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Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 29th January, 2024)

Stratford upon Avon or Wigan?


Stratford upon Avon or Wigan?
This once fine example of a Mock Tudor building built in 1921 is the former Grand Hotel locked up and neglected for many years.
Once a popular town centre venue for weddings, funerals and parties, its Pit Prop Bar was a popular destination in the 1970’s.
With the demise of this hotel, the Victoria, the Bellingham hotel and the Oak now a refuge for the homeless, Wigan it would seem has lost its attraction for visitors.
Why then are the council planning to build a new one opposite the Queens Hall?

Photo: Colin Traynor  (iPhone)
Views: 2,041

Comment by: Garry on 29th January 2024 at 05:39

Another fine building going to the dogs, been there once to a Wedding in the 1970s and was lovely. Sad to see it in this sorry condition.

Comment by: It's me again on 29th January 2024 at 07:31

Irene and Veronica don't blame Wigan Council for the decline of this building, its nothing to do with the argonisation.

Comment by: PeterP on 29th January 2024 at 07:32

Yet another example of how what was a fine building as allowed to rot away and it would be cheaper to demolish this grot spot than try to refurbish it. On about hotels what happened to the plan to build one with retail units at the bottom of Millgate?

Comment by: Arthur on 29th January 2024 at 07:33

Very sad to see the once fine building going to ruin. Hope someone steps in to renovated it.

Comment by: freddie on 29th January 2024 at 08:51

i will believe it all when i see it, it isn't clear how it is all funded

Comment by: Sandra on 29th January 2024 at 09:00

The Council need to spent money on potholes through out the bourgh, not waste money on a new build opp Queens Hall.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 09:05

Too expensive to refurbish and equip to a standard modern day travellers and business people expect and little in the way of parking, suppose their days were numbered.
We still have the memories of better times, but what will become of them?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 09:10

PeterP, I had forgotten about that, I thing it was going to be flats, or in executive terms, apartments.
That soon bit the dust!

Comment by: Peter Walsh on 29th January 2024 at 09:32

Yet another one . Visitors to an historic town want the ' Old Town' with the history, the old Pubs with their ghost stories , old cafes and shops in arcades and alleys like Yorks Snickleways and all around a beautiful medieval church.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 29th January 2024 at 09:37

What a depressing sight.
Well, surely WMC could do something about buildings left like this, find out who owns it & make them do something about it. Compulsory Purchase it for instance. There are ways & means. Still I expect
Wigan Council are up to their eyes in debt & don't want more hassle of rotting buildings & blots on the landscape that depress their council tax payers.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 29th January 2024 at 09:39

I used to love going in here 1969-71,also been to several weddings here.x

Comment by: Veronica on 29th January 2024 at 09:45

Sounds like Gypsy Rose Lee on here this morning…
The last time I heard there were immigrants residing here. Obviously it’s gone the way of many other beautiful buildings.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 29th January 2024 at 10:02

"it's me again", (whoever you are), if you can't put your correct name on here I can't be bothered answering your comment above. People might or might not agree with my views on the council and on Wigan's fine buildings but when they read my comments they know who is speaking. I have never and WILL never hide behind a false name.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 29th January 2024 at 10:12

Well said Peter !

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 10:24

Veronica, as I recall I think there was an issue with young girls hanging around outside and I don’t think they were tourists looking for accommodation!!!!

Comment by: ex wiganer on 29th January 2024 at 11:22

Just looks like a third world country!

Comment by: daveo18 on 29th January 2024 at 11:53

Helen of Troy - If you really believe about it being easy for the council to compulsory purchase or force improvement have a look at the shocking saga of the Ayr Station Hotel. (though admittedly that is Scottish law).

Comment by: Cyril on 29th January 2024 at 12:50

It will have been too bad for those immigrants/refugees to live in Veronica so they would have upped sticks and left for a life of luxury at Kilhey Court.

It'll take more than a coat of paint and a Grand to smarten that up, and also must be in a terrible state inside too with being on fire: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/firefighters-tackle-blaze-former-grand-10891350

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 12:58

daveo18, not quite sure of your point. The Ayr Hotel closed around 2012 and has since been devastated by a fire, now unsafe I believe the southern section of Ayr Station has been closed. Apparently one 'Sunny Ung' owes it, owes Ayrshire Council money.
Clearly the likes of The Griffin Hotel have been the target of arsonists. Perhaps many of Wigan's abandoned building are owned by Malaysian or other foreign businessmen with more money than sense to spend on speculative business opportunities that they are clueless to operate.
Wigan Athletic in the past have been a prime example!!!
Manu thanks for your contribution.

Comment by: PaulP on 29th January 2024 at 13:49

Stratford upon Avon should actually be Stratford -upon-Avon. The hyphens are important to them but well done for using the correct lower case u for the upon part. The denizens become upset about the mispellings.
If you think this is pedantic (which it is ) you need to be even more careful with Bradford on Avon. They go ballistic down there if you use upon instead of on.

