Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Market Square


Building site, Wigan
Photo: Ray
Views: 1,225
Item #: 33463
What a great picture. I have been on WiganWorld for quite a few years
but I have not seen this interesting picture before. Judging the buses
and vehicles on the Market Square, I reckom this is the mid 1960s.
Not my picture, photographer not known.

Comment by: Peter Walsh on 27th December 2021 at 07:54

Early 50s. I lived in Dicconson Terrace and remember the construction of the college. I started at the Thomas Linacre in 1955 and we used to have our German class over there. Good photo.

Comment by: CJAlan on 27th December 2021 at 08:43

This picture looks to be the junction of Market Street, New Market Street and Parsons Walk.

If memory serves me right, the original Wigan College building was opened in 1954 by the Queen.

This picture looks more to be 1960s than 1950s, judging by the volume of cars on the market car park, so I am assuming the building work is the construction of the second phase of the college complex where the big wheel stood for many years.


Comment by: Ian. on 27th December 2021 at 09:42

I would say approx 1967 as the rugby ground floodlights are visible. I think they were erected circa 1967. Nice photo.

Comment by: Tony G on 27th December 2021 at 09:44

About 1969. Flood lights erected at Central Park. They were 1968 I think. Crane in background, building Boyswell House. Same was completed 1970. Crompton House already built.

Comment by: Roy on 27th December 2021 at 10:11

This site is what has become Wigan and Leigh College, an extension of what was John McCurdy Hall which itself was built in the early 50's alongside Thomas Linacre School. JMH was opened by the Queen in 1954.

Comment by: fred on 27th December 2021 at 10:19

approx 1970 the building is the tech extension that used to have the pit wheel in front of it

Comment by: Veronica on 27th December 2021 at 10:27

I had forgotten just how many cars could park on the Market Square. In hindsight it's the memories of Whit Monday that stands out for me. 5 Parishes walked so it does show how crushed the crowds really were. Not to mention the pipe bands and other bands of musicians. Plus all the dignitaries and room for all those banners and statues. Marvellous! Something lacking today is the rallying point we had in those days. When the Queen came in 1977 she was stood on a dias in the middle of the road in Wallgate. That would not have happened if the Market Square had still been in existence.

Comment by: Ray on 27th December 2021 at 11:47

The large building on the left of the picture still has its original name
near the top...O & C Rushton AD 1900. The front of the building facing
the Market Square was often referred to as The Gas Showrooms.

Comment by: Tony L on 27th December 2021 at 13:02

Veronica - the market square was there until at least 1985.

Comment by: Frank Orrell on 27th December 2021 at 13:04

This picture was taken in February 1969 from a roof overlooking the excavations for the new Wigan Technical College. It's in my "Wigan In Times Gone By" book. I've not submitted any pictures recently because I'm in the middle of a new book mainly concerned with the 1960s but because of Covid restrictions I've not been able to do any research for information about the pictures at the Museum of Wigan Life. I will submit some images when I've been able to get information. Probably a good while off yet.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 27th December 2021 at 13:14

Could tell it was one of yours Frank, I think the clarity gives it away. Good photo. Tony G, nice to hear from you mate, hope you're keeping well :)

Comment by: Veronica on 27th December 2021 at 13:15

I hadn't realised that Tony L. You are right as the Supermarket was built on it in the mid 80's. How strange it wasn't used for when the Queen came , as she did last time. Blocking the main Rd up too. Thanks for telling me. I should have known, but i haven't lived in Wigan since the late 60's, even though I have never missed coming to Wigan at least once a week.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 27th December 2021 at 13:52

Where the buses are, is that the beginning of Parson’s Walk, or did Parson’s Walk begin lower down. Wasn’t the the first street lower down Parson’s Terrace, that led into Bridgeman Terrace?. It is such a long time ago that I was in Wigan.

