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Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Wednesday, 9th August, 2023)

The Tent Woman

The Tent Woman
Wigan Infirmary.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 1,850

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 9th August 2023 at 07:06

I think I am a reasonably tolerant person & there are comments I would like to make about this photo but won't...... but a barge comes to mind .

Comment by: NHS cleaner on 9th August 2023 at 08:08

I can't help thinking that if this woman was a man she would have been moved on by now.!2 empty coffee cups there all bought for her by some do gooder  NHS staff and hospital visitors.
I must also say the photographer is very brave because she can get very aggressive.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 9th August 2023 at 08:17

Show me the alley, show me the train,
Show me the hobo who sleeps out in the rain,
And I'll show you a lady with so many reasons why
There but for fortune go you or I, you or I.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 9th August 2023 at 08:41

Very true Irene.

Comment by: Veronica on 9th August 2023 at 09:06

I can’t help thinking IF it was possible this person was given an
apartment would it end up in a dreadful mess?..
Although I don’t know anything about the background…why choose a hospital of all places? She probably knows there are Social Workers within. Does she think she should be given bed and board? Why not a more out of the way place?
Why in this day and age in a so called rich country we have homeless people. So many questions still remain unanswered.

Comment by: Pat on 9th August 2023 at 09:26

Very nicely put, Irene. A gentle reminder that there but for the grace of God go I.

Comment by: freddie on 9th August 2023 at 09:29

i wrote to the hospital trustees to say what a poor impression this gives to visitors, together with the many patients smoking in hospital doorways and on benches of course I got no reply. Management of this site is almost non existent.

Comment by: freddie on 9th August 2023 at 09:39

what a poor impression this gives to those visiting the hospital together with the many patients and visitors smoking in doorways and on benches right under the no smoking signs. I have written to the trustees regarding these matters but as you may imagine I got no reply. The management of this site don't seem to understand their obligations and need to be replaced with those who do. There must be a legal risk to allowing someone to live on the site with no regard to those who wish to use that footpath.

Comment by: Maureen on 9th August 2023 at 09:39

I saw her when I was leaving the Infirmary last week,she only looked to be in her twenties.
Some years ago a woman kept coming to our ward at Whelley Hospital,she wanted a bed for the night..the Sister kept telling her that she couldn't have one ..it was against the rules...she stopped coming then we found out she had committed suicide.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 09:52

So many people on here talk longingly for the halcyon days when everyone lived in tight communities where people looked out for each other, where everyone had nowt, but what they did have they shared, and when the poorest in society were pitied and not looked down upon. I don't know anything about this poor individual, but would not at all be surprised if she has some form of mental health issues that make it difficult for her to maintain the comfortable lifestyle that many of us enjoy. Having said that, she appears to be taking what steps she can to provide what meagre shelter and safety for herself that she can. It probably doesn't occur to her that her terrible situation might be slightly inconvenient or less than picturesque for those of us who are more concerned with loss of churches, pubs and Market Halls in the town than the actual people within its boundaries.

Comment by: freddie on 9th August 2023 at 10:21

she was resident in the adjacent bus stop for many months before taking up residence in the hospital grounds

Comment by: Tommy T on 9th August 2023 at 10:28

First thing I'd like to say, don't feel sorry for this woman, she has been offered accommodation by social services and turned the offers down. She makes use of the toilet and washing facilities at the hospital whenever she likes and thinks that she comes first and that other people should be made to wait while she gets what she wants.
Yes, I realise that she has got problems but, how many more handouts does she want?

Comment by: John (Westhoughton) on 9th August 2023 at 10:35

Very sad situation

Comment by: Julie. on 9th August 2023 at 11:22

No matter how poor or have not got much money the first thing your priority is keeping a roof over your head in this day and age your rent or mortgage comes top priority some people like this used to have accomodation they have not obviously paid their rent they spend it on other things.many cases is down to their own doings. I used to feel sorry for them at one point.

Comment by: Poet on 9th August 2023 at 11:44

'The fault , dear Brutus , is not in our stars but in ourselves ' .