Comment by: Garry on 29th January 2024 at 14:08

Disagreeing with the Council is a good way for people to get things off his or her chest. I regularly disagree with Wigan Council if it's justified and will continue to do just that.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 15:29

Thank you PauP for pointing out my grammatical misdemeanour.
Bradford-on-Avon is a lovely place is a lovely place to visit. I worked and stayed there many times in the last 30 years while working in Westbury.
The Dandelion is one of my favourite pubs to eat and the rail link to Bristol, Bath and Portsmouth superb.
Hope any grammatical errors do not offend?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 29th January 2024 at 15:38

Garry, I fully agree but doubt any of the councillors ever even look at WW or any other form of view’s until election time, at which time they spout all kinds of promises never to be fulfilled.
Is it any wonder democracy in the western world is falling into disrepute?

Comment by: Garry on 29th January 2024 at 16:59

I understand that Colin, but people like me do feel much better once I get it off my chest. I make my point not to the Council, but to my fellow contributors on Wigan World. And sometimes they agree.

Comment by: Sir Bob on 29th January 2024 at 18:13

In the 1970s I used to go in the Pit Prop Bar at the Grand Hotel, suppin Younger Tartan Special, as you went in you turned left and walked down to it, through two rooms and three steps and the Pit Prop Bar was at the bottom, it was only small, with drawings on the wall of Coal Mine Scenes.

As regards it being an hotel, I think it would make a good Travelodge, it has a small car park at the back, but it would probably cost too much now to repair and make into a hotel, but look at what Premier Inn did with the old police station in Harrogate Street.

Comment by: It's me again on 29th January 2024 at 19:09

I don't blame you, but it's on deaf ears

Comment by: Pat McC on 29th January 2024 at 20:11

Visited Wigan last week for the first time in five years. My husband is a Wiganer born and bred. We walked up Market Street and couldn't believe our eyes- without trying to be overly dramatic, the area has been decimated. We were staring open-mouthed at what once was the entrance to Wigan Market, Morrison's car park etc, when a lady walked passed, looked at us and just said "horrible". When I asked my husband what he thought, he just said "I don't recognise it". How sad.
Irene - they can't knock down the spirit of the people of Wigan, like they've done its heritage, thank goodness.

Comment by: Owd Reekie on 29th January 2024 at 20:18

Whenever I see a building like this, magnificent in its day and now derelict, it always brings to mins Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias of Egypt”. It tells that greatness never lasts forever. The Roman Empire, Wigan Rugby League, even the Grand Hotel in Wigan. I used to go in here on Saturday nights in the early 70’s. Good memories brought back to me as I no longer live in Wigan and not seen the building for a long time. Thanks Colin.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 29th January 2024 at 21:36

Pat McC and Mr. McC....I did ask you a couple of weeks ago to let us know what you thought of Wigan on your visit here....thankyou for doing so and I'm sorry that you had to see it in the sorry state that it is in at the moment.

Comment by: Les on 29th January 2024 at 21:58

Our local paper the Wigan Observer is no-longer printed in Wigan, we have lost so much over the years. Rathbones and Harveys bakers of bread all gone. If we at Wigan were given prizes for Junk foods, ie pizzas, kebabs and barbers shops, Wigan would win.

Comment by: Pat McC on 29th January 2024 at 21:58

One thing the Council Planning Dept can't do is obliterate the memories and heritage of a proud northern town like Wigan. It lives on in Wigan people's hearts and minds.

Comment by: Alan on 29th January 2024 at 22:03

Irene......at the moment, Wigan has lost it's identity...sadly.

Comment by: Tom on 30th January 2024 at 06:48

Wigan got two railway stations, a bus station, a lovely park, a great , Haigh plantations, lovely canal walks, lots of birdllife on the flashes, Wigan pier, an historical flight of canal locks, and Wiganword. So what more do you want.

Comment by: Veronica on 30th January 2024 at 08:13

Wigan as a major town has lost it for good no matter whatever is thrown up in place. Most people keep away finding other places to go to it’s just not worth going there anymore. Same with Bolton. I haven’t been for weeks and weeks. I think I have been twice since September last.. unheard of for me. It’s heartbreaking because it’s my home town when all is said and done. I’m sure it’s the same for many people.

Comment by: John Brown on 30th January 2024 at 09:31

I was in a band in the late 80s called, 'Katch5' We played our first ever gig here, at a wedding reception. We did ok, but I was terrified. I've been in other bands too, but never fully shook off the feeling known as stage-fright. P.S. The Hotel was in very good shape then, it's a real mess now though.

Comment by: Tarquin Henderson on 30th January 2024 at 17:05

Thanks to Colin's prompt I am posting a short note here. As some may have read already on other photos of The Grand, my Grandfather, Jack Henderson, was an owner of the hotel in the 60s and 70s. When he died, he passed it on to his three sons including my Dad. But he'd also moved the family south (after over 100 years in Wigan) by then too. Dad and my Uncles worked hard to keep the Grand going but it was hard not being close by. In the end it was sold to a group and so the sad slide toward closure began. I have many very happy memories of being a kid there. I promise that if I win the lottery tonight, I'll buy it back and turn it into a community led space.

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