Peter Kay!! I was in your class and yes, I do remember the blacksmith - I used to walk past it every time I went to the Methdist Wesleyan School. Opposite was a place where we used to shout "Any bobbins?" and the girls would open the window and toss a few bobbins to us. I also remember you tied up a young teacher (Miss Butterworth?). I was the second smallest boy in the class - the smallest was Gareth John who died young. We were both friends of Ian McLellen (who played Magneto & Gandalf - now Sir Ian). Another friend was David Boardman - I was envious when I found him in the cloakroom with half a dozen girls queuing up to kiss him! Wish I had that magnetism. Love to hear from you - DRCWHITEHEAD@AOL.COM
I remember visiting the Wesleyan School and Standishgate Methodist Church where my parents were married in 1943. My great uncle, William Moorfield was one of the organists. My aunt, Miss Bertha Moorfield was head-mistress of the Wesleyan School in Dicconson Street until 1953 when she moved to a new school in Kesgrave nr Ipswich in Suffolk. In 1951 she took the children on a trip to London to the Festival of Britain. I am fortunate to have cine-film of the children on this trip. Also I have film of the children maypole dancing in the school playground and of the infants visiting Mesnes Park. Also in the early 1950s.
My aunt and my mother had the hairdressers shop next door to the school and Gorden the barber was on the other side .Dicconson St was a very busy street when I was at school at St Johns. I also used to go to the youth club above St Johns hall.
Hi Les,thanks for that,have sent you an eamil so here we go !!!!!
Hi Carol.have decided to send you my e mail number. cheers les.its MOORELES49AYAHOO.CO.UK
Hi Carol.Thanks for your reply. was great to hear off you.i know what you mean about e mail address.hope to hear off you soon.take care.cheers.Les.
Hi Les,I would love to contact you ,I will try to see if I can get some info for you,I don't like to put my email addy on here but I will find a way to get it to you...so exited Cheers Carol
hi.This is in response to Carol Naylor.Hi Carol.I am your cousin.i remmember you all well.auntie olive and uncle dickie.i used to stay at your house in worsley hall sometimes.when we were all kidds.my name is leslie the oldest son.i have an older sisterLeila and 2 younger brothers Gordon andPhillip.i still live in wigan.scholes.im 64 now.i have a lot of information on the moore family history.going back as far as 1864 when our greatgrand Henry moore married a margaret knowles in up holland wigan.his father james moore was born in ireland about 1808.You are welcome to keep in touch carol.
This is a response to l Moore who lived in Dicconson St,I think you are my cousin as My uncle and his family lived in that house and their name was Moore I remember visiting and playing in the school grounds on the weekends we thought it was great..My name then was Carol Myers I had an older sister Linda and a brother Cliff,My Mum's name who was your fathers sister was Olive
me my father and my brother lived at 7 dicconson st until the end of 1975.number 7 was inbetween st johns hall and the wesleyan school.my parents had been the caretakers of standishgate methodist church from 1961 until 1970.i remmember the houses on the opposite side of the street being demolised.
i lived at no 12 dicconson st next door to the shoe shop,we were the last family to move out prior to demolition in 1971. i remember gordon the barber, no 22 was a lodging house if i remember, also rememer big amy and ivy the local policewomen.
Sorry to all that are interested, especially the ladies. I think I got the name of the parish priest wrong, mentioned previously. I think I should have said it was Father Kennedy, correct me if I'm STILL wrong!!!
I remember all of the places mentioned,plus St. Johns Hall,same side as Plumbs,just after the Methodist school. St. Johns was the place were the late actor Ken Parry started his career.The upstairs was used as a youth club when I was in my teens,about the mid 50's,and I used 2 attend with my mates,(when the parish priest, Fr o'connell) would let me in,me not bein a Catholic He was a really nice bloke, and I had a lot of respect for him.Referring to the 'knockin shop' as David put it, I remember it well.We could stand on the upstairs landing, and look directly into the upstairs rooms of this house of ill repute,as it was directly opposite.We got rumbled by the priest eventually, because there was more lads on the landing, jostling for a vantage point, than there was in the youth club!!On a more sombre note, the club was were i became friends with Mick Burke, the mountaineer, when were about 15. He was climbing mad then, hitching alift every week end up to the Lakes. He would be on Wigan lane,nr the Cherry Gardens, on a Friday ev, thumbing for a lift.In those days, Wigan Lane, the A49, was the main road 2 the North, there being no motorways in those days. We both started work about the same time, and, by coincidence, found that we were both working in Manchester, and travelled on the same train. We eventually lost touch, changing jobs and growing out of youth clubs, but I continued to follow his career,as he became famous as a climber and expert camera man. I was very saddened when the news that he was missing on Everest came out. I still miss him to this day, even tho' I only knew him in my teens. He was a good friend, and had dry humour, allways looked on the bright side. R.I.P.Mick, think of you often to this day.
my parents were the cartakers of standishgate methodist church from 1961 until 1970.we lived in the church house across the road.next door to the wesleyan school.the church was demolised some in 1970.the school became a carpet shop sometime in the midd sixties.
