Market Street37 Comments
Item #: 30706
When I was 15, a long time ago, I worked as a apprentice at 'Margaret's', I think it was , a hairdresser / stylist.. The first floor window of the building on the bend
Roger, thanks for posting this photo, probably one of the best shots of Market Street I have ever seen. My mother would have remembered this type of scene from when she was a little girl. I remember the buildings though the trams had long since disappeared when I was a little boy.
An excellent picture, the fine old buildings on the left were demolished around 1971 when the Wigan Centre Arcade (later called Marketgate) was built. I often think it was a great shame as they were an asset to the town.
I agree, one of the best photos of Market Street I've seen. Well done you Roger for posting. It gives a flavour of the busy atmosphere of a real town centre that once prevailed here.
Great picture Roger...The shop on the right of the picture
has the name "Owen Bros" above the door, I wonder if it was
any connection with "Owen Owen", the wholesale fruit and vegetable firm that were very active across the road on the
Market Square, who in much later days became Louis Reece ??
There are still many left who can rememember all those buildings, in another generation there won't be anybody left who will - so sad and what splendid buildings they were - at least the other side is still there- well most of them.
What a fantastic photo of Market Street! Back then, Wigan looked a proud place with fine buildings either side of Market Street. The same shot now would show just how far we've fallen. Why on earth did our lords and masters decide to destroy such impressive buildings - not to mention the ones out of sight such as The Commercial, the Legs of Man and the Little Arcade - and replace it with some concrete monstrosity?
I must be so old ! When I see a wonderful picture like this I am hugely uplifted , but get depressed looking at modern Wigan . I think progress and how works these days , breaks the first rule , common sense . If something works , leave it alone . We are just wiping away , day by day , Wigan’s history. I return to my first sentence. Wonderful post Roger , Thankyou
Wasn’t it a good thing that this part of town was pedestrianised? I dread to think what it would be like now if it hadn’t been.
I remember Commercial Yard, The Little Arcade and The Legs of Man. The best thing that happened was they got demolished. I remember the rats, the run down look of the area and the general'down at heel' look. The buildings on Market Street looked impressive in photos and what replaced them was hideous and should never have been allowed/ I agree that pedestrianisation is a good thing otherwise a modern picture would be cars, cars, vans, cars, vans, more cars and nowhere to cross the street. Too many have rose tinted glasses when they remember the past but had these buildings stayed we would have lots of people moaning about how dingy and old-fashioned the town centre looked. People easily forget. Not all changes are good but not all are bad either.
Fantastic photo. I remember it much like this, even in the fifties and sixties. I remember getting a Quality Street tin from Meeson's Toffee Shop to hold the Christmas cake I made at school in Domestic Science.
In the 60s there was a mans shop called the trouser bar,that was on the bend on the left hand side.also just wanderin,would that cycle shop on the right,called Evans any relation to the big chain of Evans cycle shops which operate today
I think you make a very fair point Amanda.
Wigan is just a shell of what it once was - certainly little or no character. Aside from the fact that shops are closing down everywhere due to Internet shopping the town has lost it's identity. The arcades and yards were what made Wigan interesting and unique as a market town. Facades are retained now instead of bulldozing completely because of the realisation that the new buildings are utterly boring - they certainly won't stand the test of time. How long before they look drab and neglected. Pedestrianisation was and is a good idea in and around the streets - there was nothing to stop that plan anyway.
I am disappointed as much as anyone with the way that Wigan town centre has developed. There have been some mistakes. However I think that it has happened this way because redevelopment has been happening for a long time and whoever is presently completing it is having to patch up what went on before. With hindsight they may have kept the older buildings, admittedly they would need modernising. Some of Wigan's "better" buildings can still be found going down the left hand side of Library St. The same could be said about the housing that once existed in the Greenhough St /Scholes area. Again the properties would have required modernisation. This photograph and others on Wigan World show Wigan to have been a vibrant town . Unfortunately because of online shopping /out of town shopping the high street in Wigan and other towns won't look this way unless habits change.
