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

Photo-a-Day  (Sunday, 21st August, 2022)

The Squirrel at Ince Bar

The Squirrel at Ince Bar
Note the plaque between the windows on the right - I have only just discovered that this plaque had been installed on the side of the pub for Remembrance Sunday, 2019. It was originally on the small bell tower at Christ Church, lower down Ince Green Lane, but was replaced by a black granite tablet in 2003. It was rescued at the time from a skip by a local, who kept it in his garage until a chance conversation in the pub led to the landlord putting it up on the wall facing the small war memorial plaque you can just see in front off the tree.

Photo: David Long  (Sony DSC-RX10M3)
Views: 1,847

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 08:57

Rev David, I love this photo, and well done to whoever rescued the plaque from the church. I remember so well the Remembrance Services on Smithy Green when I was growing up. The Squirrel , (although I have never been in), looks unchanged since my childhood. The two shops next door to the pub, Parky's Pics and Jay Barbers, were Morton's Grocers when I was small, and the building on the other side of the street is a shop which I actually recall being built ...... Salter's Chemists. It seemed so very modern and up-to-date compared with the terraced housing on Ince Green Lane, which came up for demolition a few years later, and we used to do a "Harry Worth" in its glass doorway, (you have to be of a certain age to know what a "Harry Worth" is!) Ince Green Lane was my happy childhood, my playground and my way home, and a little piece of my heart is there still.

Comment by: Pw on 21st August 2022 at 09:29

We used to do a Harry Worth at Middleton&Woods down Liverpool Rd near the Bird in Hindley.A bit disrespectful I suppose it was an undertakers.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 21st August 2022 at 09:39

Can remember well the Remembrance Day services at Ince Bar,glad the plaque has been saved.Been in the Squirrel twice,and one of those times was a wedding reception in 1973.

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 21st August 2022 at 09:55

I was very excited when I saw this photo showing what at first I thought was Parky's Pies , it turns out that it's actually a shop called Parky's Pics who sell fancy toffee to watch the telly with.
Yes well done to the man who rescued the plaque from a skip, that's the sort of thing I would have done, only thing I would have done different is erect it on the left of the pub so that it could be seen from traffic waiting at the lights

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 10:28

Elizabeth, we would have been standing at the Remembrance Service at Smithy Green at the same time when we were girls in Ince. I must admit, like Mick, I thought it said Parky's Pies and as I am due a cataract operation this week and things are a bit hazy, I had to squint to make sure it said "pics"....I think we' re just attuned to the word "pies" here in Wigan! Pw, I'm sure you and your mates meant no disrespect by doing a Harry Worth in the undertaker's doorway....it was hardly like vandalism and indeed I am sure you would have caused a few smiles from people passing by!

Comment by: Veronica on 21st August 2022 at 10:41

Well done to the man having the foresight to rescue the plaque. I would love to be able to see what is written on it. I don’t suppose you can see much if stood underneath it though.
I know my Grt Uncle’s name is on the pillar in the Cemetery near the main road at Ince. He had lived in Caroline St at the time of the 1st WW. There’s too much in this ‘throwaway society’ done away with!

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 10:54

Veronica, a close-up photo of the plaque is on the Wigan World Album. Go on "Album", then go to "Places" then scroll down the alphabetical list that comes up to "Ince Parish Church" and click on that.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 21st August 2022 at 11:43

Is Gerry Mawdsley still watching this site? He sent the image Irene mentions - and also sent a copy to the Imperial War Museum's War Memorials Register.
I'm sending an image to the Album which I took inside Christ Church when I was taking a funeral there at the beginning of the month. It's of a brass plaque relating to the peal of bells (an amplification system for a recording of bells, not actual bells) which was the original War Memorial.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 12:15

I think Gerry still goes on Wigan World, Rev Long, but I don't think he watches Photo-a-Day. I have never seen any comments from him on p-a-d unless he uses another name. He used to belong to the Characters of Ince Facebook site at one time and uploaded a brilliant dvd of St. William's Walking Day in 1954, taken from a cine-film which was rescued just in time from a bin; he did a fantastic job on it, slowing it down and adding very moving music. I am lucky enough to have a copy of it. I look forward to your image of the brass plaque appearing on the album.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st August 2022 at 12:19

Thanks Irene I will do that. x

Comment by: Rev David Long on 21st August 2022 at 13:51

The present day memorial tablet by the tree is, I think, a fairly recent addition. Was there anything there before, when you took part in Remembrance observances on Smithy Green, Elizabeth & Irene?

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 14:47

I don't think so, Rev David, but I could have sworn there was a small fence around the green in the 1960s, but I have looked up a photo of Smithy Green from that time and it seems I am wrong....the memory plays tricks! The tree itself wasn't surrounded by a fence as it is now. No, it was very much as it is now, apart from the picturesque terraced cottages which stood to one side of it, which were demolished ; the site where they stood now houses KFC and various shops. There were two red telephone boxes too, which were much-used, ( as no-one had a telephone!), , and the Mobile Library van stood at the top of the green every Tuesday. I just remember the Boys' Brigade marching , and the sound of their drums and trumpets, and members of the Royal British Legion carrying flags and laying their wreaths. Most towns and villages had a Royal British Legion Club back then and Ince was no exception. Perhaps Elizabeth remembers more? There is only a year in our ages but it's amazing how people recall things that others have forgotten. Over to you, Elizabeth......