Julius Caesar

Comment by: Veronica on 9th August 2023 at 12:23

It’s no use blaming others or ‘society’ all the time either. As I said we don’t know the background. I should think it’s harder to live like that than hold a job down. Not all of us have been born with a silver spoon etc either. Like many on here we had to work straight from school thrown in at the deep end and learned to fend and shift ourselves. That’s how you got on in life. Parents as well went to work in all weathers mine included- hard labouring jobs to provide for their families …it was instilled in us that’s what we had to do. If there is genuine mental health issues it is a very sad situation but it’s strange if she has been there for months and months and nothing has been done - it does beg the question Why? Especially if she has been offered accommodation and refused.
In the past she would probably have been put in an institution and locked away but that was the past …it seems there’s no answer, no matter how much people try to help there are certain individuals that cannot be helped and don’t or won’t accept any.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 12:41

So many assumptions.....mind you, they do make a convenient basis for some narrow-minded opinions..

Comment by: Ste Bentley on 9th August 2023 at 12:42

I could give her a few of my golf shirts. Free promotion for me.

Comment by: Unsympathetic observer on 9th August 2023 at 12:54

I was never really keen on Helen Reddy’s music, but a couple of lines taken from the last verse of her 1974 hit single “Angie Baby” sum up this situation for me .
“It’s so nice to be insane
No one asks you to explain”.

Comment by: Veronica on 9th August 2023 at 13:21

Including your own Gareth?

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 13:33

Veronica, that makes no sense.....the very point I am making is that if you don't know the circumstances, don't sit in judgement so easily, and certainly don't pontificate on what someone's flat would look like IF they were given one!!!. Don't look down on people unless you're giving them a hand up..

Comment by: Cyril on 9th August 2023 at 13:46

Exactly Irene & Veronica, no one has been or is ignoring the woman, in fact she's been offered more things than you could shake a stick at, even her mother has been there on occasions and begged her to return home, but no, it is as though this is the life she wants to live, and it isn't like she's coming to any harm either as whilst there folks will be giving her money, and food and drink too as can be seen. As said she dossed in the bus shelter until she was stopped, and was more than likely stopped because of the mess and litter she was always leaving in there too, she was also using the shelter bench as a book shelf with books folks had given her, so no one could use it whilst waiting for a bus.

freddie, I would have thought the hospital management would have far more pressing problems to be dealing with, than an all weather sleeper or a couple of smokers on the hospital grounds, but I'm sure if needs allow they will get back to you.

Comment by: Dave on 9th August 2023 at 14:19

A big debate with perfectly valid opinions on both sides .
GC is too quick to be abusive to those who hold another position to himself .... Absolutely no need for it. .
It's an inability to see both sides of an argument , and a too firm belief in one's own righteousness that amounts to narrow mindedness in my view .

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 14:48

Who have I abused ??? I have spoken in generalities, and if the cap fits....
Meanwhile. Suspending judgement until one knows enough of the facts is EXACTLY what I have been saying.

Comment by: Unsympathetic observer on 9th August 2023 at 15:15

Here’s a fact .
On more than one occasion the hospital security have been called upon in the middle of the night to gain entry to the disabled toilets only to find she’d locked herself in there and was sleeping on the floor. Is this defensible?

Comment by: Old Wiganer on 9th August 2023 at 15:25

It is obvious that this person has some mental problems I'm sure that the council have some responsibility/powers to Section her and remove her to some kind of secure facility. What would happen if another half a dozen rough sleepers did the same thing?

Comment by: Tommy T on 9th August 2023 at 15:32

I'd just like to thank Shevvy Mick for putting the thought provoking picture on, cheers Mick

Comment by: Veronica on 9th August 2023 at 15:41

The grounds for saying ‘IF’ she was given a flat is staring anybody in the face. It’s not ‘looking down’ on the woman. Does she expect the dozen or so people to shift the cups after they have bought her a coffee? She has the sense to go and wash and use the facilities. She has the use of her legs and the sense to erect a tent! Plus she probably knows she’s safe in the hospital grounds. She doesn’t seem to mind living in squalid conditions either when she could better them. I don’t think that is ‘pontificating ‘ I would much rather she took up the offers of practical kindness . There’s also a lot to be said for conforming. So there you have it Gareth.
I might not be a psychiatrist but I am afforded an opinion and that’s not narrow mindedness.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 16:09

Veronica. I never said you were pontificating -I didn't identify anyone. Like I said, if the cap fits....
You appear to know much more about her circumstances, choices and options than you did at the start of the day when you said that you didn't 'know anything about the background' so I'll bow to your personal superior knowledge. Me, I'll continue to reserve judgement based on the fact that I know no more about the background than I did this morning.....

