Wigan Workhouse8 Comments
Photo: RON HUNT
Item #: 33424
The fitter I served several years of my apprenticeship with, Jack Ainsworth, told me, as a boy, he climbed the wall surrounding the workhouse and was so shocked by the conditions he saw, his worst fear was becoming destitute and ending up there. As events turned out his experience motivated him to become a foreman at Northern Counties and a fitter at Walmsleys. In the 60's, when it was a hospital, I visited a distant relative,with cancer, although the stigma remained it was clean and provided good care.
Wasn't this part of Frog Lane a very miserable area to walk along at one time, there was this bleak former Victorian workhouse and then the cleansing depot with its foul smells and smoke belching chimney, but sadly where unwanted (why ever did they get them in the first place) dogs and cats were taken, cats were gassed and dogs electrocuted. I and many others were very happy when these procedures were finally stopped.
The council at the time did try to prettify these places by planting red flowering hawthorn in front of the hospital and flowering cherries in front of the cleansing depot which all looked very nice during spring, but didn't stop folks of being conscious of what was beyond the gates.
The site of Boston House now? Still think this a depressing area, and have heard of a few 'sightings' in Boston House.
The gateposts are still there today
How strange this is Elizabeth. We were only discussing the workhouse last week. I remember it before the place was demolished
Don't know how far the workhouse expanded on frog lane area, but I do remember the council yard being where Boston house was built, and the area behind workhouse was council flag and stone yard in 70s.
Yes I know Val ! We always enjoy a chat about all things supernatural.x
just a bit more of interest
this photo does not show the big green doors which were kept closed until I think 4.00pm. At that time the itinerants could go in initially to do some work pror to food and a bed for the night. About half an hour before they would tend to gather round about and some would knock at my Nan,s house, as she lived very close, and she would make them a brew and sometimes toast and I would add that although I was very young at the time, 1940s, I was never aware of any trouble bearing in mind that in winter by gaslight it was a dark place . The frontage on Frog lane was from about Lower St Stephen St to Barley Brook adjacent to no 2 Woodhouse Lane my Nan,s house. prior to Boston House ,Council yard and Works department that was the garden area in which much of the produce was grown for the kitchen which was tended by the inmates. Many of the inmates had strange habits and or characteristics which earned them nicknames just to say Jimmy was one