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Marsh Green Primary   Views: 1693
Wigan Girls' High School.   Comments: 14
Photo: Kath Pressey   Item #: 29702  
Wigan Girls' High School.

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  This is the new building opened in 1964[I think]  

 [<< Back] 14 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Poet, 5th September 2017  
60's architecture! Don't you just love it?

Comments by Jonno, 6th September 2017  
No i don't, it can't old a candle to the original WGHS on Wigan Lane.

Comments by DTease, 6th September 2017  
Is it not surprising, given the energy and optimism of the 60s that so much of the architecture turned out to be so dire?

Comments by Carolaen, 6th September 2017  
I think there needs to be a distinction between architecture and build quality. Its a bit damning to define all 1060s buildings as dreadful. One good thing about the then modern buildings was that they were supposed to be more responsive to the needs of the resident/user especially in terms of light and space for example. Taking an example from Wigan Schools I know that in the 1960s at WGS we far preferred having lessons, using the Gym, workshops etc etc in the Thomas Linacre building compared to the older 1930s buildings across the road, which look nice but which were pretty dark and cramped to use for teaching etc. In other words the Linacre buildings "worked" much better for its purpose as a school. Where the 1960s buildings often fail abysmally (and I agree some are just awful in design as well) was in very widespread shoddy construction and the use of very poor quality materials. Many of the top 1960s architects were insistent of the use of very high quality materials for use in what appear to be simple designs. However developers often chose cheaper options. I had the great pleasure of working for many years in an iconic 1960s building - Millbank Tower which is next to the Tate Gallery near the Houses of Parliament. It has a simple design but the quality of building materials and construction was superb and it was great to work in. Not surprisingly it was awarded Grade 1 listed Building status.

Comments by Poet, 6th September 2017  
DTease, not quite sure why energy and excitement equals crap architecture.

Comments by DTease, 7th September 2017  
Neither am I Poet. That's way I asked the question.

Comments by Poet, 7th September 2017  
Some of these buildings would be improved by better materials I agree. I can't think of a single 60s structure in the town however that is loved or renowned.

Comments by Ian, 7th September 2017  
I attended this school 1972/1975.
If I remember rightly all the materials were "lightweight".
I think they had to be due to the ground which it was built on. Maybe a swamp or an old pit site, I'm not sure.It was constructed mainly of tiles and large glass aluminium sliding windows. Not many bricks used! I seem to recall there were a lot of metal stanchions in the interior of the building. Or, I've dreamt it!It was 42 years ago! I made a lot of great friends at this school. I often wonder where they are now as I haven't seen a lot of them for decades. About five years after I left I bumped into Terry Critchley who taught me PE at Whitley and also at Gidlow and we had a good chat about the schooldays. After that I used to bump into him on the odd occasion. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I also remain a very good friend of Alan Wright, the English teacher. Although he no longer lives in Wigan I still keep in touch with him and have the odd pint with him. He's doing very well and is a very successful author nowadays. If you ever get the chance, check out his novels. They are well worth reading.

Comments by DTease, 7th September 2017  
Carolaen, the odd well designed and constructed 60s building does not make up for the hundreds of Tower Blocks and concrete monstrosities of the period, many of which have had to be demolished after a relatively short lifetime because they quickly became an eyesore and did not meet the needs of the people who had to live with them.
The School that I went to was built in the 60s and every classroom had huge glass windows, fine for letting the light in but every time the sun shone they turned into little greenhouses. No doubt the Architect thought he had done a wonderful job, us rapidly ripening tomatoes could have told him differently.

Comments by Philip Gormley., 7th September 2017  
UpHolland Sec's new building opened its doors for the first time in 1960 and provided for easily navigable corridors and classrooms, while its outer appearance was frequently described by its excitable first crop of pupils with superlatives such as great and fantastic. The playground area was asphalt-laid, large, and witnessed its many scenarios come and go almost as if by magic. Bouncing along over an asphalt-laid surface was a joyous experience, and far removed from the 'gravel rash' experienced after tumbling on the concrete surface of my junior school's playground. It now seems likely, if not entirely, that asphalt shares some responsibility for the growing demise of junior school staples i.e., Jacks, marbles ... . But on second thought, who the devil invented asphalt! Just a recollection.

Comments by Carolaen, 7th September 2017  
Phillip. Yes sometimes Health and saftely does bring improvements. I still remember the day about 1961 when I was aged 8 or so. We were playing on the roundabout on the old playground where the St Pats Rugby ground now is just off Darlington St East. We were spinning it round faster and faster and jumping off and on when the inevitable happened. I lst my grip and came flying off at speed and landed on the concreter surround. Fortunateley my shoulder took most of the impact and nothing was broken but it could easily have been my head! Happy days !!

Comments by Philip Gormley., 7th September 2017  
Eight-years-old, and having sufficient nous to have allowed your shoulder to take the brunt - you're a man of steel, Carolaen! And it's a pity the St Pat's scout wasn't there, as he would otherwise not only have helped you to your feet, but probably signed you on in the process. Thanks.

Comments by Amanda, 10th September 2017  
I went to this school. We were told it was built across St Catherine's Fault and the metal stanchions in the central atrium were springs to adjust the building which was built on the CLASP system which allowed movement. I remember the uncomfortable uniform too and in my day we wore stockings not tights which made it even more uncomfortable!!!

Comments by Philip Gormley., 10th September 2017  
You've done your homework very-well, Amanda; don't be too hard on your school uniform, though. Regards.

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