Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



Wigan Album

Wallgate

41 Comments

Wallgate Railway Bridge c.1890
Photo: RON HUNT
Views: 1,452
Item #: 33434
A late 1800's view of Wallgate Railway bridge

Comment by: Thomas(Tom)Walsh on 6th December 2021 at 22:06

This report came to light when I was doing research on Michael,Marks (Marks & Spencer) who lived in Great George Street -
It was reported in The Wigan Observer on 28th. of October 1888 the Rabbi of the Wigan Synagogue ,Rev Bercovitz a Russian -born pastor to Jewish community was killed in Wallgate when a horse escaped from its cart . The cart veered off the road and hit the reverend gentleman killing him instantly . He left a wife and five children , the newspaper went on to describe him as being held in great respect not only by his all his flock but by all who knew him. I include this to illustrate how assimilated the Jewish community were in Wigan at that time.

Comment by: Gaz on 7th December 2021 at 09:57

This has got to be one of the best old pictures of Wigan on here

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 10:03

My word Ron,hasn't it all changed,where those two little lads are stood looks like it was a house at one time,I only ever knew a shop being there,a lovely shop named 'Hawkins'that sold bedding ..towels..tea towels etc..it always looked spotless inside..I had read before that Great George St was a thriving Jewish section of Wallgate,and have also read that Michael Marks resided at either no.21 or 23 ..that being where I was brought up...I just love seeing shots of old Wallgate Ron..have you any more please.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 10:31

I must add,don't those two young lads look depressed,I bet they didn't have much to look forward to any day never mind Christmas..poor things.

Comment by: Dave johnson on 7th December 2021 at 11:56

Maureen I think you'll find that those two lads are stood where the entrance to the station is. Hawkins would be at the other side under the bridge. As a matter of fact my mum used to work at Hawkins and I remember her taking me into the shop to see her friends when I was about 3 years old?

Comment by: Cyril on 7th December 2021 at 14:12

I was thinking it to be a pub Maureen, the entrance to the cellar where the metal cover with the ring pull is. And according to a comment by Art on communicate it's thought to be the Bear's Paw formerly The Post House and it was demolished when the North West station was extended onto Wallgate. https://www.wiganworld.co.uk/communicate/mb_message.php?opt=f2&opt2=&msd=247840&offset=680&subject=Old%2520Wigan%2520Pubs

Maureen, there seems to be a lot of boys on old photos stood around and looking miserable, wonder if they was paid a few pennies to pose like that for the camera.

The Wigan Synagogue and Jewish Community. https://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/community/m48_wigan/index.htm

Comment by: Maureen. on 7th December 2021 at 14:13

Dave,yes I think you're right..I did wonder about the ly of the land,now it makes sense so thankyou.

Comment by: Cyril on 7th December 2021 at 14:23

"FROM WOLKOWISK TO WALLGATE AND OTHER JOURNEYS; A HISTORY OF THE WIGAN JEWISH COMMUNITY" by Hilary Thomas & Wigan Archives & Local Studies, 2014)
https://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/Community/m48_wigan/Wigan's_Ministers.htm

It seems to be an interesting book to read and it may be in the library.

Comment by: ray on 7th December 2021 at 15:00

A neighbour of mine saw this photograph earlier today and thought that
the view through the railway bridge was looking toward the town centre
of Wigan, I assured him that the view is looking down Wallgate, heading
away from town.

Comment by: Zoonie on 7th December 2021 at 15:01

Are the two guys on the left just outside the site of the public urinal between the Swan and Railway and the bridge?

Comment by: Zoonie on 7th December 2021 at 15:02

Sorry on the Right

Comment by: john on 7th December 2021 at 15:26

Great picture Ron

Comment by: Veronica on 7th December 2021 at 16:09

It's a very interesting photo. At first I was a bit mesmerised as to which side of Wallgate it was. So the building on the left must have been demolished to make way for the entrance to the North Western station. Was there an entrance at the side of the building or was there no North Western Station at that time? Which station came first? I haven't a clue!

