Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Wigan Album



Donkey Stoning The Step
Views: 4,181
Item #: 24169
Don't know where this is, if it is Wigan? but its a scene which would have been seen daily in the back streets of Wigan as well as other northern towns

Comment by: kathleen on 20th November 2013 at 17:17

done quite a lot of that in my lifetime. but she seems to be doing the pavement, not the step.

Comment by: Albert. on 20th November 2013 at 17:46

Known them to be donkey brands, or rubbing stones. Got them on numerous occasions, many years ago, from the rag and bone man, in exchange for empty jam jars, or a bundle of old rags. I think the posh used mansion polish. They had red steps, and widow sills.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 20th November 2013 at 18:35

See link for information on Donkey Stones

Comment by: Mick on 20th November 2013 at 19:21

It was taken in Preston, Ron.
"Mrs Sarah Alice Singleton aged 71, keeps the pavement clean outside a Preston pub".
This photo was used for both a cover and text illustration on the 1971 edition of "It's An Old Lancashire Tradition", author Sylvia Lovat Corbridge.

Comment by: irene roberts on 20th November 2013 at 19:52

I remember the women in Ince donkey-stoning the steps and woe betide any of us children who stood on the newly-mopped flags in front of the houses. You could still get donkey-stones in Adams' Stores in the old Market Hall and Peter and I often see them when we go to 1940s events.

Comment by: Helen on 20th November 2013 at 20:18

I'm sure no woman in her right mind would not have had a front doorstep whitened in years gone by..a wonderful the Greeks painting their houses white for Easter. Great picture.

Comment by: Helen on 20th November 2013 at 20:21

Albert, think the red steps were done with Red Cardinal polish.

Comment by: Ken R on 21st November 2013 at 00:05

The area that she is "donkey stoning" is probably the old coal or beer chute.

Comment by: Grannieannie on 21st November 2013 at 05:22

My mother always called the red polish red raddle. I was taught to mop steps when I was about seven or eight and be sent to clean the less mobile neighbours steps.

Comment by: F Walford on 21st November 2013 at 09:01

Comment by: A.W. on 21st November 2013 at 09:42

A tradition that is seldom if ever seen nowadays.

Comment by: Albert. on 21st November 2013 at 15:07

Grannieannie. Neighbourliness in this day,and age, seems to be nearly non-existent. It was so prevalent, a long time ago.

Comment by: Grannieannie on 21st November 2013 at 19:26

Albert you are so right. My mother always had a highly developed sense of neighbourliness. I remember her breaking her elbow at Christmastime and still managing, with Dad's help, to cook and serve thirteen Christmas dinners for neighbours on their own.

Comment by: Roy on 22nd November 2013 at 01:00

A.W. I've said this to you before. 'Who has a doorstep these days'?

Comment by: trewyth on 22nd November 2013 at 07:21

The white stone powder used to make Donkey Stones came from a quarry in Appley Bridge

Comment by: Kenee on 22nd November 2013 at 10:44

Neighbourliness was different then. In the 1950's there were at least 5 or 6 neighbours that would call in our house almost daily, without knocking. The doors were mostly unlocked in those days and friends would pop in for a chat and see if they could bring anything from the shops. I used to run errands for a lady that lived a few doors away but I always knocked when I called, she gave me half a crown every Friday.

Comment by: Helen on 22nd November 2013 at 13:56

This photo seems to show what Wigan Worlder's like to see. Interesting pics always get a good response.

Comment by: Garry on 27th November 2013 at 17:47

Keene, half crown in the 50s was a tidy sum indeed...just to run to the shops.

Comment by: Kenee on 29th November 2013 at 10:45

It might have started off at two bob and gone up with inflation, I wasn't complaining. In the end I think it had probably gone into 1960, I remember Saturday matinee pictures was 9 old pence.

Leave a comment?

* Enter the 5 digit code to the right of the input box. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you will get another chance. Your comments won't be lost.