Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album

Library Street, Wigan


Library Street
Photo: Mick
Views: 3,345
Item #: 22916
Library Street and Technical College.
Used postcard, postmarked 1929.

Comment by: Maggie K on 15th March 2013 at 00:47

I can't believe that photo was only taken 20 years before I was born - there were no tram lines or cobbles there when I was small - it change a lot in 20 years.

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 15th March 2013 at 21:27

Maggie K, I was one year old then!
Mick,extract from Wikipedia:-
"Wigan Corporation Tramways operated a tramway service in Wigan between 1901 and 1931.
A horse tramway was built in 1880 by Wigan Corporation and leased to a succession of private companies. Services ran to Pemberton, Aspull and towards Standish.
Steam tram operation was also introduced, but by 1901 the Corporation took control of operations and electrified the services.
One year later, in 1902, the Corporation took over the steam tramway routes operated by the Wigan and District Tramways Company and converted these to electric power.
The corporation did not take advantage of the opportunity to convert all tramways to a single operating gauge, so for the thirty years of electric tramway operation, there were services operated on 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)"
This is quite a gradient in Library St., but the tramline under construction in Rochdale, from the present terminus outside the railway station, down into the town centre is steeper than this.
Did the trams go down library St to Scholes I wonder.
For an intersting read see:-

Comment by: Mick on 16th March 2013 at 08:15

Ernest - the trams did go down Library St and up Scholes.
Revd. David Long's comment on this thread provides information on the route etc.

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 16th March 2013 at 10:45

Thanks, Mick. I`m surprised that Ron Hunt didn`t put this link on the link I gave you.
Copy of info in my Docs:-
WIGAN TRAMWAYS Typed 19th Sept. 2003.
I visited The History Shop in Wigan on Tues.14th Aug.2001 and was given the following book to read:-
`Tramways of Wigan` by E.K.Stretch--Nov. 1978.
From this book I obtained the following facts:-
Wigan Corp. Tramways Order 1900, foundation stone for Power sta.was laid 4th Jan. 1900.
Martland Mill Line was the first to be constructed and was ready by end of Nov.1900 but Power Sta.wasn`t.
Public service began on Fri.25th Jan.1901 and the line was abandoned 25 yrs.later.
Tram Services at Dec.1901:-
To Martland Mill Weekdays 4.45 am to 6.45 am every 30 min. 7.00 am to 1 pm every 15 min. 1 pm to 11.12 pm every 12 min.
Sundays 12 noon to 6 pm every 15 min. 6 pm to 10.24 pm every 12 min.
Distance from Market Place:-
Springfield 7 furlongs
Martland Mill Bridge Terminus 1 mile 5 furlongs 46 yds.
Other Sections opened later:-
Standish, Aspull, Hindley, Platt Bridge.
The last tram to run in Wigan was on Sat. night 4th April 1931.
Conversion of Martland Mill to `Trackless`:-
Order placed in Oct. 1924 with Clough Smith & Co.,London for 4 Single deck trolleybuses at £1580+£55 Pneu.suspension.
Opened ceremonially 7th May 1925, still running in 1928. Last Trolleybus Wed.30th Sept.1931.
In June 1930 it was decided to replace Trolleybuses with Buses.
Note added Wed.09 March`05 :- The first electric trams to run in Britain were at Leytonstone, East London in 1882. Per Hutchinson Reference Suite."

I wanted to find out what happened to the tramlines. Where they dug up or left in situ? No info on this.
We lived at No.1 Stratford St.Springfield from 1935 to 1936. In thick fog, I followed the tramlines from Bluecoat school in Hallgate to our house!

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 16th March 2013 at 12:17

Mick, I`ve just looked at Work, Wigan Corporation Tramways.
On page 2, the first photo shows a tram taken in Whelley and it is going to Aspull.
Just one comment but very informative.
There`s also on this page a photo of an Ashton tram ticket!

Comment by: AP on 16th March 2013 at 16:03

The Ashton Tram, photographed at Bryn, in 1908, is also on the site, here:

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 16th March 2013 at 18:17

Thanks AP, If E K Stretch`s book mentions Ashton trams I didn`t make a note of it.
There`s a photo of trolleybuses in Parson`s Walk in Old Gallery, Transport.

Comment by: AP on 16th March 2013 at 20:40

Doesn't Tech look gloomy and foreboding in this picture?

Hard to believe that monochrome picture, is of a building which is a lovely warm brick colour!

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 17th March 2013 at 17:09

AP, did you attend classes at Wigan Tech.?
I started in the Junior Tech, in Sept.1939, at the age of 11 and went on to attain a in 1952.

Comment by: AP on 17th March 2013 at 22:11

Yes, Ernest. I did an ONC Engineering at Wigan Tech, immediately when I left school. I then went to UMIST to study Electronics, but had a change of heart, and after a detour to get the necessary 'A' levels, went to Med School.

By the sixties, when I attended, we were mostly in Parson's Walk, but we did have some lectures in the Library Street Building. I always remember that when first I entered this building, I was greeted with the most marvelous aroma: Wood, and the polish that they applied to it, I think!

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 18th March 2013 at 19:54

AP and Mick, I`ve been into the Wigan History shop today and had a look at E.K.Strech`s `The Tramways of Wigan`.
Looked at a map and saw that trams did run to Ashton. Got a copy of this map but we are not allowed to show items out of books in Album. Also took copies of wages, fares and a photo of a tram at the top of Standishgate near Mab`s Cross.

Comment by: AP on 18th March 2013 at 21:13

There is a famous comic postcard of inebriates aboard a tramcar, date 1907: reproduction of a drawing by T. Macleod, which is entitled, 'The Last Car for Brynn & Ashton'.

I have been unable to find picture of it on Google, to furnish a link.

Maybe if anyone has a copy, they might post it on the site.

Comment by: Art on 19th March 2013 at 01:33

Noe the last building top right...The Cross Keys Hotel, Market Place

Comment by: AP on 19th March 2013 at 19:19

Odd Question, I know, but I have not been in this location for about half a Century. Is there still a 'Library' in Library Street?

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 19th March 2013 at 22:39

AP. we have a new library in the Wigan Life Centre. There are two entrances, one in Hewlett St. and the other from the Wiend. There`s a large open space, called The Piazza,between the top of the Wiend and the Life Centre.See :-

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 19th March 2013 at 22:51

AP first link in earlier comment should have been:-

Comment by: AP on 20th March 2013 at 14:27

Thanks for the links, Ernest. I do come back from time to time, but never get to that part of town. I bet the building no longer exudes that wood and polish smell, that I remember it for. Only other place I came across that smell - (also a Tech, of sorts) was the old UMIST building on the corner of Whitworth Street and Sackville Street in Manchester: I had once named it 'that College smell', but no other colleges lived up to it.

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