Comment by: Tony L on 27th December 2021 at 14:05

It probably wasn't fit to use when the Queen came in 1977, Veronica. For the last twenty years or so of its existence, it was in very poor condition, full of potholes and and very uneven areas.

Comment by: john on 27th December 2021 at 14:35

Great picture.

Comment by: Garry on 27th December 2021 at 16:06

I can see a Ford Transit, the first of these vans came out in 1965.

Comment by: Veronica on 27th December 2021 at 16:45

Looks like St Catharine's at the top (back.)
Scholefield Lane is a high point. I remember standing at the top of Belvoir St and being amazed at what could be seen for miles after the old terraces had been demolished. No wonder it was named Belvoir St - beautiful view/vista. Spent many hours roller skating down Belvoir St.

Comment by: Mr X on 27th December 2021 at 18:38

Probably the late 1960s as the flats in lower Scholes, Crompton, Mannion, Derby, Brook an Woodcock Houses are built. A crane is constructing Boyswell House in higher Scholes that is not yet built. The Park Hotel and Warburtons furniture shop can be seen. The car outside Battyes is possibly a Ford Corsair or Vauxhall Victor FD. As for the corporation buses the nearest one is a front entrance long Leyland PD3 with Northern Counties body and St Helens fibre glass front, so I guess that to be HJP5-11. The other is a rear entrance 1956-58 short PD2, also with Northern Counties body, CEK837-841, DEK108-113, DJP754-759. And in the bus station a Leyland Tiger Cub single decker, probably 1957 DEK534 or 535 likely to be on the 333 Wrightington route always a single decker because of the low railway bridge in Mill Lane, Appley Bridge. What was the building next to the Park Hotel that was demolished and Barclays bank built on the site?

Comment by: Philip Cunliffe on 27th December 2021 at 19:19

Photo after 1967. Wigan’s first floodlit game was against Bradford Northern. Georgie Fame presented the match ball. At some point in the match the lights failed. Hope this sheds light on the date !!

Comment by: Ray on 27th December 2021 at 19:44

Hi Mr X...The Leyland bus on the left of the picture is a 64 seat front
loader, same length as the 61 seat bus. Cheers, Ray.

Comment by: Cyril on 27th December 2021 at 20:14

The building between the Park Hotel and Marsden St was Conroy Brothers and was a store for fruit and vegetables, they later moved to Wheatlea Park at Marus Bridge. There was also two shops at the side on Marsden Street with a pet shop and a saddle makers down an alley between them and the back of the Market Hotel.

Comment by: Roy on 28th December 2021 at 09:45

Yes that is the start of Parsons Walk.

Comment by: Roy on 28th December 2021 at 11:47

The first 'street' in Parsons Walk was Mesnes Terrace, it was that which led to Bridgeman Terrace.

Comment by: Roy on 28th December 2021 at 14:15

IS !! Mesnes Terrace,

Comment by: Tony L on 28th December 2021 at 14:58

Roy - it's actually Mesnes Park Terrace running between Parsons Walk and Bridgeman Terrace.
Mesnes Terrace used to run from Hope Street, across Mesnes Street to Back Mesnes Street, and towards Dicconson Street.

Comment by: Roy on 28th December 2021 at 15:17

So it is Tony, sorry about the mistake, it's my 80 year old brain malfunctioning.

Comment by: e on 28th December 2021 at 17:59

For the times they are a changing ....
Not if I can help it!!

Comment by: Albert.S. on 29th December 2021 at 08:56

Has that always been New Market Street from the junction with Market Street to the commencement of Frog Lane?.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 30th December 2021 at 20:36

I walked past there today Albert ( 30th ), and the street sign just above the Battye & Sons signage is still there and says New Market Street. If you came back and had a look around Wigan, you would be shocked at what you saw.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 31st December 2021 at 10:26

The two primitive pile-driving derricks must have taken ages to cover the site - with the weight having to be re-wound by the donkey engine after every drop. Nowadays a self-propelled hydraulic machine simply hammers the piles down and swiftly moves on to the next.

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