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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Saturday, 29th October, 2022)

Pepper Pot

Pepper Pot
One of the Old Upholland Pepper Pots.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 1,975

Comment by: PeterP on 29th October 2022 at 06:50

I presume they are ventilation shafts for the railway?

Comment by: Poet on 29th October 2022 at 08:59

I think it was supposed to be a Well but the builders read the plans upside down .

Comment by: Cyril on 29th October 2022 at 13:48

Looks like even in the countryside the birdlife is scarce too, I've only seen a Wren a Robin and a Blackbird in the last few weeks in the garden, normally there's plenty feeding on the bird table. The RSPB reckon they have left the urban areas for the rural countryside to feed on the abundance of berries and fruit nature has provided them with this year. Though looking at the photograph I and I'm sure many others too will remember when a field had been tilled flocks of birds could be seen feeding on the grubs and other insects that had been uncovered, all I can see here is the large Bluebottle or Bumblebee in the middle of the photo which I've spent ages trying to wipe it from my screen thinking it was a speck of dust.

Maybe many of the garden and country birds have succumbed to this Bird Flu H5N1 that was first recorded in 1996 on geese farms in the Guangdong province of China, (where else of course) and is still prevalent not just in the UK but Europe and other countries around the world too, and is worrying scientists who expect some bird species especially types of gulls to possibly become extinct. This article in the National Geographic magazine is an informative read.

To watch the gliding, swooping and swerving gulls and their antics is part of the enjoyment of going to the seaside, unless you're getting bothered with them yourself of course.

Comment by: Kathleen Gaskell. on 29th October 2022 at 14:13

They are the ventilation shafts for the trains running between Wigan & Liverpool. Many happy hours we had playing up on the tunnel when you could let children play in the country . Jam sandwiches and a bottle of water was all we needed. Happy days.

Comment by: Dave on 29th October 2022 at 16:00

Well said Kathleen , even though we took neither . We did a knock for water .
Boy , how I miss those days ! Parents just let us go and we created our own enjoyment in the fields close by . I can smell those days as strong as fish and chips .
Lapwings like to nest on fields like this , well they did when I was a lad , but like Cyril posts . My garden used to be full of sparrows , again , when I was a lad . The tit family of birds seems to be doing well , I see lots of those .
Thank you Mick . I really appreciate your efforts on WW . It takes time and effort to go to all the places you go to , and then share them with us .

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 29th October 2022 at 16:38

Kathleen, I well remember when living at Holland Moor going off on bikes with my friend Jean Gaskell...as you say jam sandwiches & a bottle of water, pop if you were lucky. We even used to knock on someones door & ask for a drink of water....never got yanked in, murdered or molested !

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 29th October 2022 at 18:04


This place is next to Lawns farm, Lawn farm has a lot of history mmmmm
beat you to it Cyril
The Ashton Family arrived to rent Lawns Farm from Mawdesley in the early 1900’s.
They moved their stock on foot and all their belongings by horse and cart, the horse struggling up Bank Brow. When they approached they would have traveled up the bottom meadow now Lawns Avenue and past the hive of industry of the brickwork’s, now the playing field and cattle sheds.

There was no electricity and the water was brought up from a well. All that was left of the thriving mining industry was the ghosts of miners and pit ponies that had toiled underground bringing up coal, and a legacy of pit names and dangerous shafts peppering the fields of Lawns Farm, which to this day still sink at times.
Long gone were the men who sweated quarrying and mining stone flags to be used in such places as the Albert Dock in Liverpool , leaving behind them dangerous caverns, deep pools of water and faces of rock all over the farm and within yards of what is now the farmhouse.

The Ashtons worked the land and grew crops, regularly taking cart loads of produce and straw into Wigan Market coming back with a load of manure produced by the town horses for disposal in the countryside, stopping the horses for a drink at the Halfway House.
Also on the farm at that time was a Quaker community of up to forty men who each worked a small section of land together with others who had cobblers’, tailors’ and joiners’ workshops. The scheme was visited by the lady who later became known to us as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
At some time the brickworks, which manufactured firebrick and sanitary ware, went into industrial decline and closed down. The site was later to become the local playing field and the storage sheds were later sold to the Ashtons who used them for many purposes including housing for hens and pigs, later replacing the building with a barn suitable for cows.
During the WW11 years the farm carried on providing food for the local community and for many years had POWs working the land alongside the local population and much loved working horses. It does not seem that long ago that my Grandparents used to receive Christmas cards from the Germans who worked the land at Orrell. It was perhaps around this time that my Grandad used to have a bit of fun with the nudist colony next door at the Lawns. He boasts of building the haystacks as high as possible next to the high walls of the colony so that he and his men could take a peak over.