Comment by: Pw on 9th August 2023 at 16:25

I had to take someone to the infirmary earlier this year and came out at about 1:30am and I felt anything but safe.

Comment by: Sir Bob on 9th August 2023 at 18:08

Well at least they got her out of the bus stop, but as regards the comments that she needs to be sectioned and put into secure accommodation, maybe she has been an in patient at a psychiatric unit, and liked it, and did not want to leave, she had become institutionalised, but she was discharged anyway, but took up residence at the infirmary in protest, ignoring accomodation organised by occupational health and social services.

Comment by: Veronica on 9th August 2023 at 18:27

I beg to differ Gareth as in your post you addressed me personally as follows in your own words.

“Veronica,that makes no sense….the very point I am making is that you don’t sit in judgment so easily, and certainly don’t pontificate on what someone’s flat would look like IF they were given one!!!
Don’t look down on people unless you are giving them a hand up”….

My first post was regarding an apartment! And what it would be like if she was given one. Although I don’t know about her background.
If that’s not personal then I’ll plant fog.
I had noticed the coffee cups and mess but didn’t bother mentioning because it’s obvious she wouldn’t care about the mess.
It might be a good idea if you accepted that other people have their own opinions whether they agree with yours or not. It sounds more like preaching to me.

Comment by: Unsympathetic observer on 9th August 2023 at 18:49

Here are a few more facts. The woman’s name is Sarah, she hails from Salford , she’s 34 or 35 years old and she’s been in the area for about two years now.
Another fact. She is familiar with the location of the plethora of bins in the vicinity of the infirmary, as she can frequently be seen rummaging through them yet seems unable or unwilling to put anything into them .
She’s been witnessed walking up and down in front of the pharmacy building in the middle of the night screaming obscenities into her cellphone and the council have been obliged to turn out on a number of occasions and clean up the mess she frequently leaves behind her when she occasionally goes walkabout for a few days.
These are facts.
Want any more? Just ask.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 19:46

Of course other people have opinions....it would just be nice if those opinions were based on evidence, knowledge and empiricism rather than blind prejudice. And that's my opinion....

My original observation was to highlight the difference between those who preach old fashioned values of community, social solidarity and these superiority of the 'good old days', and taking every opportunity to denigrate those they see as being "below' them when push comes to shove. Not you, of course, Veronica.

Comment by: Freddie on 9th August 2023 at 19:50

Gareth how dare you infer that folk using this board care more of buildings than people. It is typical of your kind to speak in generalities because taking a real view leaves you open to criticism you remind me of Starmer who loves to talk but without any plan of action at all that say he can claim popularity of all. The fact remains that there is a part of management responsible for the safe operation of the site who have no regard to medical matters these should be taking action

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 9th August 2023 at 21:29

Unsympathetic observer, I bet you live near by knowing so much about her, I would also like to add that she does a lot of reading and writes a lot of stuff in her note book in very small but neat letters.

Comment by: Unsympathetic observer on 9th August 2023 at 21:29

It would also be nice if your opinion was itself based on some kind of evidence and knowledge of the situation Mr Cheetham.
You’ve already stated that you “know nothing about this poor individual “ then you proceed to theorise about her mental condition before apparently accusing anyone that does have some knowledge of the “poor individual “ and an opinion opposing yours , as speaking from blind prejudice.
If I were to pitch a tent in front of the pharmacy, I would expect the police to arrive within 24 hours to move me on, and if were to discard a cigarette end in the centre of Wigan I could expect a fine, court costs and victim surcharge totalling £300 or more, yet here we have an individual who appears ( not unlike the travelling sector ) to be exempt from any kind of regulation that long suffering council tax payers are obliged to abide by, on pain of fine or imprisonment.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 21:41

Freddie, I would point out that you mean imply, not infer, but you appear to be talking gibberish. "Taking a real view leaves you open to criticism"..? What on Earth are you talking about? Also, what is my kind ? You don't know me from Adam, so to accuse me of talking in generalities is wonderfully ironic. However, you are correct when you say that, like Starmer, I love to talk but without any plan of action at all that say I can claim popularity of all. Is your surname Unwin by any chance ?