Comment by: ray on 7th December 2021 at 16:23

Zoonie, The two guys are on the opposite side of the road of
The Swan & Railway pub and urinal. Cheers, Ray.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 16:27

I've just been reading an edition of 'Past Forward'
December 2012.no 59 and what an eye opener..I never realised how many Jews lived and worked in Wigan.nearly all the shops ( that used to be ) in Wigan were initially owned by Jews,jewellers. hairdressers..clothes..Norman and Phillips,Joan Barrie's,even Grimes Arcade..and many many more..I never gave a thought as to why the little Scgool on Warrington Lane was namedJerusalem School...now it all makes sense...all I remember is my Mam telling me about the shop at the bottom of Wallgate which was named Marsdens but was originally named Minekins ( Spelling ).my Mam said it was in case any Germans took note etc.
So if anybody wants a good read it will take you a long time so get the kettle on and put your feet up.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 16:36

Cyril,I'm going to try and get that book,it sounds very interesting..anybody would think that my background is Jewish..it isn't,I'm from Irish stock..and proud of it but it's all very interesting history.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 17:35

I've told this story before so excuse me for the repeat ..my Grandma also from Great George St told me about it.
The urinals that used to be under the bridge were cleaned by one man..one day an official turned up one day and asked him a few questions ,then to sign the piece of paper in his hand. the cleaner told him that he couldn't write..he promptly sacked him..
The cleaner had saved enough money to go to America...where it was dickered he had a good business brain..built up his own empire,finished up a millionaire..one night at a dinner party one of his friends said"all this and you can't even write,just imagine where you'd be if you could" to which he replied.." I'd be cleaning the urinals under Wallgate bridge in England ".

Comment by: Maureen on 7th December 2021 at 18:16

Cyril,I'm going to try and get that book,it sounds very interesting..anybody would think that my background is Jewish..it isn't,I'm from Irish stock..and proud of it but it's all very interesting history.

Comment by: Cyril on 7th December 2021 at 20:11

Maureen I too am from Irish descendants but would still find the book to be an interesting read. Wigan and Leigh Archives at Leigh Town Hall are advertising the book at £12.00 with £3.50 p&p, but maybe the library will have a copy.

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/shop/wigan-local/6

I've been having a read of the article you mentioned in Past Forward, that too is interesting. The next article down from that and about the blacksmiths at Lowton I found to be of interest also, as in the 1980s when at the council I would take items to there to be repaired, I never knew he was the boxer Peter Kane and wouldn't have guessed either as he was a quiet spoken jovial fellow, he must have become a different character when in the ring.

Link to Past Forward December - March 2012 Issue 52.
https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Resident/Leisure/Museums-and-archives/archives/Past-Forward/pf59.pdf

Comment by: Roy on 7th December 2021 at 20:22

RAY, i'm sorry, but Zoonie is correct, he said the 2 men on the right, they are stood between the Swan and Railway and the bridge.

Comment by: Ray on 7th December 2021 at 21:21

Roy, I was referring to the two men on the left as Zoonie mentioned
first, But I know that my directions are correct, heading down Wallgate.
But, oops, I hadnt spotted the two geezers on the right. Cheers, Ray.

Comment by: Zoonie on 8th December 2021 at 09:33

Thanks all for the positive comments regarding the guys on the right.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th December 2021 at 10:52

Looks like more than 2 men on the right to me.
It's a lovely old photo ...

Comment by: Owd viewer on 8th December 2021 at 11:38

There must have been a station when this photo was taken, there is directions to the station printed on the bridge.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 8th December 2021 at 13:06

I would think that the street on the left, under the bridge would be Queen Street, and in later years a pub just after it would be the Banke’s Arms. Up an entry nearby there was an old stable. Late fifties, early sixties.

Comment by: Maureen on 8th December 2021 at 16:09

Yes Albert Queen St is exactly where you say,my School friend lived at the top of the street and I would go regularly ..there were stables at the bottom of their back yard owned by a fruit and veg seller ( I've forgotten his name ) and we would go and feed his horse named Prince..those were very happy days .

Comment by: Veronica on 8th December 2021 at 16:42

It must have been a narrow opening for the entrance to have the 'finger ' pointing. I only remember a wide area in the fifties , much as it is now. Thanks for pointing out Owd viewer. I should have enlarged the picture before sending my comment.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 10th December 2021 at 10:52

Maureen. It would seem not many have any recollection of the Banke’s Arms. Apparently it was an Oldfield brewery pub. It is on their list of public houses. I have cause to remember it. I was involved in a battle royal outside of it in about 1960.

