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

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 22nd January, 2024)

Italianate Clock Tower


Italianate Clock Tower
Picture taken from and by kind permissions of the Queen’s Hall Methodist Mission. Are Wigan Council really going to demolish this structurally sound last vestige of the Galleries Complex?
The Market Hall could be repurposed for a multiplicity of uses with the clock tower providing a landmark at a fraction of the cost to demolish and rebuild whatever is planned.
Note the exposed ‘hole’ in the ground beneath which there would have been the underground service area and loading bay to the many shops and stores.

Photo: Colin Traynor  (iPhone)
Views: 2,246

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 22nd January 2024 at 00:30

It does seem a shame to demolish that clock tower, it’s become something of a landmark over the years.
Another good photo for the history books Colin.

Comment by: Arthur on 22nd January 2024 at 06:34

The hole in the ground...was this the top of the underground car park roof? or I'm I mistaken, Colin.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 07:44

Not exactly an architectural masterpiece but attractive nonetheless and a fine example of 1987 Wigan.
Like the Galleries and Marketgate deserted by shoppers and traders it has perhaps become a financial burden to us the tax payers. The glory days are gone forever.
But with imagination and investment it would I am sure once again become an asset to the town but from what I hear it is doomed and a little bit more of our recent architectural heritage will be lost.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 07:47

If you zoom in closely you can see the ‘Gift Wrapped’ Haigh Hall in the distance.

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd January 2024 at 08:00

It’s outrageous for that building to be demolished it should be left. What’s the point ?

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 22nd January 2024 at 08:07

Good panoramic view Colin. I agree those buildings & the clock tower should be left if Wigan as got to have a new focal point.
I had a whimsical thought....perhaps the area in front should be an Italianate Plaza...to go with the clock tower.... where Wigan folk could go of an evening for passeggio...ing, the plaza could have trees, seats, cafe & restaurants etc. Come on WMC if you are going to finally bury the town's history of mining & weaving into one of those pits....come up with something really stunning !

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd January 2024 at 09:13

My thoughts exactly Helen ….how brave of you to say that. I did start to write something similar but thought I would be blindfolded and shot down! It does need a woman’s point of view.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 09:22

Arthur, the hole in the ground exposes the underground service area to all the shops and stores, the access was down a ramp from Market Street.
I never went down but it must have been huge and cavernous to accommodate all those delivery trucks and vans.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 09:26

Helen, now that’s the sort of imaginative thinking needed. A large ornate illuminated fountain with seats around would complement such an idea.

Comment by: DTease on 22nd January 2024 at 10:03

That big hole is there to bury all the hopes that people had for the future of Wigan Town Centre.
Shopkeepers of Wigan unite! You have nothing to loose but your business!…or you could join the Exodus to Chorley.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 22nd January 2024 at 10:14

What is the point of demolishing an existing and actually quite attractive Market Hall that is only thirty years old, to build ANOTHER one? Why can't it just continue to be The Market Hall? Or is that where the new "apartments" for people to live in are going to be built? Answers on a postcard please, Wigan Council, (And please write clearly and simply in words we can understand as most of us are totally at a loss to make any sense of all this!).

Comment by: Garry on 22nd January 2024 at 10:18

Makes me sick everytime I see this place, I'm even more sick they demolished the original Market Place we all grew up with.
Nothing against you Colin.

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 10:32

The hole to right of pic was where 4 goods lifts was situated, there was 8 goods lifts and 5 passenger in total, there was also 2 scenic lifts, the entrance to underground basement was at bottom of market st facing symphony music store.

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 10:38

Helen of Troy that's a silly idea. Let's keep it with our British tradition coal and cotton, cafe with sausage, eggs and bacon not that rubbish you mentioned.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 11:30

Dave Lewis, thanks for the information on the Goods Lifts, I thought it unusual for the contractors to be digging such a precise hole!
I keep thinking of that old film, Quatermass And The Pit and wonder if at night it throbs and pulsates green in the dark.

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd January 2024 at 11:34

Well said Dtease but I think the exodus has already started. At least I go when the weather is clement…

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 22nd January 2024 at 11:41

Sorry if my comment upset you Malc but I think you may have missed the point entirely but then I might have missed yours too. Perhaps you skipped the words ''whimsical & thought '' I forgive you anyway.....so now lets be best pals shall we & I'll buy you a full English if I ever get to Wigan !

