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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 8th March, 2024)

The Centre Bay

The Centre Bay
A wide angle view of Wallgate Station from near the centre bay.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-HX99)
Views: 1,451

Comment by: Veronica on 8th March 2024 at 07:19

I was there yesterday the first time since before Christmas. I was shocked to see many trees chopped down along the railway lines. The ground covered in sawdust.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 8th March 2024 at 08:53

It's years since I've been on that station! A friend of mine who started work at The Wigan Observer Office in 1960 used to travel to work by train from Hindley North Station, and told me there used to be a little atmospheric refreshment room on Wallgate Station, like the one in Brief Encounter, with etched windows and cakes and sandwiches displayed under glass domes, and he used to buy a cup of hot Oxo on Winter afternoons whilst waiting for his train, with the smell of steam all around. Magic! We only ever went to Southport from Ince Station when I was a child, so I never knew Wallgate Station back then. I've since been to Southport and Manchester from there, but not for years now, But what I'd give to have seen that Refreshment Room! What do YOU say, Veronica?! xxx

Comment by: Sandra on 8th March 2024 at 08:59

The trees get chopped down before they go into leaf, it's better for passengers to view the countryside and helps stops train delays.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th March 2024 at 09:09

Nice shot Dennis, I was on the station a few week back but it must be many years since I walked down the platform, I’d forgotten those buffers were there.
Wish they would get rid of all the wild bushes sprouting out of the walls and track side and maintain the flower beds better, it wouldn’t seem so quite run down.

Comment by: Garry on 8th March 2024 at 10:08

The track and buffers is the terminal for Wallgate to Kirkby line. At one time, the there were two track to each side of the platforms, now there's only one each.
The left line is the Hindley to Manchester and the right is Southport or Liverpool line.

Comment by: Arthur on 8th March 2024 at 10:15

Is that you waiting for your train to the left Veronica. The station needs bringing up to date....looks a little run-down.

Comment by: Ian on 8th March 2024 at 11:33

It is a nice station and it is quite a miracle that it has not been replaced by some awful concrete block. I am always pleased to see the station maintaining a strong percentage of its historical architecture. Although, I feel that certain relatively modern additions do not blend well with older parts of the railway station.
I use it reasonably often and I find the railway station staff friendly.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th March 2024 at 12:26

I was wondering if more train lines are being added on. There seems to be a lot of work going on. I wouldn’t be surprised. Give me the train any day..when they are running! No it’s not me Arthur. It was in the afternoon when I was there and quite a few people waiting for the train. In fact my £10 had run out but they let me through coming in - I topped my bus pass up going back.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th March 2024 at 12:51

Irene - the trees have been removed to make space for the forthcoming electrification gantries and the workers erecting them.
Next thing they need to get rid of are the forests of Japanese Knotweed which will soon be sprouting up once again.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th March 2024 at 13:08

Yes that was when there was a bit of life on the station Irene. I vaguely remember the cafe with its steamed up windows. Plus the Newsagents at the end. AND the waiting room with a fireplace in it.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 8th March 2024 at 13:41

Ian, quite right.
It might be old, it might be a bit scruffy but its full of Victorian character and memories unlike that windswept, bland, featureless 1972 station across the road.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 8th March 2024 at 14:25

It was Veronica who commented about the trees, Rev. David, but thankyou for your reply. I know what you mean, though, about the Japanese Knotweed; my daughter and her husband lives up on Lewis and they had a similar thing called "Gunnera" growing around their home and it was a nightmare to shift. Nature can be a force to be reckoned with!

Comment by: Ian on 8th March 2024 at 14:37

Colin, I fully agree.

Comment by: Jembo on 8th March 2024 at 14:44

Those flower beds etc in the middle looked great last time I was there a few years ago.

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 8th March 2024 at 15:06

You’re right there Colin, there is almost nothing left of the old North Western.
In the days of steam it was a glorious place for us kids to go train spotting, not just for the engines but the whole atmosphere that went with the them.
It was two old pence for a platform ticket and just watching the World go past in front of you made it well worth while.