Thanks for sharing Roger, they certainly knew how to build a town centre then.
Amanda, if you thought the old town centre was run down with a 'down at heel' feel about it, you should see it now, the town centre is really run down and doesn't have any feel about it, because it really is 'down at heel,' and I should imagine that there are far more rats to be seen now than ever there was.
Was it Meesons where if you bought a quarter of toffee you got another quarter free?
Don't recall that, Linma. I just recall buying the Quality Street tin for my school Christmas Cake. x.
Have you still got that tin Irene? I still use today my basket which I used to take home whatever I had made in domestic science. It's had a new handle but is still as good as ever. x
No, I haven't got the tin, Linma…..you don't think to keep things like that when you're sixteen. Fifty years later I wish I had. However, because we go to 1940s events, I actually have five wicker baskets and I use one every day for shopping. They are brilliant for carrying bread, pies or cakes as they don't get squashed, and not a day goes by when I don't get a comment from ladies who recall using baskets for cookery at school.
Irene - ditto. There is a man stands Chorley market on a Tuesday and he sells some brilliant basket ware,
3rd March 1926,my Dad arrived in Wigan from Maidstone to work at Northern Counties building buses etc. 6 weeks later he moved over to Massey Bros at Pemberton. His diary for that week says,"first impression of Wigan not bad,but everything seems so dirty. I like the look of the trams & buses".He found lodgings that evening in Dicconson Terrace and stayed there for 18 months before moving to Pemberton.
By the end of his 1st week he was impressed with the town with another comment "clogs and shawls mixed with silk stockings and Russian booze" He died in Standish 1984 having stayed.I wonder what he would think of the town now. I hardly recognize some parts of Wigan when I visited over the past 2 years.
Alas another long established retailer has just revealed plans to close their Wigan store and relocate outside of the town centre. Bye Bye.... Marks and Sparks.
How very sad! It is a part of all our lives.
I can't believe M&S would do this to Wigan - the place it all started for them.
The store always seems very busy especially near weekend! I will miss the food hall most.
Yes Irene, it's very sad indeed and when M&S relocate to Robin Park, they recon it will only be a food store! Winter is coming and folks may do well to take a nostalgic shopping trip in town. Stock up on your spare vests, quality Long Johns and the like, while you still have the chance Irene.
Oh, TD, don't you make me sound a temptress in my spare vests and long johns?!!
OOh, ding dong.... hot stuff Irene.
I will have to make other arrangements for being measured for my unmentionables Irene - it was so convenient after buying my oranges and pears!
Just to add my pennyworth to all these comments....I hope at least some people in the Planning Department have seen, read & inwardly digested the thoughts of the people they are supposed to represent.
They're not interested, Helen. Stick with your memories of the Wigan we all knew and loved. xx
Good photo Roger. For better or worse Helen the place is different now. One view still in tact is utter contempt for some of the ignorant wasters remaining within Wigan council.
Irene was Meesons just about where the front of the tram is on the left hand side?
I seem to remember it more on the corner where the wheeled truck is, but it was a very long time ago and the mind plays tricks. xx
Irene you're spot on.
Most old town centres are struggling for the well known reasons already given. I can only speak as I find and on my occasional visits, considering all the factors mentioned, I think Wigan on the whole, compares very favourably to many other centres I have visited.
This picture is fantastic, I have moved back to a Wigan after 26years. Even back then the new arcade had a few shops in, mostly terrible eg Jailbird. Then The Galleries opened,, most shops moved there. Now I have got back and the Grand Arcade?!?!? Really?!? Seems again everything in the Galleries has now moved to the Grand.
ATTENTION PLANNERS:WIGAN HAS ONLY ENOUGH SHOPS FOR ONE ARCADE, YES ONE!! (I sadly felt um, sad walking through the Makinson Arcade).
I have plenty of opinions about Wigan center, happy to grumble. BTW I couldn't understand/make sense of where the Grand Arcade is, and the pictures were *argh*