Comment by: The Pit Mon on 22nd January 2024 at 11:45

Only thing Italianate about this tower is, its leaning same road as that leaning tower they have in Pizza

Comment by: Maureen on 22nd January 2024 at 11:48

Come on Malc ,get your head out of the sand. It would be a great idea, we can get sausage eggs and bacon anywhere...good idea Helen.

Comment by: Poet on 22nd January 2024 at 11:49

Helen's suggestion reminded me of the old Boddington's advert with the gondola sailing through Manchester to the refrain of 'O sole Mio ' .
Ohttps://youtu.be/ZWA3r5zMwAU?si=nZU4iZsUJAvRiL4p

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 11:57

Pit Mon, that made me smile.
I was just trying to imagine a leaning tower of Pizza, Pepperoni is my favourite! Now that would put Dominoes on the map! Thankyou.

Comment by: Poet on 22nd January 2024 at 12:07

Sorry wrong link , try this .
https://youtu.be/KGg4uhGfgB0?si=aJ6nSoFyixOxcwoT

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 22nd January 2024 at 12:29

Helen, I think Malc's comment, although using your name, wasn't actually a dig at YOU ....it was a dig VIA you at those people , (and I hold my hands up as being one of them), who don't embrace change and modernity, and who wish we still had the Wigan we had in the 1950s and 1960s, with Lowe's and Commercial Yard and The Old Arcade. But, as we CAN'T have that, I actually quite like your idea of a Plaza with Pizza and drinks! It makes Wigan sound a bit like Lytham, and though it would have to have provision for shelter and warmth in the colder days, it sounds nice.

Comment by: Cyril on 22nd January 2024 at 13:02

I too have always seen the clock tower as Italianesque in style, so yes Helen a plaza wouldn't look out of place, and with folks able to dine al fresco with good, healthy Italian food. I was also hoping beyond hope that the clock tower would be left in situ, and The Pit Mon, methinks you've been sniffing far too much of the 'Black Dust' if you are seeing the tower leaning at an angle.

You're quite right about the market hall too Irene, but no matter if that stays or a new one built the council won't lower rents as an incentive and so helping the stall holders, and if another one is built then more likely the rents will be even higher than in the old, so maybe it'll end up with even less stall holders.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 13:02

Irene, I understand your sentiments but as it stands the existing Market Hall is now isolated at the wrong side of town and there is little on the way to attract people in that direction and from what I understand of the plans, never will be.
With a new Market Hall and on the assumption that there is direct access from the Market Place it might attract a new generation of stall holders and be a success. I just hope the exterior design looks better than the shed shown on the hoardings.
I still have yearning for a repurposed existing market hall but that might be in vain.
I still have concerns about the wisdom of blocks of flats and what kind of occupants they might attract, doubt that they will be young professionals like many city centres, we can all speculate on that.

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 14:36

Helen of Troy... I'll take your offer. xx

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 14:39

Yes you can buy that junk food anywhere.
British fry-up u can't beat it. Sorry Maureen.

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 14:41

Irene...you'll do for me!

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 14:56

Male, I am sure your message was meat in ‘The Best Possible Taste’.
I do preference a good pie or fish and chips over pizza or Pisa for that matter!

Comment by: Maureen on 22nd January 2024 at 15:00

You're forgiven Malc..it's just not for moi...sorryyyyyy

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 15:45

Does anyone Know if they saved Lady Diana's plaque, it was located on top of Standish Gallery.

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 15:58

Colin, some of the stores in Galleries also had their own Goods Lifts, Heron foods, Morrisons, Argos, Greenwoods, Poundland, and Next.

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 16:35

Thank you, I'm traditional fish and chips, pie and chips, egg bacon and sausage with tomatoes. None of the pizza or kebab rubbish. Each to everyone's own.

Comment by: Sandra on 22nd January 2024 at 16:46

Malc agreed. So long as its grilled.

Comment by: Sir Bob on 22nd January 2024 at 17:02

From the machinery in the photograph, those tracked vehicle mounted pneumatic drills, you can see that they are starting to demolish the concrete base of The Galleries, I wasn't sure if that was the plan, but it obviously is, so I would say that to revert the site back to the hole in the ground from which they started with in the 1980s, it will be another two months before the demolition is complete, and then they will have to do it all over again when they demolish the Market Hall.