Comment by: Meg on 8th March 2024 at 15:14

I remember, in the dim and distant past, going to the station with my parents and siblings to catch the train to the seaside. We children would be hopping up and down with excitement waiting for the train to come through the tunnel with the whistle blowing. Then the hurry to climb into a carriage being careful to mind the gap. Waiting for the guard to check all the carriage doors were shut tight then hearing him blow his whistle and off we would go.
I remember arriving back at the station after a day of sun, sometimes sea (if we were lucky ,it being Southport) and sand--- walking towards the steps past the engine. I remember it so clearly. The clouds of noisy hissing steam, the smell of the engine, the heat coming from the cab and the train driver leaning out to give us a friendly smile and a wave.Then up the steps, which seemed a mile high to tired little legs, and home to supper and bed.
Thank you Dennis, you brought back a happy memory x

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 8th March 2024 at 18:39

Meg, that was lovely and echoed my own memories perfectly! Thankyou.

Comment by: DerekB on 8th March 2024 at 18:59

In the early 60s my drinking buddies and myself used to buy a platform ticket so that we could go into the station refreshment room to buy Blue Bass on draught which wasn't then sold in any town centre pub.

Comment by: Cyril on 8th March 2024 at 20:15

When I was volunteering at the RSPCA on York Street around ten years ago there was then Japanese Knotweed spreading from the railway embankment, the rail authority wouldn't do anything about it and the RSPCA said they couldn't do anything with it, as to even try cutting it back - even on their land could involve a fine from the environment office or some government body.
Parts of the embankment actually gave way either last year or the year before, and maybe caused by this knotweed spreading and destabilising it.
Irene Gunnera plants can be quite expensive to buy in garden centres, folks have them in their gardens as a feature, when mature the stems and leaves look like giant Rhubarb, I didn't know that could spread out of control. I remember when we once stayed at farm cottage near Stranraer they had New Zealand Flax growing everywhere and it did look quite nice, however the owners said when it has taken hold the roots are like iron and go deep down and spreading, and it's very difficult to be rid of it, I at first was thinking of taking a root, but thought best not. James Martin the TV chef was once saying the same about Horseradish, as he said he'd planted a root of it in his garden and within no time it had spread everywhere with roots going down deep.

Comment by: Pat McC on 8th March 2024 at 20:46

Lovely photograph, which brings back memories. In 1974 I remember catching the train to Southport from this station, for a day on the beach with my two sons aged 3 years and 9 months, and a pushchair that weighed a ton! After dragging the pushchair across about a quarter of mile of sand (in the hope of seeing the sea) we sat on the beach, only to be bombarded with swarms of ladybirds. Half an hour later we were making the trip in reverse. Not exactly what I'd planned for them!

Comment by: DerekB on 8th March 2024 at 21:13

Re Wigan North West station. Surely it is now much more attractive and user friendly than the miserable dump it was prior to it's 70s modernisation, at the time when the West Coast line was electrified. Similarly, Wallgate station and the entrance to it has been greatly improved.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 8th March 2024 at 21:51

That’s a coincidence Pat … I’m sure it was the summer of 1974 or 75 when I was loading shipping containers from Ireland off Garston dock that a veritable plague of ladybirds descended on the place.

I have no idea where they came from , Ireland possibly , making landfall on the Mersey estuary .

There must have been countless millions of them . They all settled on the side walls of the white containers on the quayside turning them red , that’s how close together the insects were clustered .

I’d never experienced anything comparable previously , and neither have I seen the like since .

Comment by: . Ozy . on 8th March 2024 at 22:06

[ edit ] according to information gleaned from the internet , the plague of ladybirds that I experienced was possibly the one that occurred in the long hot summer of 1976 .

Comment by: Pat McC on 9th March 2024 at 09:03

You're right Ozy - I've got the date wrong. Remember that the beach towels, bags etc were covered in ladybirds, and we were coming off the beach in a very short time!

Comment by: Carolaen on 10th March 2024 at 18:50

Derek B (and others) Are you sure about the refreshment rooms I travelled many times from this station in the 1950s through to the 1970s and have no memory of a refreshment room. though I have strong memories of the newspaper stall at the end, the waiting romm and the metal stamping machine.

I also have strong memories of me (and other teenage pals) going to the buffet bar at the North West Station and it being very like the one if Brief Encounter As time goes by eh?

Comment by: DerekB on 11th March 2024 at 14:51

Carolean, there was definitely a refreshment room on Wallgate station. Access to it was from the Manchester bound platform. I always remember it being lit by electricity, whilst all the other lighting on the platforms was still by gas into the 60s.

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