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The Old Arcade.The Old Arcade. (No longer there)

Again demolished for the Shopping Centre. This was home to shops like Sherringtons who sold pots and pans, washing tubs, scrubbing boards, posses etc. Smiths newsagents where a well known (to Wiganers) Frank Ryding worked and now runs his own stall in the New Market Hall. Who was the man who had the weighing machine? What was his name?. Gorner's Cafe, the aroma of hot food made you feel hungry. And of course The Legs of Man (must have been the longest pub in the country) as it went from the top to the bottom of the arcade, what about the reputed ghost, who was he? Does anybody know?

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l used to work at gorners as a 14yr old saturday girl round about 1967 the older ladies who worked there were called Cissie and Florrie and a waitress named Madge. Florrie used to give me a woodbine to smoke on my break chipping potatoes in a bath in the cellar Gino and Ceasar were the owners sometimes l had to go in the cellar with a candle to get a fruit cake from the bowels of the cafe it was like goin into a dungeon yes all for £1 and a free dinner. chips pudding and peas jam roly poly and custard l don't remember any bullies there except for the waitresses who used to shout for plates it was heck oof a job to keep up with demand those were the days christine yates, wigan, lancs

29th Sep 2008

the little arcade was like a morrocan souk the noise and the smells,,a hive of activity and life.with its charicters,,for me it was a tunnel to heaven,,the old market..with its snake oil sellers outside,remember a very old man doing handstands selling the elixier of youth the hedgehog cream seller who was a gypsey,,the guy who sold you pools perms that would make you rich beyond your wildest dreams,,allthat against the records stall blaring out all the latest music(magic,,as a 15 year old boy it was magic,,as i became older it was my stairway to heaven,,walking down to the park hotel and the market hotel to meet my mates or better still a lady,remember clapper and pappa the market hotelwas full of very strange peoplefrom the highest to the lowest inthe town,,you would have ken cowap at one endf of the bar and micky dalton at the other,,colin cook the landlord the best i have ever known??and mrs brown at the park so regal she was like the wigans queen mother allways a welcome and a smile,,,anyone got memories of park and market????joe518au joe berry, wigan, uk

21st Jun 2008

Mention this to my Mum who said that her friend' mother's cousin (talk about our cat ran up their entry!) was married to the Weighing Machine man and she THINKS his name was Mr Williams (obviously a close family!) Hope this helps. Kathy McKie, Newark, Notts, UK

