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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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The Galleries Cleared
The Galleries Cleared
Photo: Irene Roberts
Views: 1,034
Item #: 34856
A friend asked me to post this.....an aerial view of where The Galleries stood. Now you see it, now you don't!

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 10th February 2024 at 13:59

Irene, incredible view showing the magnitude of the demolition and a gimps into the lower level of The Maketgate Centre and the basement of the Galleries.
The new Market Hall is planned to be on the Marketgate Site and the new Hotel, Pavilion and 8 or 9 blocks of Residential Apartments on the Galleries site.
The Cinema, Bowling Alley Etc. will be on the right hand side of Makinsons Arcade (the long black roof clearly visible) accessed from Standishgate opposite Costa Coffee.
I envisage that once completed all those empty shops on Mesnes Street will become Wigans Curry Mile!!!!
Many thanks to your friend for sharing this.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 10th February 2024 at 14:46

Irene, I cannot stop looking at this picture, it captures so much of present day Wigan. If you could email me a copy I would love to get this printed off at a larger size and framed.
Hope your friend can fly over again when the redevelopment is completed.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 10th February 2024 at 18:09

Colin, I know my friend will be pleased that you like the photo, but I wish I personally had your enthusiasm with regard to the future Cinema, Hotel, Bowling Alley and Residential Apartments.
I'm afraid I can only visualise a big mistake looming up ! Sorry, but I think that within a year or so of these "wonderful new developments" in our town, this will be a huge flop. I truly hope I'm wrong, I really do, but I just can't see this lasting.

Comment by: Alan on 10th February 2024 at 18:33

Wigan Today spells out the first two stages, It is the third, which I am unclear about ?
Do they have the finance to progress ?
Also , in the second stage , is there information about the archeological aspect ?

Comment by: Dave on 10th February 2024 at 19:16

Wonderful Irene and i mean really ! Your post gives me prospective . Of course it gives me a feeling of My God from the Wigan I knew , but your post shows me the changing map !
Thank you Irene , i hope you will post more like this

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 10th February 2024 at 19:44

Dave, it isn't my photo.....I was asked to post it for a friend who isn't a Wigan World member. But my views on the future of Wigan are exactly as I have stated. Once the "honeymoon period", (that's if it ever gets to that stage!), is over, with the novelty of people using the new Cinema/Bowling Alley etc, I dread to think how quickly it will go downhill. However, I would be happy to be proved wrong and hope that I am. I love Wigan and it breaks my heart to see what is happening to it.

Comment by: Ena Malcup on 10th February 2024 at 20:00

Same photo is in MEN.


Comment by: Veronica on 10th February 2024 at 20:35

A good photo Irene from your friend. At the same time a sad one I wonder how long it will be before the bare ground is covered. Not many people about even the pigeons have flown. I can’t see any - usually there’s more pigeons than people.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 10th February 2024 at 20:56

Veronica, the pigeons are probably fed up of all the stick they get on photo-a-day and have decided to take their custom elsewhere! I can just hear them cooing, "We know wheer we're not wanted, lads....there's a Pound Bakery i' Bowton too, tha' knows..... Gerra move on and be sharp abeawt it! "

Comment by: Mark on 10th February 2024 at 21:10

I wonder what the time scale is on this project? This looks a massive build !

Comment by: Dave on 10th February 2024 at 22:37

Wigan from ages ago is about people at WC wanting to improve Wigan with money on a drip ! How can we, on all honesty , blame them ?

Comment by: ex wiganer on 11th February 2024 at 08:37

All that i can say that it is an absolute disgrace and so awful thinkin what used to be there many many years ago the market hall etc, I dont see why they couldnt have left it alone and just updated it.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 11th February 2024 at 08:42

Alan, I do not know about the financial aspect nor a firm time scale, when I talk to stall holders in the Market Hall they say 2026 for the New Hall but are not holding their breath!
As for anything archeological, the entire site was excavated to a great depth for the original development so not much chance of finding anything.
Those nine block of flats progressively get higher the tallest on New Market Street more than twice the height of the Rushton Building!

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 11th February 2024 at 08:51

Wigan news gets about. I have just read on Google News that the 1st phase of the £135 million Wigan redevelopment is done & Hybrid (?) Planning Consent for the full site has been secured & as stated by Colin, you are going to get 144 bed hotel, a Market Hall ( Wigan used to have one of those...didn't it ??) & a Food Court....so no Bowling Alley etc for a good while yet folks. Wonder what the people staying in the 144 bed hotel will do of a evening ?