Comment by: Rev David Long on 21st August 2022 at 15:41

Where did they lay their wreaths? The modern tablet by the tree is the focal point for that now - but what did they assemble round then?
Down at Lower Ince we had the WW1 memorial to gather round - then we moved inside the church for the Service - whilst the bugler and most Councillors, RBL etc moved on for some kind of ceremony at Christ Church, before moving on to Smithy Green - presumably on the basis that the site at Christ Church was too constricted for a large assembly, which would have blocked the road.

Comment by: James Hanson on 21st August 2022 at 16:50

Irene have you ever counted the place that you have not been to, and the places you have not been in.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 21st August 2022 at 16:52

Yes Irene,I'm certain we would have been at the same services for Remembrance Day,even though we not aware of it.I can also remember the plaque that was at the side of the church ,if it's the same one.One of the names was Frederic McCabe from Cinnamon Brow who was only 19 when he died,so sad.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 16:55

I feel they were in the middle of the Green, by the tree, but I honestly can't remember the exact spot. I had it in my head that there was some kind of memorial stone or cross but I can't see one on photographs of Smithy Green at the time.....I just know that's where we all gathered for the Remembrance Service. I remember the general wreaths being there long after Remembrance Day and small wooden crosses from individual families being set into the ground, some with names and dates hand-written on them, but the memory is hazy, Rev. David; it WAS a long time ago! We moved from Ince in 1971 when our house was demolished. I'm sure many older Incers will have a much better memory of the Remembrance Service than mine, but if they don't go on Photo-a-Day their memories won't be forthcoming. I hope someone can answer your questions as I would be very interested to hear their reminiscences.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 17:41

Yes, Mr. Hanson, I can count them on my fingers. I have been to Ince, where I was born, and Abram, where I live now. I have been to Ireland, twenty years ago, and I have been to Yorkshire, Southport and Blackpool and Greece. . . So the places I have NOT been to are far too numerous to count. Why on earth you see fit to make sarcastic comments to me, (and this isn't the first time), seeing as we don't even know each other is beyond my comprehension. One place I haven't been is inside your mind and I feel it would be like Spaghetti Junction, (and no, I HAVEN'T been there! ) , as you seem to think I have travelled extensively, when the only place I have mentioned on today's photo is Ince Bar, which was only yards away from my childhood home. I can only presume you get some perverse pleasure in putting a totally irrelevant comment on what has been a nice, friendly and informative photo-a-day. It saddens me, but then, as we all know, small things amuse small minds.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st August 2022 at 18:36

Irene you have a very good memory of Ince. Is that tree the same one from your childhood? It looks about 50 years old to me, but it could be more. I don’t remember many trees in Scholes apart from the oasis at Scholes Crossings. I must have passed the Green thousands of times over the years.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 19:12

Veronica, I remember Smithy Green and the cottages well, but I am hazy about the tree if I'm honest. I thought there WAS a tree there, as I'd thought there were railings all around the green until I saw the photos on Wigan World Album, but, as I have said, the mind plays tricks as the years pass. I do recall a Christmas Tree on the green, put there by the council at the beginning of every December, with sadly, even back then, the odd bulb being smashed, and I recall the hot dog stand that was just in front of the green, by the telephone boxes, on weekend nights. Sadly, the hot dog seller wouldn't be safe these days. Apart from a totally uncalled-for comment, today's p-a-d has been very interesting, if only to people from Ince, but I enjoy photos and reminiscences from all areas of Wigan. I love photo-a-day and long may it continue.

Comment by: Veronica on 21st August 2022 at 20:00

I remember the quaint cottages on the village green and the red telephone boxes you mention Irene. A lot nicer that what’s there now with the KFC.

Comment by: Maureen on 21st August 2022 at 20:49

I used to work with Helen Sankey at Whelley Hospital,she lived in one of the cottages on the green,I came home from shopping and she'd been down to our house in Warrington Lane at that time,so I went to visit her with my youngest Son.
I can remember her cottage as if it was yesterday..she was a good nurse like an angel when someone was leaving this world...I've had a love of Ince for a long time,it always seems a very homely area...I must tell this tale which I have mentioned before.after my lovely Brother had just been cremated at the Ince chapel..as we started driving down the road ..a gang of youths who had seen us coming out of the chapel all took their baseball caps off as a mark of respect..I don't think I'll ever forget that.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 21:58

That's lovely, Maureen. Thankyou for sharing that. I always stand still as a funeral passes by; I know from my own experience at the funerals of members of my family that it means a lot to the people in the funeral cars to see someone take a moment to show respect.

Comment by: irene roberts on 21st August 2022 at 22:10

With regard to the comment by James Hanson, I am now unsure, having read the sentence a number of times, that it was actually written by him. If it was, I stand by my answer, but if someone else is hiding behind his name, that is despicable. Just a "feeling".

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd August 2022 at 07:57

It does seem a bit muddled for Mr Hanson to have written it Irene - I agree.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 22nd August 2022 at 08:26

Yes Irene,I seem to remember a tree at Smithy Green but would have to dig out some old photos to check.I can remember the small wooden poppy crosses as well.As you say Irene,Veronica and Maureen,it was so quaint there with the cottages then.I can't help feeling if that had been in another area of Wigan there would have been a conservation order on there.

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