Comment by: George (Hindley) on 9th August 2023 at 22:12

"Why is she not in Winwick or Rainhill?"

"Because neither is there anymore."

"Ah, never mind, let her wander the streets, she won't last long."

"Yes, and that way she will cost nothing."

Comment by: Freddie on 9th August 2023 at 22:16

Gareth you really are a clever little boy, bet you were top of the class at everything.

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 22:22

Freddie, not at all, but you must realise how much sense your last post made ?

Comment by: Gareth Cheetham on 9th August 2023 at 22:34

Unsympathetic Observer, there is all the difference in the world between saying that something wouldn't surprise me and theorising that that something is the case. For example, it would not surprise me at all if you lived in, say, Hindley, but I'm not for one minute saying that you do - see the difference ? Once again, I am just pointing out that a lack of knowledge about a situation is not justification for using that situation to reinforce one's prejudices. There is a lot of that going on on this forum, IN MY OPINION......

Comment by: Freddie on 9th August 2023 at 22:55

Gareth perhaps you are used to having a more compliant and captive audience for your opinions

Comment by: Cyril on 9th August 2023 at 23:54

Sad to see Photo a Day now getting down to the level of the Communicate Boards and how they became to be, with an ill will or unpleasantness appearing in the comments.

On PaD it used to be delightful banter which was quite funny at times, along with witty conversations and general chitchat. It would be good to be like that again, and so leave any rancorous comments to the Communicators, and for them to carry on with the unpleasantness they have for one another.

Comment by: Veronica on 10th August 2023 at 00:06

Pomposity and accusations of ‘gibberish’ have crept in… it’s time to bow out.
Let’s hope the young woman can be sorted out one way or another
for all concerned especially her mother …and the people who live nearby not to mention the uproar in the grounds of a hospital meant for patients and visitors. Some patients on their deathbeds even… doesn’t bear thinking about walking outside and being met with that, sorry, but that is what I wouldn’t want to see.

Comment by: Dave on 10th August 2023 at 06:32

G.C ,You're probably a nice chap but you come over as a pompous unpleasant know-all .

Comment by: Edna on 12th August 2023 at 23:46

Yes, her name is Sarah, and she has Autism.She lived in a flat, in Hindley and was very content there, until a group of teenagers boys, and girls made her life a misery. They were congregating on the stairwell drinking and smoking drugs,every time she came home.Making fun,and abusing her, because she was alone, and dressed differently. She reported this to police, time and time again, and nothing was done about it.It came to the point were she dressed going home.She is in contact with her dad, who lives in Preston, and does not leave her short of money.Her writing is beautiful and her drawing is excellent.Some people are driven to the wayside by society.

Comment by: Veronica on 13th August 2023 at 11:08

It’s a very emotive subject and a sign of how being answerable to other countries in the cause of human rights.
It’s obvious there are people who need to be looked after in a safe environment. Nobody can ‘force’ her to do what’s best for her. She could be a figure head for all that’s wrong in this country. Quick to find places for illegals coming in droves to this country but slow in finding a solution for vulnerable people who already live here.

Comment by: Edna on 13th August 2023 at 22:43

You are so right Veronica.Charity begins at home, and it's time our own young vunerable people were helped first.The last comment should have read " It came to a point were she dreaded going home.

Comment by: Veronica on 24th August 2023 at 12:53

Just as a re-cap I enquired about this young woman in the Charity ‘Rebuild With Hope’ and one of the chief volunteers told me she has been offered help and many places of accommodation as has already been said. She is also very addicted to drugs. It is not as if she hasn’t been offered help and her situation is what she has chosen.

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