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St Thomas's C of E, Wigan


St. Thomas School - Wigan c. 1905/1910
St. Thomas School - Wigan c. 1905/1910
Photo: Carol Broughton
Views: 4,419
Item #: 17154
I collect and repair old photos as a hobby and I bought this photograph at a Car Boot sale. It had some damage and was quite dirty and has been repaired on the Rootschat Photo Restoration by Caroline Bucknall one of the team of volunteers.
The date has been estimated on Rootschat to be around 1905-1910 from the style of clothing worn.

I would be happy to send a larger version for printing if anyone who would like one.

I hope someone out there recognises an Ancestor in this gem of a photo!

Comment by: Keith on 17th February 2011 at 18:25

Quite agree Carol, a gem of a photo. An added interest from my point of view is that it looks as if the photo was taken in front of St Thomas's church where my great grandparents married in 1873.

Comment by: Carol Broughton on 17th February 2011 at 18:56

Hi Keith...How interesting...I wonder how many of these children survived the childhood epidemics of the era and the following two wars.

Comment by: Sheryl B on 17th February 2011 at 21:39

Wonderful photo! Absolutely magical restoration job. Can only imagine what it looked like! I am struck by the obvious protection the teacher on the left displays for her young pupils, as she gently touches the child's shoulder in the picture. Would have been a rare quality in a teacher in those times I'm sure. Very touching. Thanks for posting.

Comment by: Keith on 17th February 2011 at 22:57

Hi Carol, can't answer that I'm afraid but I do know from research that my great grandparents went on to have 15 children, 9 of whom died in infancy, 8 of those failed to reach their first birthday. My grandmother was one of the lucky 6 who survived.Times that perhaps we cannot grasp these days, I know that in 1850 the AVERAGE life expectancy of someone living in Bradford was 20 years and a few months.

Comment by: joannw on 18th February 2011 at 13:14

Is this the one that was near Caroline Street, my mum and her brothers and sisters went there and no doubt a lot of my ancestors also as they lived in Driving Lane.

Comment by: Martin on 18th February 2011 at 16:00

HI Joannw, yes St Thomas's church was in St Thomas's Street which was a very short street, in fact I doubt if it had any room for houses, perhaps just the church itself. The street is still there but of course no church and no houses. It's halfway down Caroline Street on the left as you travel towards Wallgate on the A49.

Comment by: Dave Marsh on 18th February 2011 at 16:13

Thanks ever so much for this wonderful photo,Carol.There is so much detail to look at and ponder.There could be one of my mothers siblings there in this group.The boy back left looks so like my own photo at that age.Thanks again for sharing this on wiganworld.

Comment by: Dave Marsh on 18th February 2011 at 16:15

I forgot to say "We had Beatle haircuts 50 years before the Beatles".

Comment by: Carol Broughton on 18th February 2011 at 21:19

Hi Everyone..So pleased to read your interesting comments..it's a lovely piece of social history and I'm glad I was able to rescueit and return it to the peple of Wigan.The price of the photo was 30p...the rewards of sharing it..Priceless!

Comment by: Frank Tisdall on 19th February 2011 at 17:06

The children look terrified. Not a smile from any one of them. Just look at the Britannia Bridge school photo for comparison. Mostly big beaming smiles!

Comment by: Sheryl B on 22nd February 2011 at 06:53

To be fair Frank, a 50 year time difference between these two school photos I would say speaks more of the unpredictability of when the photographer of the day actually clicked the button - hence the children having to stare at the camera lens for goodness knows how long before their pic got taken!
A bit different 50 yrs later - all they had to do was say "cheese"! :)

Comment by: lesgee on 25th February 2011 at 11:21

great pic my old school best school of all i went , built proper then not the cr*p they build now just a shame they demolished it

Comment by: Philip Young on 19th July 2012 at 17:10

There were houses in St Thomas' Street - the church and part of the School yard occupied one side and there were houses on the other side; numbers 1 to 17, odd numbers only.

Comment by: Derek H on 21st January 2018 at 16:55

I went to St Thomas's for a short period in 1938, we lived in Faggy Lane and my grandparents James and Mary Turner lived at 73 Queen St. Under the 'slum clearance' of the 1930's my parents were moved to Chestnut Rd, Whelley and my grandparents went to Broom Rd on Worsley hall Estate. I have looked carefully at the photo as my mum and her brothers and sisters went to the school in the period 1903 to the early 1920's. -George, John, Agnes, Florrie, Annie, James and Esther. Grandfather James was well known in the area and was bandmaster for many years for the British Legion Prize Brass band; you can see on a picture of the band in front of the old Market Hall on Wigan World.

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