King Street & King Street West, Wigan14 Comments
Photo: RON HUNT
Item #: 33179
Seems to be a lot of cleaning up. May be expecting some sort of an occasion.
I know that The Hippodrome was later burned to the ground, but it was vandalism when the other beautiful buildings full of architectural charm got demolished in the 1960s to make way for Brocol House and a supermarket, notice how the polished marble on the church frontage is gleaming in the sunshine like a mirror.
Those road sweepers working their way along King Street wouldn't have been out of a job with the number of horses still in use then, and even with that in the road I'm sure it would have been a whole lot cleaner than it is now.
The Hippodrome, that takes me back to the late 1940s. Betty Driver in her bright pink tulle dress & blonde hair, playing the piano & singing, she had a little white poodle on stage with her. I thought she was so glamourous !
Wigan had status in those days with all those grand buildings. There may have been many humble terraced houses, but to go 'up town' then was an event. The Town certainly had its classic share of architecture, the buildings all seemed close together in all the main streets. It must have been a town of such wealth in those days.
When did the Hip "burn to the ground"?
The 1956 fire damaged the roof and auditorium.
Stage area and dressing rooms were undamaged, and declining market cited as reason for taking no action to restore the property, it being sold off in 1959 for conversion to supermarket.
up stairs in the gods early 50s it stunk of gas
I remember going in the Shakespeare Hotel, Sun.nights just before last orders, after a night in the Ritz.You had to run hell for leather down Library St, before closing time.During our courting days.
I remember running up and down the steps of this church as a small child in the early 1960's.
Some information on the history of the Hippodrome here:
And a discussion about the Hippodrome on the wiganworld Album: https://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/photo.php?opt=5&id=31383&gallery=Hippodrome&offset=0
I was in my billet at R.A.F. Cranwell, 1957, when the news came on the station tannoy system, and one item was that the Wigan Hippodrome had burned down.
I see the official records show that the Hippodrome burned down in April, 1956. I must have heard it on the station tannoy system whilst still in Germany. I must be getting confused with hearing on the tannoy system, at Cranwell, in 1958, the Munich air disaster.
Information in great detail on all the past. wigan Theatres can be found on the Theatre, history website www.arthurlloyd.co.uk The theatre at the rear of what became the Shakespeare Hotel was the Theatre Royal which opened in 1850 and closed and demolished when the Hippodrome opened I 1904.7
Sadly, the church's WW1 memorial was lost somewhere along the way....
Does anyone remember the artists bar which was at the back of the Shakespeare pub with easy access from back of the Hipporome for the artists. The walls were covered with photographs and caricatures of artists who had appeared at the Hippodrome in the past.