Old News, 1969

Council say no to shoot plan

   An application by a youth to shoot vermin on council-owned land at Standish was turned down by members of the local Health Committee on Tuesday night after a strong objection from the police.
   The youth also wanted to shoot pigeons, rats and rabbits on a small patch of rough land near Fairhurst House at Standish.
   At the metting, a letter from the police against the application stated that there were several public footpaths in the area and a railway line was near-by.
   If the application from the youth was granted, it would "open a door" and other people with guns would probably go on to the land without permission.
   In addition to the police objection, a protest was received from the Wigan Branch of the RSPCA.


Firm cuts out night shift

   A Wigan works has scrapped its nightshift... to help neighbouring residents sleep more soundly.
   Flat-dwellers in Elliot Drive, Worsley Mesnes, found they were being kept awake by things going bump in the night at the old Worsley Mesnes Ironworks occupied now by Readson Engineering Ltd.
   But when works officials heard of their protests, they took immediate action in sympathy with the residents.
   Now the firm's working day has been arranged and the night shift brought to a halt.
   A spokesman for the firm said this week: "When we first received the complaints, we put up signs to keep all doors in the works closed."
   "But this step was unsuccessful and we decided the best answer would be stop night work altogether."
   Another official said: "We like to keep on friendly terms with the neighbours and anyone who still has a complaint can come in and see us."
   "The noisy jobs which caused the protests will now all be done during the day. The men did not mind coming off nights. I don't think their pay will be affected."
   Mrs Molly Owens, of Elliot Drive, one of 40 people who signed a protest petition to Wigan Corporation, gave her verdict on the new arrangement.
   "It's much better - at least we can get to sleep now," she said. "But we really suffered for a long time."


Petitioners tell of disgusting stench

   A smouldering slag heap at Standish gives off such obnoxious fumes that a local resident is threatening to enlist the help of his MP if the local council fails to rid the district of the nuisance.
   A petition signed by 39 residents of Chorley Road, Bridge Avenue and Hawthorn Avenue in the Boar's Head area of Standish was received by the local Health Committee on Tuesday night.
   And after hearing that the residents believed the fumes were a health hazard, officials of Standish Council were given "blanket power" to take action.
   A letter from Mr. A. Smith - who collected the signatures - stated that the spoil banks were a left-over from the old Victoria Colliery.
   He said: "The air reeks of sulphur fumes and we think this constitutes a serious hazard to health. A number of people have told me that they suffer from bronchitis that they never had before and they are convinced it is because of the pollution."
   "If something isn't done immediately to remove this distinguishing stench, I promise you I will personally notify the Member of Parliament of this nuisance."
   Standish Council's Chief Public Health Inspector, Mr. B. L. Parker, said the letter was a true statement of the situation and was the reaction of a reasonable man.
   The nuisance created by the spoil heap had been discussed before and a letter had gone to the present owners a month ago. A reply had not been received.
   The Committee heard that because of the terrible smell, one person had threatened to with-hold his rates.
   A letter to the owners from Standish Council stated that their excavations and removal of red shale from the spoil bank had only served to activate combustion on a scale never before known.
   The combustion was now spreading into the pre-1940 part of the heap.
   Mr. Parker said that when the wind blew in a certain direction, the bad smell could be detected near the Cherry Gardens Hotel at Wigan.
   Committee Chairman, Councillor E. Garner said it seemed they were getting little co-operation from the owners and the time had arrived for action.
   At the suggestion of Councillor J. Healen, the Committee agreed to give their officials blanket power to deal with the situation.
   The Clerk, Mr. H. W. Harris, said certain lines of action were already in operation but he added "I would rather not disclose anything more at the moment."


Strike may stay baths opening

   Hindley's new swimming baths on the Castle Hill Estate were due to be unofficially opened early in January, but a strike hundreds of miles away may halt plans.
   Council Surveyor, Mr. Brian Rollinson, revealed this week that a major part to be used to heat the water had not been delivered because of a strike at the factory.
   He said: "We had hoped to open to the public very early in January, but if this equipment doesn't come through we shall have to alter our programme."
   "It's impossibe to open the baths without this vital part."
   The official opening will take place on March 18.


Our water is putrid say council

   Allegations that the township's water supply was often not fit to drink were made at the monthly meeting of Abram Council.
   Councillor W. Wright said, that on one particular day, the water was shocking. It smelt putrid and tasted the same.
   Councillor Carver said he thought the problem was that pipes sometimes ran to a block end. It was there that deposits hung about in the water. The cure would be to run a ring circuit which would continue from May Avenue and through to Park Lane.
   The Surveyor (Mr. J. A. Worden) said a main was being laid across Kingsdown Road. That might have something to do with it.
   The Chairman, Councillor Dan Hayes said that was the first night for a month that the water had been clear. "I have been incensed and exasperated for a month," he said.
   The Surveyor was instructed to take the matter up with the Makerfield Water Board.


Drink with bingo still coffee

   Bingo players at Wigan's County Star Bingo and Social Club will have to be satisfied - and fortified - on coffee between games, at least until the February meeting of Wigan Licensing Justices.
   An application for a licence to sell intoxicants was withdrawn when it appeared before Wigan Borough Licensing Sessions on Tuesday. The reason - administrative errors.
   The Court heard from Mr. J. Lloyd on behalf of the bingo concern, that the original application to various authorities in Wigan had contained an incorrect date and the wrong application had been published in the Wigan Observer.
   After a retirement, the Chairman, Mr. J. Shannon announced: "We agree that you should start again with fresh notices."
   Mr. Lloyd withdrew the application.


Protest stops building of Loo

   The site seemed ideal, and being on a busy main road, there was bound to be plenty of customers. So Wigan Cleansing Committee gave the go ahead for new public conveniences to be built at the junction, of Warrington Road and Clapgate Lane, Goose Green.
   Plans for the toilets were drawn up and town councillors sat back, reassured they were providing a well-needed amenity.
   But the balloon went up the morning workmen arrived to start work on the conveniences.
   And within hours, a petition signed by people living in the area who were totally opposed to the toilets, arrived at the Town Hall.
   And the outcome... the plans to erect toilets on the site have been scrapped.
   Yesterday, Mr. Geoffrey Bannister, the Deputy Town Clerk, said: "The protests came in while workmen were carrying out excavations on the site."
   "Originally, members thought there was a need for the toilets, but they decided to cancel them because no-one had actually asked us to build them."
   "Workmen were not on the site for very long and very little money has been lost."
   But plans for new public conveniences for the Goose Green area have not been shelved altogether. The Cleansing Committee still intend to find a suitable site but have deferred the matter for the time being.


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