18th Jun 2008

I went to Wigan Tech & College from 1946 to 1949 and would often walk through the arcade to the buses to go home to Golborne. I always found it very intriguing and at times a little frightening. Catherine Wallace, Oakville, Canada
I used to work on Margaret Razaq's stall in The Old Arcade 1963 onwards until we moved to Makinson's Arcade and then to Market Street, so I am probably the one you bought your tights from, Barbara!!! Does anyone remember me? Happy days!! Margaret Crabtree, Llandudno, North Wales
regarding Tony Lannons memory of the legs of man pub, i remember his dad syl running one of the bars while his grandad ran the other john macfarlin, wigan, lancs
I remember shopping with me mam and our kid on Saturday mornings followed by dinner in Gorners and then buying football programmes from the shop opposite.Late 50s and early 60s. Also the big toy shop in the basement of what became JJBs - it was grat playing in the lift - not may lifts in them days. alan irving, Budapest, Hungary
i worked in gorners cafe in 1968-69 age 14 i was always washing up,i also remember working with an elderly lady and all she ever did was cook fish in a dep fat fryer! but i just cant remember her name!!!she was very nice to me because i remember getting bullied from some of the older girls that worked there and she took me under her wing!i also remember the free dinners every sat and the the lovely aroma that came from the cafe,i wish it was still there as i had so many good times!wigan will never be the same again (unless they knock down the galleries and put it back to how it was!!!what a fantantic tourist attraction it would be,as its lost all its charm character of the fab sixties.oh happy memories!! christine (eunice) little, wigan, england
My mum and dad (Bernard & Margaret Gaynor) owned B & M Gaynor leather goods stall. (handbags)for many years there and then moved to the new market hall umtil 1998 when he then retired. I remember spending every Saturday with my mum and dad helping them at work going round to all the stalls especially the pet stall whee I would help out. I also remember having to go and buy tripe for my nan for her Saturday tea with vinegar which used to make me feel sick. I loved that market hall and everyone looked out for each other Jane Atkins, Wigan, England
Well Fred if you look at that photo now you will see that Ashley Smith isn't on the photo. A dude called Frank Healy has named all the motley crew. You probably thought Dickie Downing was Ashley Smith. Dicky looks and was a bit more determined than Ashley Smith. B. Taylor, Wigan, UK
Hi mate, Yes I have seen the picture of the masters and I DO recognise Joe Bozz.*&%^$"£! Is that our headmaster in the back row, Dr J W Ashley Smith, I believe. A true gentleman. What is your first name? B Taylor. Fred Mason, Carlisle, England
Fred. Have you seen the photograph of the old Wigan Grammar school teachers on the Abum/Schools page. Can you name any of them? B. Taylor, Wigan, U.K
Yo, gang, Thanks to ces ellison and B.Taylor. I found the picture of our cross country runners and yes I am on the left. How good to see all the old boys again. The faces never fade from memory do they. Is that you, Ian Whitaker from Sherwood Drive?, and Fred Bamber who I met up with again in Vancouver in the 70's? Fred Mason, Carlisle, England
My grandfather,Thomas Ramsden used to have a medical herbalist shop in the old Arcade.He was also the Mayor of Wigan and was also an artist. I also had aunt and uncles who had fruit stalls in the Market hall(Derbyshires).Does anyone remember them. Carol Australia. Carol Burns (nee Ramsden), Caloundra, Qld Australia
Me and the mates used to run riot in the little arcade when were at school in our dinner hour. When the weigh man went for his dinner I would sit on his chair crying "try your weight now friends". We got banned from Gorners for loosening the salt vinegar and pepper tops. There was Curly Dowdall, Dixie Dean, Norm Melling, Jaz Holding, Dave Ridout and Cliff Higham. There were stalls with canvas tops just outside the arcade at the bottom, on rainy days Cliff would run under the canvas and tip the collected rain onto the punters underneath while we created a diversion. Good old days. I. Whitaker, Preston, England
No Gladys I'm Colin. Clive is a book keeper and works in an office in Charles Street. C. Tricket, Wigan, England
Hi C. Tricket. Is your name Clive? If so I think I know you. Gladys Rampage, Wigan, UK
Are you the Freddy Mason on the Grammar School Cross Country pic on this site. Left school about 62? B. Taylor, Wigan, UK
Yoh! freddy mason. Hope you managed to contact some of your owd mates form the contacts I gave you. Heres a few more volunteered by my mates Ė thinks your age. dave clough regular in Bellingham pub. Cliff higham bellingham pub and royal oak in standishgate. dave flemming works wigan infirmary frequents brocket. james holding lives near ben Johnson. Probably find him in phone book. Let you know if I find anymore. Organize a get together and I'll come to. ces ellison, wigan, uk
