Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Thursday, 15th August, 2019)

Zeppelin Memorial Bench


Zeppelin Memorial Bench
Beside Lock 83 on the Wigan Flight. Is this the only Memorial to this event - when seven Wigan folk were killed in April 1918?

Photo: David Long  (Sony SLT-A65V)
Views: 1,898

Comment by: me, over here on 15th August 2019 at 00:40

Good photo, David, of the most revolting memorial bench I have ever seen.

The designer of it must not have had much respect for the poor souls who lost their lives.

What do you think, Mick ?

Comment by: irene roberts on 15th August 2019 at 08:20

That's AWFUL! A traditional park bench, such as would have been seen in 1918, would have been much more suitable.

Comment by: Veronica on 15th August 2019 at 08:35

To me its not so much the designer at fault, but the people or person who commissioned it. It's as if 'any old iron' left over in the debris after the event was used. A few splashes of paint that children could have painted to finish off and that's it! It doesn't even look comfortable. A simple plaque would have sufficed rather than that heap of rusting junk! There's nothing professional about it....if it represents modern art - no thanks.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 15th August 2019 at 08:37

Good picture David, I've never seen this before. Its looks like the spray can brigade have been out and set fire to it too. Respect !!!

Comment by: kath on 15th August 2019 at 08:46

I like quirky benches and initially liked this one but then I saw the bombs, and think it is a bit inappropriate.But it is more likely to catch attention and make people think about why it's there

Comment by: DTease on 15th August 2019 at 08:55

That seat looks more dangerous than the bombs.

Comment by: Mick on 15th August 2019 at 10:17

The bench was designed to look like a bomb had hit, even got the rusty bit to show the fire damage from the explosion.
Its been there a few years now and its the only bench to survive that long in Higher Ince

Comment by: TommyT on 15th August 2019 at 10:45

I wonder how much of our council tax was spent on that piece of junk?

Comment by: Poet on 15th August 2019 at 11:00

David, If this is the same Zeppelin L61 that attacked Widnes on the same night then there is another memorial to the raid in the form of a bomb damaged milestone now displayed in Widnes park.
According to the accompanying plaque it seems the following attack on Wigan was a navigation error due to inclement weather ; the crew believing they were actually over Sheffield.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 15th August 2019 at 11:35

I doubt if anything less robust would have survived for the twenty years this bench has been there. I think it arrived around the time of the 80th anniversary of the bombing, in 1998 - but while I can recall it appearing, I don't remember anything specific about it in the press.
I was prompted to take the picture by having found that the first two victims of the bombing, Samuel and Jane Tomlnson, who lived across the canal in Harper Street, were commemorated on a scroll unveiled in the Wheatsheaf Hotel (corner of Wallgate and Queens Street - long gone) in July 1920. Their names were among those of men killed in the war commemorated by the Order of Druids friendly society in the 'Lodge Room' in the pub. The scroll seems to have disappeared along with the pub - unless someone knows better....
It seems strange that, as far as I know, no other memorial was raised in memory of those killed in the bombing - especially given how rare and horrific an event it was.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 15th August 2019 at 12:33

Yes, Poet, I know about that memorial. It is not, however, specific enough about the Wigan bombings to give the names of those who died.

Comment by: Veronica on 15th August 2019 at 14:03

The more I look at the 'bench' perhaps it was designed by schoolchildren as part of history
lessons. I'm almost sure a bomb dropped on houses in Darlington St - around that time, if my memory serves me correctly. Perhaps a memorial plaque was made to incorporate the people from that as well. There must be something that has survived to commemorate the disaster.

Comment by: Poet on 15th August 2019 at 15:11

The Widnes memorial is item #14218

Comment by: Veronica on 15th August 2019 at 15:40

Again the History Museum might have some details.

Comment by: Rosie G on 15th August 2019 at 16:35

Looks a bit like a massive razor blade tipped sideways.

Comment by: DTease on 15th August 2019 at 16:43

The Zeppelin dropped a pattern of bombs across Wigan aiming for Top Place. One bomb landed near what is now Tesco on the site of the Alexandria Hotel in Whelley. Another bomb landed behind the Crown Hotel, New Springs.

Comment by: Poet on 15th August 2019 at 17:08

I think it would look better in plain rust and perhaps the intended effect would then be seen. The blue paint is the problem.

Comment by: Veronica on 15th August 2019 at 20:09

I see the blue as the sky and the rust as the smoke from a bomb already dropped.... Must be the amateur artist in me that never developed! But if children did design the bench I can totally see where they are coming from ( bless 'um) !

Comment by: . Ozymandias . on 15th August 2019 at 20:31

It's just a pity that one of those bombs hadn't landed on ' The Bellingham '. An opportunity missed I would call that . Even if it had dropped on the place during ' Happy Hour ' , the casualty count would have been rated as negligible to zero .

Comment by: Veronica on 15th August 2019 at 22:26

Those buildings were built to last Ozy - even Hitler's bombs wouldn't have dented them..,.now if all the modern buildings had been there - that's another story! ;@)

Comment by: Peter Ptarmigan on 24th February 2020 at 19:55

Poet and David, the Zeppelin didn't attack Widnes.

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