Photos of Wigan
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Wigan Album



Digging Air Raid Shelters
Views: 2,751
Item #: 30394
Can anyone identify the location?

Comment by: Maureen on 5th April 2018 at 17:45

Ron,that's my Street ,Great George St..Wallgate, my Grandparents at the top and ours further down...facing where the cameraman would have been stood.
My happiest days were spent down that Street..Awwww..

Comment by: RON HUNT on 5th April 2018 at 19:00

Mo can you remember the shelter?

Comment by: Maureen on 5th April 2018 at 19:37

Ron I remember myself and other kids running up and down the walls at either side after we'd come home from School.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 5th April 2018 at 19:48

Where was this in relation the the factory where Plessey's was. It looks like it was going to be a big shelter? Was it built on land that at one time had houses on?

Comment by: Maureen on 5th April 2018 at 19:56

My Grandparents house was the first light coloured stone one coming down the Street..between the two bedroom of their house and next doors there is a stone plaque on the read 'Appleton Cottages' and I've always wanted to know what happened to it...I know they don't look anything like cottages but they were really bonny inside...the house that's on the other side,the one that's being pulled down,belonged to the Priestlys who I believe we're George Formbys Aunt and Uncle,his yellow Rolls Royce was supposedly often seen parked at their front door..that was a massive house.

Comment by: Maureen on 5th April 2018 at 20:03

I don't remember seeing it built Ron..I would have been a baby,don't even know when it was built.
Re- Plessys..the 'Ropewalk' or its other name 'Wilgoose Lane'' ran right at the back of our you would have walked down there to go to Plesseys.

Comment by: irene roberts on 6th April 2018 at 09:41

Maureen, I am so glad this photo has been shown; I know how much it will mean to you and I have enjoyed your interesting memories.

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 09:51

Thank you Irene,this photograph stirs so many memories,I'm hoping Ron can delve into more of his collection and hopefully find another one of my Street...just as an aside there are a couple of apostrophes missing in my comments ,it is my iPad that lets me down at times.Again thank you Irene and Ron.

Comment by: Spenian on 6th April 2018 at 10:21

What is the location on Gt George St ? I never knew it had that much of an incline.

Comment by: tom on 6th April 2018 at 11:12

It looks like the flat cap was the fashion then Ron

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 11:39

My mam was born in this street and I am wondering if those houses partially demolished were the ones she lived in before moving up to Pemberton. I know her childhood was spent in that street and during the latter part of the war she had moved. I am sure you wouldn't know though Maureen... Far too young!!

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 12:34

Spenian,go under Wallgate bridge, the first on your right is an alleyway 'Wilgoose Lane' then Great George St is next.. nearly facing Queen St.
Gt George St is very long and is on an incline,I'd always wanted a bike and my Dad rolled up in his lorry and said to me "give me a lift chic to unroll the sheeting which I did only to find a beautiful blue bike..I was over the moon,got on it at the top of said St and off we went right to the very bottom of the St which then reaches Miry Lane.By that time I had learned to ride it..happy memories galore.

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 12:50

Veronica,the surnames of the people in those houses were 'Whittaker' 'Hibbs' ''Priestley' 'Lannon' and 'Christies' but as I've said it was a very long Street.

Tom,Apart from those men I don't recall seeing any men with a flat cap on, neither my Dad nor my Grandad wore one..perhaps that was their idea of safety regulations then ?.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 13:50

Thankyou Maureen- I don't suppose I will ever know which house it was - I should have asked questions! It does sound a very interesting street though. No doubt the removal from there was because of demolition.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 6th April 2018 at 14:15

Veronica if you check the Electoral rolls for the years they lived there you should be able to find the address.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 14:18

Never thought of that Ron - suppose a trip to the town hall or History Shop is in order!

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 15:26

Veronica,if you could tell me your Mums maiden name,you never know she could have had relatives that stayed there..but of course if you'd sooner not divulge it I well understand.
There used to be a brilliant thread on Wallgate and its streets on 'People' it was very very long and only folded when one of the lovely men named Dave Marsh AKA Samares passed away.we all more or less lost heart after was a very interesting thread.