Comment by: Maureen on 10th December 2021 at 12:12

Hello Albert,I'm not sure where the Bankes Arms pub was..the one facing the top of Great George St was that the Wheatsheaf,that's where my Grandparents used to go for their night out...what sort of battle did you have Albert,whatever it was I bet you were the winner lol..I would love to know who had the most pubs..Wallgate or Scholes..and which area had the most Irish descendants....I bet you could tell a tale Albert.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 10th December 2021 at 12:39

Someone may soon rhyme them off to you Maureen. I was with another officer, doubled up in Wallgate, on a Saturday night, four men who had been drinking in the Banke’s Arms, must have had an argument, and it developed into fight between the four of them, as soon as we tried to intervene, the four of them turned on us. Somebody must have dialled 999. I was glad when the Black Maria turned up, and the four were carted away. Appearing at court on Monday morning. The Banke’s Arms was the next one along from Wheatsheaf.

Comment by: Maureen on 10th December 2021 at 13:37

I can't picture another pub after the Wheatsheaf Albert,but thank you anyway.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 10th December 2021 at 15:49

Maureen the Banke’s Arms is mentioned on #30358.

Comment by: Maureen on 10th December 2021 at 16:20

Thank you Albert,I've just been reading quite a bit on Google re- Banke's Arms the Wheatsheaf and various pubs in Wallgate.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 10th December 2021 at 19:29

Maureen. When I worked Wallgate on a regular basis, in the late fifties, and early sixties, it was a real lively bubbly community. Some very good frontal businesses. There was a very good confectioners, about 250 yards down from the bridge, on the right hand side going towards Miry Lane. I got my wife’s twenty first birthday cake from there, and twenty one red roses from Flo Higham’s, in Wallgate, opposite the railway station, that is almost sixty years ago now. Time waits for no man, nor woman.

Comment by: Maureen on 10th December 2021 at 20:02

Hello Albert,I'm not sure where the Bankes Arms pub was..the one facing the top of Great George St was that the Wheatsheaf,that's where my Grandparents used to go for their night out...what sort of battle did you have Albert,whatever it was I bet you were the winner lol..I would love to know who had the most pubs..Wallgate or Scholes..and which area had the most Irish descendants....I bet you could tell a tale Albert.

Comment by: Maureen on 10th December 2021 at 22:23

I'm sure this iPad has gremlins.

Comment by: Maureen on 11th December 2021 at 09:13

Albert,the confectioners you mention was ' Prices 'the lady that served you was a Mrs Jones.
I used to go for my Mam..a dozen cakes in a box which had to include vanillas for my Dad..if memory serves me well..the cost was three shillngs for the said dozen...later on when I got married and lived in Warrington Lane,Mrs Jones lived next door but one to us...she became very ill and went into Hospital,I looked after her dog until her Son came down .one morning her little dog started to howl ,something he'd never done before,her Son then rang the Hospital to be told that she'd just passed away..some things you never forget.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 11th December 2021 at 11:08

Maureen. When we came back to my mother’s after the funeral of my dad in 1967, my dad’s dog ‘Bruce’ just walked around the settee with its head back, giving out the most awful howling that we had ever heard. Never had the dog ever done that on any previous occasion.

Comment by: Albert.S. on 11th December 2021 at 11:59

Maureen. When we came back to my mother’s after the funeral of my dad in 1967, my dad’s dog ‘Bruce’ just walked around the settee with its head back, giving out the most awful howling that we had ever heard. Never had the dog ever done that on any previous occasion.

Comment by: Maureen on 11th December 2021 at 12:03

Yes Albert,animals.dogs in particular have a marvellous intuition..I just love all animals and have always had them...they're great company and so faithful.

Comment by: Dave on 17th December 2021 at 13:45

Cyril the Blacksmiths you refer to in Lowton belonged to my sons grandfather and Peter Kane worked for him.The Smithy was taken over by his son until he retired then i think it became a car sales. The name of his son was Albert Jordan.

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