember in the mid 1950s, going home from the 'Youth Club' in Orrell to UpHolland around 9.00 pm on my bike. The road through 'Tontine' was so thick in fog that it wasn't safe to ride the bike, I had to push it - Dennis Dickinson, Palmerston North, New Zealand

3rd May 2009


4th Feb 2009

Being driven from Wigan to Pemberton at night, in a friend,s car. The fog was so thick we decided to follow a 'bus, and were getting along well. Suddenly everything turned bright and clear! We were in the Ribble 'bus depot! Ric Schofield, Daventry, England

28th May 2008

I remember as a kid, playing out in it, playing taplatch, knocking on doors down in Spring Gardens off Frog Lane. You could knock and stand a couple of yards away keeping quiet, and when the door was opened they couldn't see you, until someone started to giggle. Alan, Wigan, Lancashire, (it was then !!!!! )
I remember a Novembers day in 1954 the very first day of my apprenticeship at Naylor Bros Golborne. The day started off bright and crisp. But by half past three the fog banks came rolling in and an old chap who lived in Platt Bridge came to me and said we would have to leave work early because they would probably cancel the bus services if it got any worse. Well! it did get worse however the buses kept on running.A group of us waited for over an hour at a bus stop on Lily Lane for a trolley bus.For some reason these machines seemed more prone to the vageries of the weather than petrol buses. Anyhow we eventually gave up and decided to walk instead and had reached the depot on Liverpool road before one of these lumbering monsters caught up with us. But by the time that I got home to Hindley it was half past eight at night and I'd been away from home almost fourteen hours Bert, Hindley, England
I was doing some freelance work in Parbold and had to return home from there to Standish. This was in the early 60s and I had a NSU scooter. The fog was thick and green . I drove very slowly home on the central white line as that was the only feature one could see. I nearly ran into a parked up lorry but the driver asked if he could follow me as he couldnt see even the white line from up in his cab. We drove in convoy to Standish. I don,t know how he managed after that but when I arrived home my green plastic jacket had a thick coat of darker green slim that you could literally scrape off. Goodness knows the damage it did to our lungs. fred howarth, truro, uk
I can remember mum coming to collect me from school sometime in the early fifties after a filthy peasouper decended on the country.After getting buttoned up in my duffle coat she wrapped a big wool scarf over my mouth for the walk home home after the buses went off the road. eleanor, bolton, england
I can remember the real thick fog in the 50s. The buses would stop running because it was too thick, but we were so keen to go the Empress Ballroom, we would walk there and by the time we got there we had black droplets from our hair. Barbara Guy (Singleton, Melbourne, Australia
It seemed it was always foggy when we used to visit my parent's friends who lived at Aintree, just beside the race course. We lived at Holland Moor. My poor Mother used to have her head hanging out of the window looking for the kerb or edge of the road, my Dad would be weaving all over the place. My sister & I sat quiet in the back listening to the 2 of them shouting at each other. Can remember my Mother saying " I don't know why we have to drag ourselves all the way over to Aintree in this fog....we only ever get bought fish & chips for supper " Happy Days !! Helen West, Nr Fakenham, Norfolk, UK
We suffered some real "pea soupers" in the 1950s I presume because of all the chimney smoke from the coal fires and all the factories around . I can remember going to Belle Green Mission Day School in the mid 50s and had to wear a "smog mask" because I suffered a lot from a bad chest. The mask consisted of a small steel frame and you had to attach a pad (made of like a gauze material) and then put the black elastic pieces around your ears to keep it on. I only had a short walk from where I lived at 123 Belle Green Lane (next to Joe Moss's shop)to the school but you could see two black marks where my nose had been and another where my mouth had breathed in the fog when I arrived at school Maureen Rutter (nee Green), Coppull Moor, England
I remember coming home from the cotton mill on the coach and one of the passengers walking in front of it all through hindley, waving a torch, we turned off towards higher ince and a stream of cars followed us, when we got to ince bar they realised they had come the wrong way, it was a sight to see them all trying to turn back as they could'nt see where they was going. I also remember trying to cross the road and not being able to see the other side. kathleen, shropshire, england
Driving up Norley Hall Avenue in the 60's my mate JW driving says "Open the (passenger) door and see if you can see the pavement". So I did and replied "Aye a can see it, your drivin on it" Frank Barton, Wigan, England