Comment by: winnie on 6th April 2018 at 16:26

if anyone want me to look up their family's on the 1939 register let me know

Comment by: Elizabeth on 6th April 2018 at 18:03

Two of my friends lived in this street,Maureen,who lived near to the Wallgate end,and Sheila,(maiden name Lowe)who lived further down Great George Street.I always enjoy hearing their memories of living there.00300

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 18:52

Have checked on the Cemetry indexes and the family lived at 41 GtGeorge St. Maureen where would that have been in relation to the photo please?

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 18:54

It was Yates Maureen. But my grandmother died in 1936.

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 19:13

Veronica,we lived at no.23,so your Mums was only nine doors down,so
she must have lived near Knowles sweetie shop or Meehans chip shop.The only names I remember from down there are Heinz and McMahons groceries.
Hello Elizabeth,I wonder..does Sheila ever talk about her childhood down our Street...I absolutely loved it as you know.

Comment by: Maureem on 6th April 2018 at 19:24

Veronica,I'm sorry I should have made it clearer,my Grandparents lived at the top in those light coloured houses at No.5A..we lived at No.23 which is only a few doors down,just out of shot .I hope that's a bit clearer for you.

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 20:14

Veronica,I do recognize the name of Yates but didn't know much about them..but I bet they will be mentioned on the thread I mentioned,I think every name crops up on there ,it was titled Wallgate Streets and Families,but as I say it's a very long thread and goes on forever.I used to keep in contact with a Jack Whittaker that came from our Street (He moved to Lancaster) he used to write for The Lancashire Evening Post.,we'd remind one another of the characters that lived around Wallgate Skipping Lizzie etc,but he isn't around any more,I was only in my thirties at the time and he was retired already...I could tell a lot more stories but some people might think I'm hogging this particular subject...but I'm loving it.

Comment by: irene roberts on 6th April 2018 at 20:19

Winnie, my family lived at 85 Ince Green Lane, Ince. My Dad was John Robert Griffiths and my Mam was Lizzie Griffiths, (NOT Elizabeth). They lived with my Mam's parents, Henry and Elizabeth Aspey, but I'm not sure if Henry was alive in parents were in their forties when I was born in 1952. I would love it if you could look up the Griffiths/ Aspey family in 1939. I don't know which name would have been the name on the rent-book. Thankyou.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 20:47

I will try to find that thread Maureen Thankyou.

Comment by: irene roberts on 6th April 2018 at 20:47

Maureen. keep these memories coming! This is what this site is for and I find your memories fascinating.

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 21:13

Veronica,if you put the title in the search box,it's there.

Thank you Irene..I'll put some of the characters on tomorrow.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 21:32

I did find the thread Maureen but it keeps crashing - this stupid iPad!

Comment by: Maureen on 6th April 2018 at 21:43

Veronica,my iPad crashes all the time,it drives me crackers,plus I've lost the sounds as well,have followed all instructions on settings but nothing yet will ask my Son next time he facetimes.

Comment by: Veronica on 6th April 2018 at 23:09

Its like being on them Dodgems! Forever crashing.....!

Comment by: irene roberts on 7th April 2018 at 09:54

Maureen and Veronica, someone called Patrick has added some lovely warm memories on the shoe-shop pic; I think you will enjoy them and they would bring back memories for you. Just thought I'd bring it to your attention in case you don't return to that pic.

Comment by: Keith Beckett on 7th April 2018 at 10:30

Maureen and Veronica.
Give you’re iPads a clean up. Settings, Safari,clear history and website data.

