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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 8th January, 2024)

Bank Chambers Arcade

Bank Chambers Arcade
Bank Chambers Arcade 1890.

Photo: Colin Traynor  (iPhone)
Views: 2,743

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 06:12

Thanks again to Brian for uploading this picture.
Built in 1890 this is another fine example of Wigans late Victorian architectural heritage. As a bank it has had many names over the years, just one of six in short walk of each other in Wallgate now all closed and this now occupied by the Salvation Army.
The real purpose of the photo is the small arcade to the right hand side which is always blocked off with locked gates.
The morning I was passing the gates were unlocked for a delivery of beer to the George Pub a little further down. Venturing into the arcade which used give access to the banks and offices was to walk into the past as this was also a daytime route through to the Prince’s Cinema and Clarence Yard.
The faded panelled walls on either side and paintwork peeling off the ceiling is grim but must have been attractive in its heyday.
At the bottom on the right, there is sign on the wall ‘Ackerley Heaton & Pigot Solicitors’ and on the left as the arcade doglegs to the left blocked off doors and windows into once were banks and offices.
Finally there are large double fire door now locked which would lead out to the Clarence Yard.
As I say all quite fascinating as I used to go down there quite often in the 50’s and 60’s.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 8th January 2024 at 08:47

There are such beautiful. ornate buildings in Wigan. I'm glad the ground floor is being used for the Salvation Army's Charity Shop, but what about the upper floors? I bet they're empty and unused.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 09:05

Irene, there might be access from The Salvation Army shop but I would guess they are probably unused as all access's down the arcade are boarded up. Only ground floor access to the back of The George available for their beer deliveries and that's the only time the gates are unlocked.
Brian, at some point might upload the picture I took of the inside of the arcade which for me was a walk down memory lane.

Comment by: Owd Reekie on 8th January 2024 at 09:53

Does anyone know the names of the banks which have inhabited this site? I only recall 1 bank at a time at this location with an entrance at the front and also in the passageway. The other businesses in the passageway I recall (vaguely ) as 2 firms of solicitors. I remember the bank as Williams Deacons in the! 1960's then William Glynn's in the 1970's and Royal Bank of Scotland in the! 1980's. Have not lived in Wigan since 1970's so memory is very vague. The photo also has a pigeon in as usual but this time a solitary one!

Comment by: Veronica on 8th January 2024 at 10:10

It would be nice to know the history of it like a lot of buildings in Wigan….before they are no more…

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 10:22

Owd Reekie, I took a pop shot at the rest, this one got away!

Comment by: Sandra on 8th January 2024 at 10:35

Fantastic building, lovely design.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 11:04

Veronica, I don't know the full history but many buildings in Wigan are are Grade II listed and in a bad state of repair, the Griffin Hotel for instance.
People might sneer at Wetherspoons but they have brought life back to many neglected banks, theatres, Cinema's etc, always attempting to preserve and tell the story of each.
One of my favourites (which Owd Reekie might like) is The Caly Picture House in Edinburgh, just down from the Usher Hall.
Large old projector in the entrance and the interior quite a marvel with seating in the stalls and balcony and even the proscenium arch still in place. Always loved to go their when visiting or working in Owd Reekie!

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 8th January 2024 at 13:06

Yes, a building with a presence, you don't get them like that anymore so Wigan should hang on to them & give them a new lease of life.
Re Wetherspoons, its good that they take on old premises. I know of one in Tunbridge Wells in Kent that used to be a theatre & you can get to dine on the stage if you are lucky !

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 8th January 2024 at 13:07

Colin, the Hyde Park Picture House near Leeds is another fascinating place. It featured in the series "First of the Summer Wine" and I thought it was a prop! But no, it's a real cinema and we were lucky enough to be taking photos of the outside one day when a lady opened it up and asked if we'd like to see inside, and it is still lit with gas!

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 13:38

Helen, I visited Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells many times and the Wetherspoon I think is the Opera House, wonderful. Many happy times in both towns.
Also the Hippodrome in March not far from my in-laws on the Fens, marvellous conversions and giving these much loved buildings a new lease of life.
Irene, I know The Hyde Park very well having worked on the planning with architects pre Covid and just before I retired. Small world isn’t it?

Comment by: Moaning Minnie on 8th January 2024 at 17:07

Don’t like pidgins but like Spoon’s

Comment by: Kenee on 8th January 2024 at 18:45

One of the most impressive Wetherspoons is the Royal Victoria Pavilion in Ramsgate. It is directly on the beach and has been tastefully renovated with extensive outdoor terraces. It is the largest Wetherspoons in the country.

Comment by: Pat McC on 8th January 2024 at 18:57

The first floor was Ackerley Heaton and Pigot, Solicitors. I worked there as secretary to Mr Edward Houghton 1969/70. Never liked walking down the passageway, especially going home at night, a bit creepy.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 20:11

Pat, many thanks for that, when I was inside ( the arcade I mean not prison ) it was a a bit creepy even today and no sign of lighting. Even if there were gas lights it might have been the haunt of J the R!!
Sleep Well tonight!!!!!

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th January 2024 at 20:18

PS Pat, I am sure we would all love to know more of this Arcade, me for sure. Colin.

Comment by: Dave on 8th January 2024 at 20:40

That’s a nice list and well done to Wetherspoons but have they transformed any in the same way in Wigan ? Genuine question.
If not, shouldn’t we be asking why and what is it about Wigan that puts them off ?

Comment by: . Ozy . on 8th January 2024 at 21:32

Since Wetherspoon’s has been mentioned …

I have no idea from where Tim sources his burgers … ( roadkill possibly ) , but based on recent experience I’d like to go on record to state that they are crap . …..…( as are those undercooked dead mens’ fingers that they
laughingly call French fries ) …….
Any self respecting Frenchman ( or woman )
wouldn’t touch them with a long stick in my view .

I’m merely stating an opinion here folks , just in case you were considering , whilst in an advanced state of intoxication , of ordering burger and chips ……

On second thoughts though , why not sample them yourself just to prove me wrong ?

Probably shouldn’t have revealed that should I Tim , eh ?

Still , it’s a bit too late now by my reckoning .

I expect you’ll all be reading about my libel case at Bolton crown court in a matter of a few months . But at least the truth is out ,…. for those who choose to listen that is .

As for the rest , may I suggest Bisodol ? …..It worked for me .

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 9th January 2024 at 08:00

Sorry Dave Ozy and Dave, I have not got clue what you are talking about.
Please elaborate?

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