Comment by: DTease on 11th February 2024 at 09:42

Interesting to see Makinson’s Arcade running straight to the middle of the site. How long do we think that will last?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 11th February 2024 at 10:08

Helen, they will probably be saying that they are so pleased to have endured the boat trip over from France!

Comment by: Veronica on 11th February 2024 at 10:13

More to the point I wonder who will be using the 144 bed hotel.
There’s already two modern hotels nearby.
It sounds very much like ‘ Great Expectations. And ‘ Food Court’ sounds like pigeons will be welcome…

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 11th February 2024 at 10:17

If I am reading the architects drawing correctly there will be a connection knocked through into the new Market Hall half way down Makinson's Arcade on the left hand side integrating the two and increasing footfall.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 11th February 2024 at 11:24

Even if the people in the 144-bed hotel AREN'T "off a boat trip from France", but genuine paying guests staying in Wigan for a couple of nights, they'll probably make their way across our poor deserted, echoing town and catch the train to Manchester to the clubs and restaurants there if we are still waiting for our Food Court to be built. I'm afraid the architects' drawings would be hieroglyphics to me, Colin....I don't have that sort of mind and wouldn't understand the plans if I fell over them, so I'll just hope for the best. But on the rare occasions I visit Wigan now, (usually only for blood tests), I expect to see Tumbleweed blowing down Market Street!

Comment by: Veronica on 11th February 2024 at 11:28

Looks more like it’s back to the drawing board! Again!

Comment by: WN1 Standisher on 11th February 2024 at 13:55

A sobering shot, I did see this earlier on in the week on Wigan Today but thanks for putting it on here Irene. It's a real moment in time, 'lest we forget. I can't help remembering what the stall holder told me before Christmas, the money is in place for the demolition ( as we can see above ) but there is no money in the pot for the development. Just remains to be seen what we eventually get. There's one thing, they can't leave it like that ( or can they ? )

Comment by: DTease on 11th February 2024 at 14:39

Colin, I wouldn't take too much notice of Architect's Drawings, I remember the publicity for Robin Park and the end result looked nothing like the drawings.

Comment by: Peter Walsh on 11th February 2024 at 17:23

I can see the Fleece yard, copper bell shaped roof on Jacksons corner is right on it. Access by the single entry on the Market Place opposite the toilets and on Market Street just past the red bins. Cyril will recognize this.

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 11th February 2024 at 18:41

Photo looks better when viewed in the Manchester Evening news.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 11th February 2024 at 20:13

Thankyou Mick. I have never read The Manchester Evening News in my life. Neither have I read any other newspapers except The Wigan Observer for forty years so I can't argue about whether or not the newspaper photo is better. I was merely asked to upload it by a friend who doesn't have the facility to do so, and it was sent to me via email. I imagine its clarity must be quite sufficient to have brought forth so many comments. We haven't heard from you for some time now and from comments I have read recently people were beginning to wonder if you were okay; it's good to know that you are.

Comment by: Pru on 11th February 2024 at 20:17

Photo looks just fine on here.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 12th February 2024 at 11:43

Who would ever want to buy The Manchester Evening News or any foreign newspaper for that matter? Your uploaded picture Irene is great.
I still cannot say much about the funding for the new development but yesterday Michael Gove announced that there would be ample government funding to convert shops and offices into apartment as well as building houses and flats in town and city centres. That's if you can believe any Politician let alone an Architect!

Comment by: Cyril on 12th February 2024 at 13:05

Peter, I do remember those tiled and mosaic entrances to The Fleece Hotel, I'd never been in there, but it looks as though it would have been a pub with a dark interior with being enclosed by surrounding buildings, even if the windows had been quite large.

Veronica and Irene you're right about the Pigeons, there's not one to be seen, nor any other birds either - looks as though the bird hating commenters have got their wish - though they'll rue later with the bird songs, coos and chirrups not being heard.
I can imagine even the rats and mice will be scurrying off to pantries anew, as there'll not be a scorrock to be had in Wigan centre town now.

