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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Tuesday, 13th June, 2023)


Navvie Pub in Gathurst blocked off.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 1,642

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 13th June 2023 at 07:11

I remember this pub, though I think it was an Indian restaurant when we were in Gathurst. We were doing a family history trip & walked along the canal beside it. My Grandparents, from Scotland move to Wigan & lived just up the road from the canal.
Does anyone know why its blocked off ?

Comment by: PeterP on 13th June 2023 at 08:20

Been empty some while. Surprised it has never been vandalised? Maybe someone is going to develop the pub or the blocks are to stop our travelling clan from parking and then having a field day with the pub?

Comment by: Pat McC on 13th June 2023 at 13:55

How does the word 'Navvy' relate to this pub? Just googled it - apparently now an offensive term.

Comment by: Cyrilopedia on 13th June 2023 at 14:37

Navvy, a clipping of navigator or navigational engineer, is particularly applied to describe the manual labourers working on major civil engineering projects and occasionally to refer to mechanical shovels and earth moving machinery.

Comment by: Veronica on 13th June 2023 at 14:39

‘Navvy’ is short for Navigator Pat. From the days of building the canals …ie ‘Irish Navvies’.. I wouldn’t have thought it’s disrespectful at all. But who am I to say…

Comment by: Veronica on 13th June 2023 at 14:41

Apologies Cyril my post was put on when yours hadn’t been added.

Comment by: DerekB on 13th June 2023 at 15:13

Pat McC. The full name of the pub was The Navigation.

Comment by: Pat McC on 13th June 2023 at 16:07

Thank you Derek B. It's obvious now that you've reminded me that the pub was called The Navigation.

Comment by: John on 13th June 2023 at 16:49

Pat McC. Canals were, and some still are, called a "navigation". (The Aire and Calder Navigation in Yorkshire still has that name.) Hence the original name of the pub.

Comment by: Cyril on 13th June 2023 at 16:53

Veronica, no need to apologise as it wasn't me who did the posting, someone having fun - maybe the sun is getting to them and perhaps another swim with Joan at Sandy Bottoms will cool them down.
You are right though as it was once The Navigation pub, seen in better days in these two photos, one by David and the other by DTease: https://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/photo.php?opt=5&id=11235&gallery=Leeds+and+Liverpool+Canal&offset=40


Comment by: Poet on 13th June 2023 at 16:55

Navvies of course also built the railways .

' Swinging our hammers in the bright blazin' sun ,
Livin' off stew and drinking bad whiskey ,
Bending our backs 'til the long day is done ' .

Great song by Gordon Lightfoot (r.i.p. maestro)

An 'offensive' term ? Well only to those neurotics who constantly seek to be 'offended '.

Comment by: Pat McC on 13th June 2023 at 17:14

Just want to clarify that 'offensive'
isn't my description - just what came up on my google search. Apologies if anyone thinks I was being rude.

Comment by: Veronica on 13th June 2023 at 17:19

Actually I thought as much Cyril it’s happened with me as well..some folk lead boring lives..

Comment by: Marky on 13th June 2023 at 17:31

Thank you so much Mick for your post .
I treasure to this day the memories I spent in the Navvy . Breaks my heart to see it like this from the place I knew growing up . I don’t know Wigan anymore but I hope the young people of Wigan have places like the Navvy I once loved and enjoyed so much to leave such lasting memories of good times shared .
Thank you Navvy , I see you NOT , like this ! Far far from it !

Comment by: Poet on 13th June 2023 at 18:14

Pat it was clear from your first post that that view was not held by yourself.
It never crossed my mind.

Comment by: Pat McC on 13th June 2023 at 20:21

Thanks Poet.

Comment by: Arthur on 13th June 2023 at 21:59

Navies is plant machines.

Comment by: Pw on 13th June 2023 at 23:03

There is still a place in Hindley called Navvies Lump where the navvies lived who built the railways.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 14th June 2023 at 07:38

A 'navigation' is a canalised river - not another name for a canal proper. The earlier waterways in England were navigations - making the best use of existing water courses by putting locks and weirs on them to allow boats to 'navigate' them. Cuts were also made to by-pass time-wasting bends or sections where the descent was too rapid, or the river too wide and shallow to be adapted. Getting Acts of Parliament through to create such navigations was more successful than applying for one to create a canal - so when the business folk of Liverpool wanted to use the line of the Sankey to bring coal down from St Helens to the Mersey - for onward shipment to Liverpool and the salt pans up the Weaver Navigation, they proposed the Sankey Brook Navigation Act, which was passed in 1755. Two years later it was open - but it used the channel of the Brook so little that it was, in fact, the first true canal of the Industrial Revolution - but was still known as the Sankey Brook Navigation until merging with the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway Company in 1845 - which then became The St Helens Canal & Railway Company... and the canal was then marked St Helens Canal on maps.
The navigation referred to in the name of the pub is therefore not the canal - but the canalised River Douglas to its south.

Comment by: John on 14th June 2023 at 22:46

David, I stand corrected. You learn something everyday!

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