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M6 Motorway   Views: 1988
Girder Beam for Gathurst Viaduct (M6)   Comments: 17
Photo: Barrie Old   Item #: 28859  
Girder Beam for Gathurst Viaduct (M6)
  Taken 22nd June 1961 as Pickfords Heavy haulage transported this beam through Standish en-route for Gathurst.
A month later I started my employment in Construction as a very young trainee engineer on the M6 for McAlpines based at Kitt Green.

 [<< Back] 17 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 15th January 2017  
Would this have been taken looking up School lane Barrie ?, and if it is, then I assume the building on the right would have been J.B. Almond's brewery. I could be completely wrong of course, but if I'm correct, then it would have been interesting to witness them negotiating the turn off the A49. into School lane. I have no idea where the load originated but given that there is a low bridge on Rectory lane and another two in Euxton, their choice of route must have been somewhat limited. Unless they brought it through Wigan or Chorley. Perhaps you have a little more information.

Regards. Ozy.

Comments by MikeW, 15th January 2017  
Looks like they have just come through the lights on to School lane. The old brewery is on the right.

Comments by Linda Massa, 15th January 2017  
You are both correct, School Lane and Almonds brewery on right.

Comments by Mick, 16th January 2017  
I remember these coming through Shevy and down Gathurst lane, opposite the old Robrite factory they had to make a new road through the little wood which is still used today to get up the the farm.

Comments by Peter Schofield, 16th January 2017  peter.schofield16@btininternet.com 
I lived in Shevington at the time and watched the M6 being built in the early 60s and thes being brought down Shevington Lane into the village. Little at that time did I know that just under 20 years later that I would would be policing the MG motorway as part of the then Greater Manchester Police Motorway Group January 1979 to January 1984 to be precise

Comments by Barrie Old, 16th January 2017  
The photo was indeed taken on School Lane just past the traffic lights. I watched it manoeuvre round from the High Street then took the shot.The beams were made in Bolton by Robert Watson & Co who were the sub contractors to A. Monk who were constructing the viaduct. They came up through Wigan from the Bolton area. I will be uploading more photographs in due course onto this site.

Comments by Mick, 16th January 2017  
Peter in about 1966,7 there was a big crash on a foggy bonfire night, at that time I was in the AFS and we was on duty at the fire station until about 10pm.
I made my way back to Shevy and had to catch the train to Gathurst because the buses had stopped running and as we walked up Gathurst lane we could hear the lorrys crashing after one another and people screaming out.
Was you still there when the Creda washing machine lorry went over the viaduct and landed in the Dougie ?

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 16th January 2017  
I remember the Creda wagon going through the bridge parapet on the Gathurst viaduct Mick, that would have been sometime in the mid 80s. It was reported at the time that the driver had swerved to avoid a stove that had fallen from the back of a Transit pick up onto the carriageway. I understand that you personally witnessed the event first hand from the towpath of the canal below. The driver didn't survive unfortunately. Also, do you recall the incident of the oleum ( fuming sulphuric acid ) tanker that overturned and ruptured close to the viaduct in either November or December of 1972 ?, ( I believe that it was one of Leather's Chemicals from St. Helens on its way to Whitehaven ), spilling acid across the carriageway. One unfortunate lady, a nurse evidently, got out of her car to attempt to assist the injured, only to be overcome by fumes from the spillage and tragically died in a pool of acid. How terrible is that ?

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 16th January 2017  
Peter, as you were policing The M6 motorway during that era, it's perfectly feasible to suppose that you may have had cause to visit Barry Greenall's recovery yard at some point. If that's the case, then it isn't unreasonable to assume that I may even have met you, or at least have seen you in there.

Comments by Mick, 16th January 2017  
Yes Ozy me the missis and my two kids watched it go over the side of the viaduct, I dont nothing about the other lorry because at time I was working in the far east.

