Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



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

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 24th July, 2020)

Old Miner's Cottage


Old Miner's Cottage
Reproduction miner's cottage at Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Colliery. Fitted out by Alan Shaw, set dresser and designer from Peaky Blinders.

Photo: Dave (Oy)  (Nikon D850 : 24-70mm F/2.8 VR)
Views: 1,745

Comment by: fw on 24th July 2020 at 02:52

To be born at a time, when simple was true,
when graft was a promise, wuz all that we knew,
no question or doubting, no phone your way sick,
just do it the hard way and that wuz down pit.
The hands of the pit girls was just like the men,
no polish or sparkle , just head down and when,
when was a time when the choices were set,
Just like the coal man, black , cold and wet..

Comment by: Walt(Nth Yorkshire) on 24th July 2020 at 06:58

Dave, you never fail to amaze me, gradely photo is that ! I can also remember delivering this colliery back in the 1960s and have intended to visit the museum with a good mate of mine in the not too distant future.

Comment by: Gary on 24th July 2020 at 07:42

Much depends on past experience and where you came from.
Not convinced by the fireplace.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 07:48

It's a lovely , even cosy scene, but I don't remember those fireplaces. Black leaded ones were the order of the day in two up, two downs. A dresser would have been more in keeping than a bureau. Usually two rocking chairs and a scrubbed kitchen table, also built in cupboard and drawers at the side of the fireplace. That's how I remember my grandmother's house and the neighbours were the same.

Comment by: Garry on 24th July 2020 at 08:16

Great photo Dave, call me old fashioned but I love wallpaper and carpets in my home not forgetting my coal fire, it has a certain feel of warmth and welcome. I know younger people prefer painted walls and hard floor surfaces, which is good, but this photo is me all over. (apart from one or two mod cons).

Comment by: irene roberts on 24th July 2020 at 08:31

That looks like our house! I've got bellows hung in the same spot on the fireplace, one of those glass photos on a heavy chain , (a picture my late brothers as children}, a pair of clogs by the side of the hearth and a wicker shopping basket, (of which I have five!), and which I use every day, and we still have a nursery fireguard, although it's in the spare room now. and a wooden floor with a rug on it. I even have the shawl that my Mam carried me in as a baby, wrapped round her and with me held in its folds. I'm only short of Eamonn Andrews saying "This Is Your Life"!

Comment by: Anne on 24th July 2020 at 08:50

I don't remember seeing anything remotely like this interior when visiting my childhood friends homes. Flag floors, where is the huge cast iron range with side oven. This fire place looks middle class. Did ANY miner ever own a straw trilby hat? The desk affair in the corner, never, some houses had a mirror backed dresser. This all completely wrong.

Comment by: julie on 24th July 2020 at 09:11

What a lovely photo.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 24th July 2020 at 09:25

Nice one Dave, Irene will like this I think

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 09:44

I recall the flagged stone floors but covered with oil cloth and a pegged rug in front of the fire, later on coconut matting, which were subdued colours.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 09:49

This is the trouble when young trendy set designers put together a film set - they have no idea really. They should consult the people who remember the actual living conditions, who like myself are the last generation to witness them. It's a fanciful scene and homely. But even our humble kitchen looked homely in the firelight.

Comment by: janet on 24th July 2020 at 10:02

back to basics like it take notice you young ones

Comment by: Mick on 24th July 2020 at 10:13

Irene do you still use a toasting fork

Comment by: irene roberts on 24th July 2020 at 10:34

No Mick because I don't have a coal-fire or else I would.

Comment by: Dave (Oy) on 24th July 2020 at 11:28

Glad some of you like it. Maybe visit the place - and if you don't like whay you see - tell them. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to talk about it.
The kitchen and upstairs are also kitted out.

Comment by: TommyT on 24th July 2020 at 11:32

First time I've seen "parquet flooring" in a miners cottage the fireplace is wrong, should have been a Yorkshire Range, the straw hat does not belong there.
Stick to Peaky Blinders, the whole scene is false.

Comment by: Pauline on 24th July 2020 at 12:15

One thing right about this is that the old lady sitting down is still working on something. It was either knitting, crotcheting curtains (the cotton from the mill) or pegging a rug for Christmas.

Comment by: Garry on 24th July 2020 at 12:32

Mick, I have a toasting fork, one with a long handle. Somehow it taste much better from a coal fire. (and a sherry)

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 24th July 2020 at 12:44

A interesting photo but best thing for me is the verse by fw, I found it very moving. Thanks for the photo Dave & fw for the words.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 12:59

The more I look at this photograph, the more I see that it just isn't a true depiction. There wouldn't have been a shade over the wall light. I remember a curved gaslight in the main bedroom upstairs on the wall with a mantel. It would have been too difficult to light with a shade over it. I can remember every inch of my grandmother's house and the old dark, polished furniture and the brown slop stone near a brick boiler where the washing was done.....if that is a Museum , then Fanny is not my Aunt and Bob's not my Uncle!

Comment by: Maureen on 24th July 2020 at 13:02

I love the photo,and how I loved cleaning the fireplace with Zebo, I have memories of my Mam sat making a peg rug..coal fires were worth all the cleaning involved,just stole it up at night then on the mornings a little poke around and instant warmth..believe it or not I distinctly remember being wrapped in my Grandmas shawl, the memories are endless and that’s what makes us what we are.
Thank you Dave for taking me back in time.

