Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



Wigan Album

A.R.P. SHELTERS

14 Comments

A.R.P. SHELTERS W.W. 2
Photo: RON HUNT
Views: 634
Item #: 33149
A list of Wigan town centre A.R.P. shelters and the number of people each shelter could accommodate No doubt some of them are still there ??
Cutting from the Observer 9th Septemebr 1939

Comment by: Albert.S. on 21st May 2021 at 10:38

When the sirens sounded, the teachers’ would escort all of us children into the cellars, below the St Mary’s junior school, Lower Ince. A good supply of comics were available. We all had to have our gas masks with us.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 21st May 2021 at 13:27

Reverend David, you may remember the passageway that was on a downward slope between the infant school, and the junior school. At the bottom of the slope on the left hand side was the entrance that led into the cellars, where all pipe work was. Just a little further was a hall where we had school dinners. I am nor sure as to whether school dinners came about because of the war. Over to the right was some spare land, and in the top left hand corner were the junior school toilets.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st May 2021 at 15:48

I'm curious Albert about those days. Were the air raid shelters used a lot, even when the bombers were flying over to places like Liverpool and other strategic hot spots, not specifically to bomb Wigan? As soon as the roar of the engines of the 'planes did the sirens sound?

Comment by: Edna on 21st May 2021 at 18:14

Reading the list above, I was shocked at how many the shelters held,they must have been huge.My mother used to tell me about the time of the air raids, when her and her sister & my brother, used to be rushing off to them.I wasn't born, and Dad was away in the war.I always thought how lucky post war children were.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 21st May 2021 at 18:44

At that time Veronica I was in the infant school. All I knew then was, that was where we had got to go when the sirens started. It would have been summer, 1942 when I went next door into the junior school. I have no recollection of going into the cellars whilst at junior school, probably the bombing raids on Liverpool had ceased by then.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st May 2021 at 19:21

I suppose Wigan was very lucky Albert, when you consider the bombings on the cities in the Blitz. Teachers would probably keep things calm so as not to frighten the children when going into the cellars. Then again people would have got accustomed. I have watched programmes about The Blitz in the large towns it was horrific what civilians had to go through.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 22nd May 2021 at 09:20

Veronica. Even as a lad, it surprised me that they never bombed Springs Branch. Glad they never did, our back upstairs window overlooked the branch turntable.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 22nd May 2021 at 10:54

Albert, At the bottom of the slope in the 1960 was the boys club, we played table tennis, and other games, there was a snooker table but only the men who ran the club was allowed to play on it, one of the club leaders was Mr Cornes I think he was also in the choir. To the left of the building the cellar was still there it was where the games was kept.

Comment by: Owd viewer on 22nd May 2021 at 11:03

Veronica, I was told by my dad that there was two bombs dropped on the corn fields thy are to the right at the top of Westwood lane, maybe they was trying to bomb springs branch.

Comment by: DerekB on 22nd May 2021 at 12:01

I believe that the only bombs dropped in the in the Wigan area were the result of enemy aircraft jettisoning them to lighten the load whilst escaping back to base after being challenged by our fighters. One dropped at the top of Greenough St. destroying a church and narrowly missing the pub on the corner of Greenough St. and Scholes. Another dropped in the Douglas Valley blasting all the windows out in the house of relatives of mine who lived behind Greenhill on Broomhey Ave.

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd May 2021 at 16:40

It must have been petrifying when all that was going on in the war. I did know about the bomb dropping on the church at the top of Greenough St. All the people who lived around Scholes would have heard it. Makes me wonder what my relatives were doing at the time and where they where!

Comment by: Rev David Long on 23rd May 2021 at 16:04

I understood Betty Meadows, who is commemorated on the WW2 memorial in St Nathaniel's, Platt Bridge, was killed in a bombing raid. Anyone know more?

It's strange the connections there are in life - Mrs Ethel Round, whom many will remember from St Mary's School, was there during the war - so will have conducted the children to safety in the cellar. By coincidence, she herself told me, when I was visiting her at home in Broomhey Avenue, about the bomb which was dropped there.
Another involved in the youth club in the cellar was Godfrey Jones.

The cellar, with its soil and coal dust floor, and thick wooden supports, complete with chocks, for the floor above, reminded me of pit bottom. It was hard to imagine a youth club being run down there - there are no windows, and it's very cramped.

Comment by: Albert. S. on 24th May 2021 at 09:29

Reverend David. There was a building a little further on than the entrance to the cellar. This is where we would have the school dinner. One memory I have of one of the first school dinners I had, and really enjoyed was a meat and potato pie, with baked beans. strange how little things stick in your mind.

Comment by: Maureen on 4th June 2021 at 20:28

A bomb dropped on Harper St Scholes,my Mam was brought up there,and she told me that they found her under a table ,where the blast had thrown her.

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