Comments by Ab, 17th January 2017  
Wish they'd leave our countryside alone and stop building more motorways and roads, adding more vehicles on them. What's so special about the construction of a motorway? nothing I can only for those with rose tinted specs on. Bring back the old train stations that Beeching and co destroyed and get cars off the roads I say.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 17th January 2017  
I would tend to agree with you there Ab, but realistically, it isn't going to happen is it? For evidence of this, just take a look at all the new houses that are currently being built off Pepper lane or Rectory lane in Standish, then allow, at the very least, one car on average for all these properties and what do you have ? Another major headache for an already beleaguered area of Wigan. It's the same countrywide unfortunately, and to be honest, I don't see how the trend can possibly be reversed. Take Wigan lane for an example, the traffic that uses that road has almost reached such proportions whereby it's almost become necessary to book an appointment to cross the damn thing. But at the end of the day, it's all about money I'm afraid, quality of life doesn't come into it, and as someone, I just can't remember who, once said. Money doesn't just talk, it swears.

Regards. Ozy.

Comments by alan lad, 18th January 2017  
i remember that .watched from corner of sheaf

Comments by Peter Schofield, 19th January 2017  peter.schofield16@btinterent.com 
Ozymandias first of all yes i did visit Greenall's yard in Ashton in Makerfield and knew Barry very well. He was the first in the area to have the Holmes 750 lifting gear as Barry saw that there was no one else in the area had the equipment to deal with overturned HGVs Secondly the incident you referred to re the wagon carrying a liquid that was involved in an accident near to Ashton was actually carrying the daddy of all the acids OLIUM. Evidently the trailer tank split causing the liquid to spill onto the road surface and it appeared to be water. Yes it is true that a nurse who stopped to help believed that it was water and went to assist but unfortunately she slipped on the OLIUM and died. The members of the emergency services who attended at the scene saw their footwear was just disintegrating as they walked in it. I also believe for a number of years after those affected by this were still getting treatment for their feet. Has a result if this incident the Government at the time decided that something had to be done with regards to substances like this being transported by road and emergency services not knowing what they were dealing with so in conjunction with manufacturers a HAZCHEM code was introduced. A few years later this was superseded by a UN system of coding which was very similar to the one introduced by this country. This system is in use today but also now includes vehicles carrying calor gas and bottles of oxygen hence the compressed air sign on the rear of ambulances.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 20th January 2017  
Thanks for the reply Peter, and just in the event that you may be remotely interested, there's a photo on here that was taken in Barry's yard. You'll find it under, miscellaneous, car I wish I'd never seen. It may bring back a few memories. There's a couple of traffic cops in the frame, one of them may even be you. If not, then you'll no doubt recognise the lads. There's also a photo of the A series ERF, fitted with the Holmes 750 gear that you mention somewhere on here as well. It's the wagon that I used to drive when Barry was based at Kings road garage, behind The Star on Wigan road. Unfortunately, I've forgotten which thread I put it on, but it's a photograph of us recovering a stolen car from the canal at Poolstock.

Regards. Ozy.

Comments by Amanda, 20th January 2017  
I do despair sometimes when I see comments like those on here suggesting we should have stayed in the 1950s. Just think. those railways you hanker after ripped up the countryside in the same way as motorways have done since the 1960s. Nostalgia plays tricks on people and those days you long for are also those days when health was poorer and houses crummier. Whether you like it or not, economics, politics and technology will always mean change. Life in the 1950s was totally different to those in the 1850s and I am sure old people in the 40s and 50s wished they still had their 'old days'. Progress isn't always good but it isnt always bad either and some of the comments around traffic are justified, however, lets get things into perspective. I prefer indoor plumbing, central heating and nicer houses and would not go back to the so called 'good old days'.

Comments by Dave Allen, 26th January 2017  
Barry, would you have known my uncle Jack Allen, he worked for Mcalpines and other plant companies throughout his life round this area. He was a plant fitter. Still going at 97 yrs old.

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