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 17:06

The Basement was a large area, it ran from new market street and upto woodcock sq outside pound bakery.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 22nd January 2024 at 17:42

Colin and Malc, I'm with you there! Fish and Chips, a pie, a fry-up, or a nice piece of steak for me. However, I did like Helen's idea and could definitely sit there with a glass of wine, even if I didn't have the pizza. Dave Lewis....I never thought about Lady Diana's plaque....I hope they've kept it safe.

Comment by: Colin traynor on 22nd January 2024 at 17:44

Malc, just having fish and chips for tea, salt and vinegar what could be better.

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 22nd January 2024 at 18:01

Nice one Colin, the final piece in the jigsaw. You've got 3 good pictures there that deserve archiving. I wonder, if you're up for it of course, whether the QHMM would let you take more pictures, call these before, next lot during and the final 3, after, from the same angles. The during shots, if the build comes to fruition, should be interesting. For the record, I think the clock tower should stay.

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 19:44

I'm worried Irene, having seen what the council did to that beautiful clock in Leigh Arcade over escalators, it's obvious they have no respect for our heritage, they could have put clock in Grand Arcade instead of that statue that looks more like spike Milligan than George formby.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 22nd January 2024 at 20:38

Hi Colin , just looked back at the p.a.d from the 20th to review the tripe that appears to have become my calling card of late , and saw your comment re: the rta at Spring View .

Awful experience .

I worked on vehicle recovery a number of years ago ; primarily dragging in broken down vehicles , but occasionally , (during the winter months as a rule) , we’d be called out to the multi vehicle pile-ups on the motorways .

Severed limbs and various other dismembered body parts in the recovered vehicles are not the most pleasant of sights .
But having once been seen , they can never be unseen ,… and the subconscious has an unfortunate tendency to regurgitate these images periodically .

I may be posting this in the wrong place , and If I’ve been too graphic , I apologise .

I apologise also to those who haven’t read Colin’s post regarding his traumatic experience and for interrupting the p.a.d. as well .

Comment by: . Ozy . on 22nd January 2024 at 20:42

By the way Veronica , from where did you get the notion that water entered the equation ?

Comment by: . Ozy . on 22nd January 2024 at 20:51

Oh ! , and I forgot …
Sorry Mick , … should have asked sooner .
Have you had the knee op yet ?

Comment by: Malc on 22nd January 2024 at 20:58

Colin your my number one.

Comment by: Pru on 22nd January 2024 at 21:09

The frontage top left where there is a "join" seems to be sagging when viewed from the road.

Comment by: Veronica on 22nd January 2024 at 21:10

Apologies Ozy I’ve probably got mixed up with another post now that you have mentioned it.
Mind you spitting used to be an offence at one time. Not that you would do that I’m sure.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 22nd January 2024 at 22:19

Athough offensive , Im not sure if spitting was ever an actual offence , although I do recall seeing signs on the corporation buses attempting to dissuade the travelling public from doing so .

I don’t think that piddling in the shallow end was ever a criminal offence either , but if it wasn’t , then it most certainly should have been …

Not that I was ever culpable of such a reprehensible act you understand .

Besides … me mam would never let me go to Wiggin baths for fear of me getting polio .

The defence now rests its case .

Comment by: Owd Reekie on 22nd January 2024 at 22:39

What time was this pic taken? The 2 clocks on the tower show different times (maybe the other 2 faces show two different times as well).

Comment by: Dave lewis on 22nd January 2024 at 23:52

Old Reekie, the clock had to be altered when clocks went back or forward, this was done by ascending the stairwell which was spiral half way up then a straight climb to clock tower, you had to wear a safety harness when doing this, and I can tell you the clock kept perfect time however when council announced the demolition the market manager who looked after this job moved on to better his career, and no one has looked after the clock since his departure.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 23rd January 2024 at 04:19

Dave L. I have been told that it is in storage but will ask further.

Comment by: Veronica on 23rd January 2024 at 06:47

Apologies again Ozy for-the crassness of my previous post. I have only just read Colin’s post. I hadn’t realised the enormity of the trauma you endured as a youngster. I ‘imagined’ a minor offence!
I’m off out early today with appointments at the hospital so this was my priority.

Comment by: Sandra on 23rd January 2024 at 09:20

Spitting is a dirty filthy habit.
Throwing cig ends on the floor IS an offence, so should Spitting.

Comment by: Dave Lewis on 23rd January 2024 at 09:24

Thanks Colin, I truly hope so.

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