Mary Wood. I think the Subby you mean now lives in Chorley. Iím not sure if he had anything to do with Wigan RL but he did once play at Wigan RU and was, probably is fond of a pint. He was well known on Wigan Lane. I canít say just how active he is today. C. Higham, Blackrod, England
I remember a haberdashery shop just outside the opld arcade. It was located at the bottom and to the left. Does anyone recall the name op the pld lady that ran it? Alan Cheetham, Frankfurt, Germany
freddy mason. heard rumour at local x grammar lads met recently. maybe your age? yed cod apparently bernard dowdall contact lady bose lion pub in beech hill. made enquiries others present. geoff ashton frequents bellingham pub and tennis club. geoff hardman horwich motor house horwich. billy brown (beech hill). clive tricket (springfield). sam bass (fireplace shop darlington street) and others. try these contacts. ces ellison, wigan, uk
Worked on the market with my mum in the late 50's early 60's. We sold chickens fruit & vegetables and other general produce. Out on the square on Fridays under cover in the market rear entrance on Saturday. Loved going for walks inside the Market Hall and the Arcade. Lunchtime we"d go to the cafe at the bus station, meat & potato pie peas chips & gravy. Can taste it now, oh what memories. Cheers Jo Jo Hayes, Adelaide, Australia
I loved reading the memories of the little arcade from everyone. When I was 15 (1961) I worked at McAvoys butchers in the old market hall and walked to the bus stop along the arcade to catch the bus home to Pemberton. My boss was old Mr McAvoy, a true gentleman and also Gerry Burgess and Jimmy Peet. Before that I went to Wigan Grammar School and remember well, Clapper, who stood outside the fruit market clapping his hands. What a character and smell the little arcade had. I would love to hear from old friends from that era. fred@cumbriancrafts.co.uk Fred Mason, Carlisle, England
I remember going down into there with me mum she worked at the wool shop near the top legs always think about the size of the legs of man ,i was too young ever to to go in ,never mind as long as wigan lives on . bill davies, wigan, uk
Comment for c.tricket, was Subby involved with Wigan rugby as I faintly remember a bloke by the nickname and fond of a pint Mary, Wigan Mary Wood, Wigan, Lancashire
Sorry C. Tricket not guilty. Never known as Subby - honest. What lane? D. Sumner, Chorley, UK
Hi Beth I also remember the sweet shop in millgate ,I also remember your brother Colin he was my first sweet heart,small world. Maureen, wigan, uk
I remember my mother taking me to Gorners cafe ,we would have the hotpot and red cabbage it was so good ,It was our friday treat if I was off school Maureen, wigan, U K
Are you the D.Sumner once well known to all landladies and landlords on the lane and in and around the neighbourhood affectionately known as Subby. C. Tricket, Wigan, En gland
Old granny Sumner said her name was Bithel. Alas she's no longer around to confirm. Dave Sumner, Chorley, Eng.
"Bill D'Arcy and reunification with his loved one. Does any one remember her name". Was it Mary Hogan ? The chickens on a spit were at Percivals opposite the back entrance to the British Home Stores. There was a self service cafe at the back of BHS as well. Bill Whelan, London, UK
I rememer well the old arcade. As I tiny child I would go to Wigan with my Aunt, and always stopped off in the old arcade to see my Great Uncle Jack. He owned a wireless stall about 2 or 3 stalls up the arcade away from Smiths. In later years I bought my first mini dress from the other side of the aracade. It was pink Crimpolene and had a lacy see through midriff(Fast Cas or what)!! Uncle Jack then moved to the next business which was opposite Wigan Wallgate Station and was a sweet shop.( Great for me) Christi, Wigan, Lancs.
As a young child of about 8 i remember going shopping on Saturdays at the Fish Market, i recall going past a butchers shop where rabbits etc were hanging from the front of the shop, also a spit roasting chickens in another shop next door.These shops were at the bottom of Makinsons arcade across the road to the right. Near there was abaked potato seller too. Does anybody recall the baked Potato cafe on the old Wigan Bus Station? Mark Richardson, Leigh, England
My grandmother was manageress at Gormers Cafe early 1900's. Her name was Miriam Evans before she married my Grandad. There was a photograph of her on the wall in the cafe. Does anyone know what happened to this photograph? Joe Henry, Chorley, England
my aunties worked in gorners cafe,they were twins madge and dolly.does anyone remember them .our mary we never called her auntie it was allways our mary ,was dot callands best friend .they had flats in blackpool as well .we used to stay there in the school hollidays .the summers were hotter then i am sure .i remember the tar melting on my new sandals. brilliant times m.rudd, chorley, lancs