I think it was 22 upper dicconson st!!
I remember David Pyke tellin us there was a nockin shop in Dicconst St. We never found it. Think he got confused with the nunnery Claire was on about.
I was born in Worsley Mesnes, Wigan, in 1937 and attended the Weslyan Methodist Infants school in Dicconson Street until 1948. During the lunch time, in the early 1940s, a group of us often went to a blacksmiths yard located in a narrow street joining Mesnes Street with Dicconson St. I can still remember the smell of the burning horse's hooves as they were reshod, and vividly remember sparks flying as the new, red hot shoes were adjusted on the anvil. A memory that is still vivid today. Does anyone else remember this smithy
My grandmother's half-brother was an Aussie footballer who was bought by Wigan - Hector Gee. He lived at 37 Dicconson Street, according to his marriage certificate of 1936. He married Anne Hitchen. She lived at Ince Hall Cottage, before her marriage. Anyone remember them?????
Not many contributions of late. I remember a nunnery I once visisted as a young girl in the 50s. I cannot recall if it was in Dickinson Street or near the old British Homestores but we had to go down an alley or two to get to it. Anyone got a clue?
In trhe 1960's, John Fisher and I were on night duty on foot with Wigan Police in Dicconson Street when we got a call on our radios that a motor coach had been seen being driven off the market square at about 2am. The coach then appeared with crashing gears travelling along Standishgate towards the traffic lights at Greenough Street, indicated right and stopped at the red light. John and I got on board unnoticed through an open side door and went to the front of the coach. The look on the driver's face and his accomplice who was standing beside him looking ahead was one never to be forgotten as John said, "Tickets please", and I told him to drive to Wigan Central police station in King Street when the lights changed to green. He promptly obliged and drove himself to the cells.
being born in 1927 and a true wiganer i can remember many things. The one that sticks in my memory the most is in the depth of Winter,when we had SNOW, living in Shaw Street,and that unreal time when playing for the day had finished, all alone, as I stood outside our house, under the gas lamp, with snow falling gently,silence,it was another world.
Hi Cliff. I am Cliff too. Probably should have said that although I was born and brought up in Wigan I now live in Adelaide. Just to add a note on Dicconson St. It was frequented by itinerant people and businesses and hence got a "dodgy" reutation. In the early seventies there was indeed a "massage parlour" with private sauna rooms. It was frequented by, amongst others, Wgan RL players. Me and my mates went occasionally but experienced nothing out of the ordinary. It shut down after a short period reputedly under police pressure.
The author of the last posting,is not by the name implied, coward ! come out! show yourself.and by the way It was nos 24 and 26.and they were bookmakers, of the turf. say no more!
In my time no 22 was a credit drapers. many of todays Wigan business men started out from there. At least that is what they claim it was. Dicconson St had a dubious reputation but I think that this was just an urban myth - unless anyone can shed further light!
in the 60s was no 22 dicconson street infamous for being a house of ill repute?.we used to knock on the door and leg it
I lived for a while with my Auntie Greta Bryson & Family in Diccinson St & went to the Wesleyan School at the end of the street. The Playground at school was half under the school, one part for boys the other for the girls. There was a main hall with stairs at each end going up to classrooms, 4 in all. We would cross the road to the church rooms to have singing lessons & at Christmas we had a carol service in the church. I remember having to do one of the readings standing up in the balcony beside the organ. I can still recite the words......and there were shepherds abiding in the fields......... I too could go on for pages, like the lady in Sth Africia
How much land has been sold to the developers to create this council orientated piece of vote catching rubbish. The future generations of Wiganers will have nothing of Wigan to call thier own it will all belong to some millionairs who live in some sunny foriegn land. So thanks very much Lord Smith from Leigh and all your scrounging councillors.You wont be getting my vote come the June elections.