I remember waiting for a bus from Worsley to get to Swinton, and eventualy, the bus came, and went, I found that I was waiting on the wrong side of the Rd,it was a "pea souper" so my bus went without me, and I ended up walking all the way through Roe Green and onwards to Moorside, (Great)!! but those were the best days of my life. Dave Norman, Sudbury, Canada
I remember walking the Ashton bus to Bryn Road with its spotlight on my white handkerchief. Visibility was probably no more than 10 ft. Somebody must have walked it back to the Wigan sheds. Ed O, Vancouver, Canada
i remember us taking the kids to watch chitty chitty bang bang, when we came out, it was a pea souper, and when we finally found the car it took us ages to get home, and at one stage the car started to play up, and the kids were singing chitty chitty bang bang we love you, afterwards the car was always called that doreen c, wigan, england
Whenever there was a pea-souper my father would take us to the end of Monument Road, Swinley, to cross Wigan Lane on our way to St Michael and All Angels School on Earl Street. We would have thick woolly scarves wound round our heads and over our faces with an Uncle Joe's mint ball in our mouths to ward off any nasties! This was a change from the usual spoonful of malt extract followed by one of wheatgerm (Mum worked at Potters Herbal Supplies) that stopped us talking all the way to school. We would stand and listen for traffic as we couldnĀ“t see a thing and the fog seemed to stay in our noses, throats and lungs all morning at school. Carol, Moscari, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain
Two very strong memories. Going to school down Park Road with the bus conductor walking in the kerb and the resulting abuse between the driver and conductor after the conductor walked into an obstruction in the road (at a good 2/3 m.p.h.) The laughter from fellow passengers on an IOMSP boatI was sailing on after a very foggy ride on my motor cycle along the East Lancs Road. It was only when I went to the toilet and saw the black mask that I was wearing - I had been using a helmet and scarf over my mouth - that I realised why! brian, helmdon, england
I remember when I lived near Gidlow Lane in my teens and walked to the Casino, when we got to Wigan our hair would be wet with the fog and our clothes and faces where full of little black specks. I don't think it bothered any of us though.I also remember walking past my own house lots of times becouse the fog was so thick. Do you also remember how quiet everything was, it was eerie. Christine, Wigan, England
I LIVED IN manchester in those days, went to school at Manchester Central Grammar School. The headmistress said we could go home early, fat lot of good that did us. No buses or trains we had to walk home about 4 miles, could'nt see our hands in front of our faces. doreen haynes, wigan, england
The pitmen of wallgate sitting outside the whitewash pub playing pitch and toss.If I was lucky 1 of the pitmen would be a little worse for drink and forget he'd left a halfpenny on the floor...pennies from heaven. chris, wigan, england
i remember being very small, and in the car with my parents on a really really foggy evening one winter. The fog was so thick that my dad had to crawl along the road, and he had his window open trying to look ahead with his head hanging out because trying to see through the windows was almost impossible. there was hardly any sound and all you could see from the street lights was an eerie orange ball of fuzzy lights every so often. thank goodness its not so bad these days! susan, skelmersdale, england
One foggy bonfire night in 60s, and a lot of crashes on the M6 at shevy. they just keeped coming down the hill towards gathurst and hitting the thick fog and then hitting the other crash vehicals in the pile up Big Harold, Wigan, England
The fog was so thick with a yellow tinge to it and you couldn't see across the other side of the street. Traffic came to a standstill and the buses were taken off the road. Everywhere was eerily quiet and more often than not it made you quite ill. I remember being sixteen and still I had to go out - I was frightened of missing anything. The next day I couldn't speak my voice had gone completely. All I got from my mother was that it served me right!! I had to get a bottle of Friar's Balsam and put a towel over my head and breath in the vapours -it took the whole of a week to get my voice back again! veronica, westhoughton, bolton
Pea souper as they said. What horrible stuff. The lollypop man (school crossing patrol) having a fog lamp in his hand as he helped you across the road. Think it was a paraffin lamp. Sure sometimes someone walked at the front of the buses when it was bad. Why? What a job. Remember the mucky coloured water running down the windscreen of our car from the windscreen wipers. No wonder we always had coughs. Mum made you put a scarf over your mouth. Jean J, Wigan, Lancs

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