Comment by: Philip Gormley. on 24th July 2020 at 13:50

It seems that Mr Shaw didn't have all of the right stuff, or, not enough time, at hand, though grandma doesn't hug the fire. My grandma's fireplace had a telescopic toasting fork (£20/£25 today I reckon), and a rocking chair from which I'd burnt a telescopic-butty. George Makin's Mount Pleasant farmhouse living-room had hung-bellows, which were decked on both sides in stamps of the world by his children. And now my shiney 50s bathroom door has Cussons 'Leather stickers across its bough. Homes of simple pleasures and natural kind are these.

Comment by: Pat McC on 24th July 2020 at 14:02

My Grandmother's kitchen had an oven each side of the fire and these were 'blacked' once a week - a kettle was put on top of the coal fire to boil, and she even put a chip pan directly on the fire. There was a tall mantelpiece which we children couldn't reach unless we stood on a chair. The washing up was done in a bowl on the oilcloth-covered kitchen table. Rag rugs were in the downstairs rooms. My grandfather, a miner, would bring the tin bath into the kitchen and wash in front of the fire.
The lady in the photograph must be sitting in her parlour, it just looks too posh!
Lovely atmospheric photo Dave - thank you.

Comment by: britboy on 24th July 2020 at 15:17

We used to have a big Yorkshire range in the 50’s, always had a roaring welcome fire, especially in winter.

Comment by: Cyril on 24th July 2020 at 15:18

Didn't know that an episode of Peaky Blinders had been filmed here, photos from the stills look very atmospheric. Thanks Dave for sharing these photos from the east side of the borough. Will Mick now remember where he left his hat, I wonder.
https://lancashireminingmuseum.org/lancashire-mining-museum-on-peaky-blinders/

Comment by: Maureen on 24th July 2020 at 15:55

My Grandma like thousands of others cooked everything in the ovens of the range,they didn’t need recipes and timers in those days and everything was cooked perfectly,both Grandparents lived at the top of our street so I’d call there first and had some wonderful meals..funnily enough I don’t recall what the flooring was like,I just know how secure and homely those times were.We might all have more modern homes but we have lost so much along the way.

Comment by: DTease on 24th July 2020 at 16:04

Veronica, your comments have described my grandma’s old terraced house exactly. If I was an artist I could paint that room in her house from memory alone.

Comment by: Maureen on 24th July 2020 at 16:14

I must add that when I called at Grandmas it was after School and before my Mam came home from work.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 17:17

So could I Dtease , in fact I have a pencil drawing somewhere. Why those old terrace houses are called cottages these days is beyond me! Another fanciful description.

Comment by: Maureen on 24th July 2020 at 19:13

Veronica,I’ve always wondered why my Grandmas house and three more at the top of our Street were called ‘Appleton Cottages’ they were different from the others in the Street in every way..I would love to know more of their history, but don’t think I’ll ever find out now.

Comment by: Maureen on 24th July 2020 at 19:26

When I was about twelve I sat on our front step with a sketch pad, pencil ruler and rubber and sketched every house facing us,I completely forgot and left it in my homework book which I took to School the following day..the teacher found it and said “ I’ll have that” cheeky so and so, what I’d give to see that again..I even made a list of every occupant in that Street.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 19:32

The History Museum might be able to help Maureen.

Comment by: DTease on 24th July 2020 at 19:43

Veronica, my grandma had the same built-in cupboard and drawers that you described earlier, only the bottom was drawers and on the top were shelves. On those shelves were all kinds of bits and pieces that she had collected over a lifetime, nothing fancy or expensive of course, just things that meant something to her. No matter which piece you picked up she knew exactly where she had acquired it and there was always a story that went with it.
I wonder where it all went after she died? I don't suppose any of it meant anything to anyone else but her.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th July 2020 at 20:51

I can remember what was in that cupboard as well Dtease. I couldn't reach into the cupboard without pulling the drawers out and climbing up. I would put her Sunday hat on my head that she wore to church. She kept an old tin with photos in , which I have to this day, and a book with yellowed pages about every herb and ointment needed for various ailments. I still treasure the tin and it's contents. It was also where the Gas Meter was. Strange the things you remember.
In the very bottom drawer was a last that my dad used when mending shoes or clogs, and a wooden box with all sorts of tools. They would be worth something now, they were much better than any tools bought these days. What memories the photo today has triggered.

Comment by: w on 24th July 2020 at 22:29

Something that matters, yet only to me,
Only small gesture but memories I see,
They go back to sometime, a moment , a place,
and now sit beside me in my quiet space..

Comment by: Edna on 24th July 2020 at 23:41

I remember the tin bath Veronica,my son can't believe we had it hung on a nail in the yard.Bought from Sherrington s in Schofield Lane, Scholes.

Comment by: PeterP on 25th July 2020 at 12:06

This is how history gets distorted. Any one over the age of about 60 would know how cottage living rooms looked like. As pointed out in the comments above it would have had a york stone flagged floor for starters

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