Comment by: Philip Gormley. on 7th April 2018 at 11:06

I like your opening line Maureen: Ron, that's my street!
And your street's paving would also have provided you and your friends with a ready-made hop scotch surface, I guess.
Your description of your Dad's surprise delivery is a belter, though, and I'll bet that you can remember the actual moment that he lifted your bicycle from his lorry. Thanks.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 7th April 2018 at 11:53

Hello Maureen, yes, Sheila does talk about growing up in Great George Street, in fact I bumped into her yesterday and she told me about this photo of the digging of the air raid shelters your street. I'll be seeing her during next week so I'll ask her for any more memories.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th April 2018 at 13:53

Irene,thank you,I have been following the Malleys comments,that little shop was wonderful to go in,as someone else said when I smell leather I'm back there right away..the sense of smell can take us anywhere can't it.
Keith, thanks very much for the info,I have followed your instructions and hopefully it'll behave itself,it will help so're an angel.
Phillip,I'd never thought about my reference,I can only think of it as my Street..and yes I can remember everything about that day of the bike..a couple of weeks before I'd been in my Dads lorry, (Saunders really)he would park up,lock me in and say"don't open this door for anybody chic" when he came back I said "Dad I've just seen a lad riding a blue bike" no one had a bike in our Street,so he bought one off my Aunty and painted it blue...I can even see myself taking the sheeting off..isn't the memory a brilliant Philip funny you should mention Hop Scotch,it was my very favourite game,with my Mams lavender polish tin.
Last but not least my friend Elizabeth..Ill be very interested in any memories your friend has...I soak up anything that relates to my Street as you know.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th April 2018 at 15:09

Keith,have you any idea why the sounds on my iPad have idisappeared,
there is no click when I type.there is no sound when I get an email either,again I've followed instructions on settings but had no joy.

Comment by: Ben on 7th April 2018 at 15:21

Great posting. The 1939 Register is available on subscription sites which gives access to any street, like Great George Street, every house is listed with all occupants, birth dates, jobs etc., only those deemed possibly still living today are sometimes excluded i.e. record closed.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th April 2018 at 17:34

The house that's next to the garage( with Windows) was occupied by a little deaf and dumb lady and her Son..I used to have lovely little chats with her in my early teens,she knew what I was saying through my hand actions and I knew what she was saying..she was a lovely person.there was also a lady that was known as a 'wet nurse'and would sit on the step breast feeding babies whose Mams couldn't feed them...another world.

Comment by: winnie on 7th April 2018 at 18:31

FOR IRENE Asprey Household (6 People)
Elizabeth Asprey 01 Feb 1868 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Widowed 258
William Asprey 25 Mar 1895 Male Explosive Worker Munition W Single
James Asprey 08 Sep 1896 Male ??? Divorced
John R Griffiths 02 Nov 1909 Male Coal Cutter Below Heavy Worker Married
Lizzie Griffiths 08 Feb 1911 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married
Ronald Griffiths 21 Nov 1933 Male At School Single

Comment by: Philip Gormley. on 7th April 2018 at 19:00

Maureen. I understand your modesty, but your opening line really does give an air of excitement.

"Maureen (On the Go.)."

See the girl with father proud, his gift in shocking blue
She quickly said "It's just my size!", and reached for that once new.

Her street was long, on rising ground, the downward thrill would come
But then she had quite shortened hair, and buttons homely-done.

The guiding hand had all but gone, just time to say 'let go'
That daring ride had surely pleased, the short-haired child with glow.

Now she writes of time well spent, with commas nicely placed
A treasure trove of that once felt, and more for those with grace.

Comment by: Veronica on 7th April 2018 at 19:31

Winnie I would be very grateful if you could look at 41 Grt George St in the 1930s Thomas and Edna Yates and children.
Thanks to Keith for the info about clearing 'History' but I couldn't find web data.

Comment by: irene roberts on 7th April 2018 at 20:32

Thankyou so much,'re a Star! xx.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th April 2018 at 20:42

Philip,I just love your poem,and am quite touched by it...I think I will print it out to keep.x

Comment by: Philip Gormley. on 7th April 2018 at 21:36

Glad you like my poem, Maureen. And keep your posts coming - you're GGS's benchmark.

Comment by: Keith Beckett on 7th April 2018 at 22:19


1939 10 Sherwood Crescent.

Thomas Yates 20/05/1895
Edna Yates. 04/02/1922
Elizabeth Catterall. (Yates) 06/11/1924

Comment by: Veronica on 8th April 2018 at 00:02

Thankyou Keith I didn't realise they had moved so soon to Pemberton my mother would have been 16 then at the beginning of the war.