Comment by: Richard on 12th February 2024 at 14:34

Irene I don't think that's your old friend Mick who is commenting on this post, Ive noticed a few comments from him lately, but I can't see it being him to be honest.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 12th February 2024 at 15:19

I don’t know about tumbleweed growing in Market Street but would not be surprised. I have had wiff of something being smoked in that entrance to the bus station! Could that be tumbleWeed?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 12th February 2024 at 15:37

Cyril, I just love birds, just not these town centre pigeons.
Must confess I have stopped feeding them in my garden even though the variety was quite extensive and some not commonly seen. it just became a feeding ground for tree rats, and a hunting ground for cats and hawks, magpies would steel eggs and chicks. Think I was interfering with the balance of Nature.
Lovely though to hear the blackbirds singing in trees in the dead of night, they have quite a vocabulary.

Comment by: ALAN WINSTANLEY on 12th February 2024 at 15:38


Comment by: Veronica on 12th February 2024 at 15:59

Me too Richard. I wondered about Dolly Day Dream on PaD!
His ‘sarcasm’ speaks volumes.

Comment by: I Don’t Either! on 12th February 2024 at 16:48

Not Mick of old. Nuff said.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 13th February 2024 at 09:50

No use crying over spilled milk!
It’s all gone now forever, what those nine blocks of flats will bring to the town centre is anybody’s guess.
Most of these flats have only three rooms. Lounge, kitchen and bathroom. Bedsits for students or immigrants?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 13th February 2024 at 11:41

Cyril, which was the Fleece Hotel? I am having a mental block.
I remember the Fleece Hotel in Scholes just up from Boltons Herbal Chemist but not the one you refer to.

Comment by: AH on 13th February 2024 at 14:12

Colin; fleece entrance near red bins market st 'back entrance was near the corporation bus offices.[pound bakery]

Comment by: Malc on 14th February 2024 at 08:14

Manchester Evening News is a regional newspaper and has every right to cover Wigan. Irene wigan observer only a shadow of what it use to be...prity boring paper.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 14th February 2024 at 09:31

Malc, I never said The Manchester Evening News shouldn't cover Wigan and I apologise if that's how it came across....all I said was that I personally have never read it. I actually agree with you about The Wigan Observer, and I get it out of habit really, as I have done all my married life, and my parents did before me. I miss Geoff Shryhane's "Wigan World" page since he retired and tend to only read the "nostalgia" pages by Ted Dakin now, where he looks back on his childhood. I just skim through the rest. It used to be lovely when they sent a photographer round to churches and the wedding photos took up a whole page, with the bride and bridegroom's names underneath....I think you have to send your own photos in these days! They even had a Children's Page when I was a child. I will continue to get it as long as it lasts, (or as long as I last!!), but I do agree with you.

Comment by: Gordon on 14th February 2024 at 13:35

Irene, the retro pages were good reading in the Observer but they seem to have stopped printing them lately, so I don't buy it anymore. The broadsheet Wigan Observer had everything inside, Weddings, car dealers, property for sale, Cousins corner, a proper letters page, lovely colour photos of nature and parks. I could go on.
For me the Observer is boring and over priced and like you said Irene, it's habit why I bought it too.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 14th February 2024 at 14:35

Gordon, The Retro photos and Ted Dakin's memories are not in every week,...perhaps they're eking them out so they'll last a while! Something else I have noticed in the obituaries is spelling and grammar....I have seen, "Mrs. So-and-so of Ince, formally of Hindley", when it should read "formerly of Hindley"..... formally IS a word but is the wrong one in that context.
Now I know that not everyone is hot on spelling and that the person sending in the details may have mis-spelled something, and that's fair enough, but what happened to editors? That was their JOB, to correct spellings and grammar before the newspaper was printed.

Comment by: Black ink on 15th February 2024 at 11:05

Irene the Wigan Observer newspaper has been published since 1853, there's millions of photographs.
In 1966, the Observer circulation was around 50, 000 copies a week, now about 3, 000 copies a week.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 15th February 2024 at 12:43

I know that, "black ink".... I have just bought one of this week's 3,000 copies. I was 14 in 1966 and my parents got The Wigan Observer. I remember when it went from being the huge "arm-stretcher", (that my Dad used to hold up to the fireplace over the shovel to get the fire to "draw"), to the more manageable size it is today. Our family has always read The Wigan Observer but I miss the old days when it had wedding photos, birth notices. Children's Page, adverts for household items that people wanted to sell and so much more than it does now. But I still buy it.

Comment by: Bob the builder on 16th February 2024 at 06:03

A ruined Wigan Town. But let's see what it will be like once it's finished.

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