I remember the Old Arcade, I used to love it. I don't remember all the previously mentioned shops, but i remember the weighing chair and Smith's book shop, and the pleasure I got from just walking down it, but I thought Sherrington's was in Makinson's Arcade?? It was in the 60s anyway. It does seem a shame that what could have been a great tourist draw if it had been still here, was demolished for the Wigan Precinct that is now half empty. Elaine, Wigan, UK
Iremember bob thewieghing machine man, I know that at one time he was courting an aunty of mine . I used togo for my dinner at gorners when I worked at dewhurst butchers inthe 1950s. graham grange, christchurch, new zealand
i can remember a fantastic toy shop near the old market mi mam used take me there as a young lad i think it was called kiddy land toys a fantastic toy shop long gone (shame)my lads wud of loved it. tony ( billy ), wigan, england
I remember Callands toy shop, it was the best in Wigan for many reason's.The most important one to me being that it sold Top-Trumps.Did anyone else buy those card games in the late 70's or early 80's? Yeah! them were the days alright. Anthony., Wigan, England
"The Legs Of Man Pub" was the longest pub in the British Isles. I was fortunate enough to be there quite a great deal as, the Landlord & Landlady for a while were my grandparents Thomas & Doris Rimmer.I used to remember on a Sunday Lunchtime looking out of the big windows at the Market Hall with Casinnelis Ice Cream Van sat their & my Grandad tormenting me for a while before he'd take me down & buy me an ice cream ! Fantastic! Everyweek we would do the same.Does anyone remember the dog ? he ( Prince ) used to wait under the grates in the floor in the arcade for people to stand on them, then frighten them to death by barking ! A police Man & Woman used to be his main targets if I remember rightly. Tony Lannon, Wigan, England
yes i remember callands my husband and i bought our first childs pram off them in 1972. pauline, wigan, uk
can just about remember the old arcade - fond memories. Loved reading everyone's memories too. Can anyone remember Petticoat Lan - or is a figment of my imagination?? nikki nikki, hindley, wigan
Before marriage my name was karen berritta and my parents, Brenda and Gino owned Gorner's cafe from the early 60s until the end. They bought the cafe from Mrs Gorner who became my brother, Roberto's godmother and we used to visit her at her Southport home. I spent much of my childhood running up and down the arcade, pestering the life out of Margaret Razak, Syd Smith and Des Forshaw(Dolls' Hospital). When Gorner's was demolished, my family went on to own the Lindley Hotel in Parbold and Roberto's in Wigan. My father is now retired and lives back in Sicily. He visits Wigan twice a year. karen connolly (nee Berritta), bolton, england
I often walked through the little arcade as a kid, after dropping off the bus from Robin on the way to the market. Also, I attended Thomas Linacre opposite the old Grammar School in the late 50's, so we'd walk through on our rare trips to buy some hot cashew nuts from Woolies. Gordon, Austin. Texas, USA
The gentleman referred to by David Sumner is Billy Lyons who kids nick named Clapper. C. Trickett, Wigan, England
I remember I chap who used to hang about at the bottom of the arcade in the 60s. He was a real character and had a strange habit of clapping his hands. The kids used to copy him and he would get very annoyed and give them a clip on the ear - if he could catch them. It was like watching Benny Hill - a stream of kids would be running up and down the arcade with this chap chasing them. I think he must have worked on a fruit stall as I often saw him carrying orange boxes on his shoulder. Does anyone remember his name? David Sumner, Chorley, England
I only very vaguely remember the old arcade but I have a story that will probably make you laugh. I lived in Orrell until I was 6. I remember going shopping with my mother to a dark busy place. Being little, I mis-heard what it was called, and thought it was known as "the old dark cave". That was when I was 6. In 1993, my Grandfather was very ill and in hospital. When I went to visit him, I noticed some old photographs on the wall and said to Mum "oh look, theres the old dark cave". She laughed and said "you daft bugger". I didnt understand. I looked blank. She gave me a strange look and said "Ye olde arcade", love, not the old dark cave" My dream was shattered. I couldnt believe that at the age of 33, I STILL thought its true name was the old dark cave! Gill Prescott, Criccieth, Gwynedd
Does anyone remember the old shoe-shine stand in the arcade, i was only a tot at the time! Tony Tarbuck, Wigan, England

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