- Although he worked hard he was also a keen rugby player and it was him that offered land for the first Orrell Rugby Club team to play on. He was a founder player at the club but was later cut off because he turned to Rugby League.

Gradually, over the years, tractors took over from horses, the number of men employed dropped as the tractors and machines became bigger. The crops changed due to economic climate and demand. At one time peas were grown on a large scale and sold to the Birds Eye Factory. Potatoes were once grown with a packing station on the farm employing over a dozen women to clean, weigh and pack them, as well as dozens of women and children who toiled hard in all weather to pick them from the fields.
Poultry was introduced and Lawns Farm was one of the biggest poultry units in Lancashire, grading and packing the eggs on site. Times changed again, and in the mid 70’s cattle once again had a place on the farm, taking over from pigs and eggs.

At the height of the booming cattle industry Lawns Farm was at the forefront of the cattle world. Cattle were imported from Belgium and young stock, semen and embryos were exported all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA. Lawns cattle had won many major show victories including the coveted Royal Show champion in Warwickshire. Gone were the days that cattle used to arrive at Orrell Siding by train and walked to the local agricultural show at Abbey Lakes.
When the butchers’ shops were closing in the village - at one time there was at least six in Orrell alone - Lawns Farm opened a shop which was launched on the popularity of the freezer by the housewife. This thrived for many years
This thrived for many years but once wives started working and supermarkets opened, forcing the closure of many local shops and the local petrol station. Ashtons Freezer Centre was open from 1976 to 2000.
Perhaps this tale should have started in 1666. Roger Lowe, a shopkeeper and nonconformist wrote in his diary of his visit to Lawns Farm on 2nd February 1666.
"ffriday. I went with John Potter and his wife to his wives sisters who lived att a place called Lawnes and we ware much made of. After dinner we went to Holland to Thomas Prescotts and ware merry and then to Humphrey Naylors and stayd awhile and so came to Lawnes againe where all of us supt....
In Upholland Parish Church there is a plaque entitled Gifts to the poor. It records that in the year 1638 Henry Prefcot of the Lawnes gave the sum of 20.00. I wonder if he is related to the Thomas Prescott that Roger Lowe visited 28 years later?

Comment by: George (Hindley) on 29th October 2022 at 19:10

Kathleen Gaskell, trains running between Wigan and Liverpool don't go through Upholland.

Comment by: Anne on 29th October 2022 at 19:31

My first house, a new build when I married, was in Lawns avenue, no 14.

Comment by: John Noakes on 29th October 2022 at 19:59

Helen of Troy, is Troy part of Wigan?

Comment by: Ray on 29th October 2022 at 20:59

George....Yes , the trains dont go through Upholland, they
pass underground Upholland between Orrell and Crank.

Comment by: Kathleen Gaskell on 29th October 2022 at 21:16

Well Helen I am very friendly with Jean she’s a life long friend I see her every week. George they do go through they go through Pemberton Orrell then Upholland on on its way change at Kirby for Liverpool.

Comment by: George (Hindley) on 29th October 2022 at 21:25

Ray, yes, they pass underground through a tunnel, but they don't go to Liverpool.

Comment by: Bruce Almighty on 29th October 2022 at 21:41

Orrell to Crank? Eyup?

Comment by: DTease on 29th October 2022 at 21:57

What’s more important, is John Noakes still on top of Nelson’s Column, Helen?
We all saw him climbing up there, but did anyone see him come back down? And is poor old Shep still waiting for him returning?
“Get down Shep” he was always saying but it seems like he couldn’t get down himself!

Comment by: George (Hindley) on 29th October 2022 at 22:39

Kathleen Gaskell, they do not go between Wigan and Liverpool. That line stops at Kirkby station.
You just said yourself, "they go through Pemberton Orrell then Upholland on on its way - change at Kirkby for Liverpool."

The Wigan to Liverpool trains don't go on that line.

Comment by: Bruce Almighty on 29th October 2022 at 22:41

Kathleen, I know the 'chippy Gaskells' well.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 30th October 2022 at 07:09

John.....I am not certain if Troy is an area of Wigan, it could be for all I know but I am sure someone out there will enlighten you if you ask nicely.
The Troy I am familiar with had something to do with a wooden horse & was ruled by a woman of great beauty, you will find it all in the history books if you look....

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 30th October 2022 at 07:48

Kathleen, if its the same Jean Gaskell that I knew...she lived in the old school house on Ormskirk Rd...say Hello for me. My name was Helen Bradshaw back then.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 30th October 2022 at 07:52

That was a really interesting read Wigan Mick. Thank you.

Comment by: John a on 30th October 2022 at 10:03

The train did go from wigan to Liverpool but this changed in possibly late 70s or early 80s when the change of train at Kirkby started. The train still stops at Upholland Station which is on pimbo Lane, Upholland .

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