Comment by: MarieM on 8th April 2018 at 11:39

Maureen, do you know what the building at the top with three stories was. It would be very unusual for a house to have three floors then.

Comment by: Peter ramsdale on 8th April 2018 at 12:54

Hi Maureen do you any memories of my grandad he lived at 48 great George st with my 2 aunties Agnes and Margaret.they used to have the jockey scales at the end of makinsons arcade,late 50s also my dad's brother lived further up neaerer to wallgate possibly at 34?

Comment by: Veronica on 8th April 2018 at 13:40

Perhaps the three storey cottages were for hand loom weavers if hazarding a guess.

Comment by: Johnny on 8th April 2018 at 13:40

I remember Grandad telling me when Grandma dug their Anderson Shelter. She's a great little woman said a neighbour.
And she's getting smaller by the minute, replied Grandad as the hole got deeper!!

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 14:13

Marie that was a house they were all huge houses at the top of my Street.

Peter, I lived near all the Ramsdales,they lived just across the road from us
(McGoverns) I knew Bernard and Margaret and we still come into contact with one of your relatives..I've forgotten his name,he rides a bike is tall and very lean..if you look at map 3 above that Rons put on you can see No.48 also if you put 'Jean Middleton' into the search box above this page,you will see one of Jeans photos in front of the Ramsdales house and Mrs Ramsdales is stood at the front door,Cliff printed it off and we gave to one of the Sons,the one I can't remember the name of...if you are ever in my Street their house was just further down from where Ledsons car parts is now...happy hunting Peter.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 14:22

Peter,it wasn't Margaret that I knew,it was Theresa.

Veronica,if you also put 'Jean Middleton'in the search box look for the photo of Jean in the street with the signal box in the background,that gap at the back of Jean was probably where your relatives house was.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 14:26

Veronica and Peter,I think forgot to say to look for the photo titled Jean Middletons walking day.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 16:07

Veronica,it was only the stone fronted houses ( The light coloured ones) that were the's a lovely thought though..there must have been some reason for the name.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th April 2018 at 16:07

Maureen I have just seen that picture it's very touching! I recall my mam saying they used to go to a signal box where her grandfather was a signal man with his dinner and he used to warn them not to touch anything! I wonder if it was that signal box!

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 16:38

Veronica,Cliff said that it was the only one in our area.(he was a fireman ) now you know where your Grandad used to be..and I agree,it's very moving when you get..I was looking at those photos earlier,and one of them was taken outside my Grandparents house,they all seemed to be looking at my Grandma,but she was just out of the shot..I was really tearful seeing it again.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th April 2018 at 19:53

I know what you mean Maureen I feel the same if I see John St! My mam's grandfather was Samuel Crompton and it may be that he lived with them after his wife died in that house on GGS. My mam's mother was only 37 when she died leaving five girls- perhaps that's how they got a 'new house' in Pemberton (council house). I had a walk down that area years ago to try to imagine where they lived.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 21:22

Hello Peter,I don't think my reply got to you ..I'll wait 'till tomorrow,if it isn't on here I'll tell you what I do know then.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 21:49

Veronica,that's very strange,mu Mams Mother also died aged 32 and left two boys and two girls,they lived in Scholes I think in Wellington St.her Dad got married again (and there's quite a story behind that).But he died at 49 through being gassed during the war

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 21:53

Peter please ignore my last comment..I see my reply did come through.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th April 2018 at 22:25

I bet my dad would have known them Maureen - especially if they went to St Pat's. What was the surname?

Comment by: Maureen on 8th April 2018 at 22:36

Veronica,their names were Jane and Thomas Winter.

Comment by: Veronica on 9th April 2018 at 12:42

Not a name I'm familiar with Maureen but thanks for your interest in my relatives.

Comment by: Maureen on 9th April 2018 at 13:34

Veronica,you're as welcome as the flowers in May.

Comment by: peter ramsdale on 10th April 2018 at 10:41

many thanks Maureen,I've looked at the photo and spoken to my brother david,my auntie was known as dolly

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