My uncle used to be the caretaker of the church in the late 50s early 60s I remember visiting them on the weekends and playing in the grounds..sad to here it is no longer there
I was born in my Grandparents house, 38 Dicconson Street, in 1931. I wonder if this section still exists? I believe that at one stage the Formby's were neighbours some time in the early 1900's when George Formby Jnr was still a schoolboy. He and my Uncle became quite good friends. I remember as a very small child being held up at one of the front windows of the house to watch the Lamp Lighter lighting the street lights every evening, presumably still gas in those days. He had a long pole with a little hook at the end and pulled one of two small cords and, with a puff and splutter, two little gauze like globes ignited, the glow slowly growing in intensity to light the street. I remember my Grandfather taking me to see the first Belisha Beacon on the corner of Mesnes Street. The processions of school children dressed in White carrying banners..was it Corpus Christie or May Day or both, or some other custom peculiar to Wigan? Was it Rushton's Grocers on the corner where we sat on high stools while the assistants sliced the Bacon we requested? The wonderful smell of tomatoes as they were put into a brown paper bag that was expertly spun round in the air and the corners twisted tightly to seal the packet. The butter cut to size and paddled with two large wooden paddles some of which had a design carved into them, before being expertly and swiftly wrapped in crisp white paper. No such thing as pre-packed plastic packets,or self service. Shopping was a much more elegant pastime in those days. Hat and gloves the order of the day! Whose was the tobacconist where the girls were on view in the window rolling cigars? I also remember the coal carts arriving at the house, pulled by magnificent horses, the drivers faces covered in coal dust, throwing coal from their sacks down a chute from a covered manhole on the pavement to the left of the front door, sending it thundering down to the lower basement, where it was used to stoke the boilers, and the fires under the huge washing tubs in the first basement, the maids swirling the washing with a three pronged wooden'dolly', and putting it through huge wooden mangles. The coal also carted upstairs by the maids to make the fire in the kitchen under the oven in a huge open fireplace, and other fires in the living rooms and bedrooms. There were seven bedrooms and five bathrooms so it took some heating. The coal miners on the buses, their clothes, hands and faces black with coal dust, still wearing their helmets with the little lamps on them, and that acrid tarry smell of the coal..long before the days of showers at the Pit Head. The Mill girls with their shawls and clogs, one of whom actually removed me from my pram outside Marks & Spencers and took me home to show me off to her mother when I was about six months old. Of course I don't remember that but am told it caused great consternaton until the Police got a few clues from other Mill girls and finally located me. My Grandfather was the Foster of Thomas and Foster Tailors, and of course well known to many of the girls who worked in the local Mills as much of the cotton fabrics that were used for linings and interfacings were purchased locally - apparently the reason I was 'kidnapped' was I was taken home to be shown off as owd Foster's daughters baby! Does anyone remember Thomas & Foster's Tailors? I think their workshop was in Wigan Lane. And does anyone remember Lane's Cake shop in Mesnes Street, run, and I think owned, by Mary Lane and Alice James her sister? I can still taste their Eccles cakes, and the Baps, neither of which have ever been heard of in South Africa. I loved going there to watch the chefs kneading dough, making pastry, in a fine cloud of flour, and taking huge trays of pies from the ovens, and the wonderful smell that permeated the air. Mary and Alice were relations, possibly my Grandmothers nieces, possibly her cousins, or maybe even her sisters. I referred to them as Great Aunts! My grandmother was a James and her brother Joseph lived at 27 Dicconson Street. Until I was five years old we lived in Gathurst, first in 'Akersfield' and later in 'Moda Cottage' in Gathurst Lane and I actually started School at the age of 3 at Shevington Primary School, before moving to Kent and later to Essex. Your map showing Gathurst wood and photos of Gathurst Lane revived memories of long walks in the woods behind the house, picking Bluebells and Primroses, and in the hot summer months waiting for the Ice Cream man to make his way down Gathurst Lane in his little horse drawn, canopied cart. Oh those wonderful ice cream cones, or better still the ever so grown up ice cream sandwich between two round or square wafers, the latter being a treat allowed on special occasions only, I think because they cost 3d and the cones 1d a time. For a short time during the war in late 1941/42 we lived with my Grandmother in Eccleston Street,Wigan, which she purchased after selling the Dicconson Street house after she was widowed in 1938. Her neighbours there were the Burns family - Mr Burns had a Glass works in town and until a few years ago I still had an Art Deco mirror he made for my mother. We were seeking refuge from the bombing in Essex, ironically arriving the night the one and only bomb fell on Wigan. At least, if it was not the only one it was certainly the first. I attended St Michael's Church School for a short period and also remember walking to Hope Street Presbyterian Church to attend Sunday Service, where I saw no reason for not being allowed to drink one of the little glasses of wine in wooden trays, passed along the pews for Communion. I wondered if this was the Church that one of the other queries referred to. Not the one mentioned in Dicconson Street. A favourite outing was to Mesnes Park to feed the Swans. Cutting cubes of bread for this purpose was a very solemn ritual - there had to be enough to fill two paper bags, at least. If anyone reading this remembers my Grandparents or any of the Foster or James families,or the places I have mentioned, I would love to hear from them. Thank you for a wonderful journey into the past. In the fifty years I have lived in South Africa I have met only one person from Wigan who could share any of these memories with me. I could fill another ten pages reminiscing although seeing and hearing about all the changes that have taken place is sad in a way, and it certainly makes one realise just how old one is!! This has been a great experience though, recalling my roots, and my apologies for having rambled on so, and for not being able to actually answer any of your listed queries. I will return often now that I have discovered you, and wish you much good luck with this site. THELMA HURLY (nee Sneddon)
The church was the Methodist Church, on the opposite side of Dicconson Street was the Weslyan School for Infants. As a young boy I remember going across to the church for prayers. All the teachers at the Weslyan School were women. When I was there Miss Lathom was Headmistress, Mrs Clarke was the junior teacher and Alice White who everybody loved taught English.