V for Mystery
This question has been posed on a local Facebook group and I don’t think anyone knows the answer for sure yet.
What does the metal plate enamelled with a letter V mean?
Started: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:09
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:13
It could be if it’s a Roman numeral, Peter, but what would five be referring to though?
The building’s address is 35/37 Market Place.
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:21
It could be a high five in our town of friendly renown.
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:41
Probably in honour of Queen Victoria ???
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:45
I wonder what the building was before it became a bank..does anybody know.
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:48
Maybe going back to WW2 where towns were split into zones instead of street names during the Blitz
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:49
I think the V is to show somewhere near to it is a stop valve for water main
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 09:51
Some interesting suggestions so far.
From Stardelta’s link: ‘Fire insurance plaques … metal & marked with the emblem of the insurance company … affixed to the front of insured buildings as a guide to the insurance company's fire brigade … in the C18th and C19th in the days before municipal fire services were formed.’
That could be a good shout though the V plaque doesn’t look so old, nor as ornate as the examples shown. Also, did Wigan have the insurance system?
‘The earliest reference to fire protection in Wigan can be found in the Wigan Water Act of 1764, which provided for the use of water to supply “the water engines” should “any fire happen or break out.” By 1837 the town had three engines, kept in a shed at the Wigan Gas Company on Darlington Street.’
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 14:44
Was it a college or university. I looked it up. The Roman's in 17th century labeled certain buildings for which they were. U or w or v
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 22:59
hooray i just did my first working link....
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 23:12
Replied: 27th Feb 2021 at 23:23
It's a Bank.
Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 00:02
After a lot of research I have found the answer to your V Mystery - It's from1984 and it stands for "Visitors". In 1984 an alien invasion of Earth by a carnivorous race of reptilians called "Visitors" came to Wigan. I know the purists out there may not believe me because I don't live in Wigan anymore and people can only comment on Wigan if they still live there - But I have video proof and Fat Mike has told me that's 100% genuine. Not just that one of the people who post on here from the USA said that it must be true cause Trump said it was. So here is the video proof:
Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 07:15
Last edited by peter israel: 28th Feb 2021 at 07:21:02
I was sceptical at first, Peter, but the V isn’t far from where Tom Whalley’s Pet Shop was, & the Visitors would’ve saved people paying pest control fees to deal with rats and mice, so perhaps there’s something in it after all.
Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 16:35
Erin, thanks, that’s an interesting find, but I don’t think this V will be on Roman lines.
Momac: ‘What was the building before it was a bank?’
Thanks, Pewfall, for helping answer that question with your first working link!
Contributors say it was previously a Dixon’s, Maxim’s (ladies’ wear), and Maltby’s Wine Shop before that.
Unfortunately, the WW photos don’t show the V though.
Roskie, ‘it shows somewhere near to it is a stop valve for water main.’
The yellow H hydrant signs also have numbers to give more info on how to locate them, so you might expect that for the V sign if that was the case?
I also wonder, depending on its purpose, if there were other V signs in Wigan as well?
Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 16:59
Last edited by jo anne: 28th Feb 2021 at 17:04:25
I remember going into the pet shop when I was a lad seeing the parrots so may be the V was to show were to find food????
Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 17:01
Last edited by peter israel: 28th Feb 2021 at 17:03:06
waiting for the wife to come out the pound bakery at half too today I stood under this thing looking for cluuues. Inspector clouseau i was looking at bricks, manholes, the sign itself and all around for other similar blue square..... Nuffin.... I'll keep my day job..
Replied: 2nd Mar 2021 at 00:16
Was it an estate agents jo anne ?
Replied: 4th Mar 2021 at 20:59
There is one way to find out, why don’t one of you pop into the bank and ask!
Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 06:34
I’m not sure if the bank staff will know, Linma, as they’ve not been in the building that many years.
Momac, did you have an idea what the V might be linked in with estate agents? I’ve not seen mention of the building being one, but I don’t know for certain.
Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 14:49
Jo anne,I've racked my brains..I've been past it so many times,I'm still hoping it'll come to me.
Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 15:05
Jo Anne,I've done an awful lot of "rooting" and it seems that it was always a bank the last one being Barklays..before that the Midlands..I was wondering..the V sign looks pretty clean and new,might it by any chance mean Virgin money?.
Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 15:55
Wigan planning shows it changed from A1 (Retail), to A2 (Financial) as Yorkshire Bank in 2004 wiv cash machines putting in. The Midland was (1-3 Wallgate) next door to Raven pub.
Replied: 5th Mar 2021 at 17:25
there was a EWS sign on the side of the wall near the old eckersley's mill ballroom. the EWS meant the dougie.
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 12:29
Jo anne, I've bloody told you what it is on t'other channel ! Be towd!
Water Supply History ....
These two signs, white letters on a blue diamond, refer to hydrant and valve.
The fire service would use the hydrant only, whereas the valve would be operated only by the water company. The valve was used to isolate sections of the water main network, a network of trunk and distribution mains, which supply water to a number of zones, sometimes referred to
as District Metered Areas, for maintenance and repair.
Use of these marker plates stopped many years ago. The plates shown possibly date back as far as the early 1900's when the water mains were first laid.
Today, fire hydrants are marked by the yellow plate with a black H on them.
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 12:42
Last edited by tonker: 6th Mar 2021 at 15:53:03
Tonker! You only posted at 9.04pm on t’other channel yesterday and I last posted on this thread hours before that!
But thanks, that’s a brilliant find!
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 16:23
Int` google great?
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 16:41
It is, Stardelta, but there’s a skill in finding things still sometimes, and Tonker did it.
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 16:50
Ah., but, jo anne, did I not tell you what it was BEFORE I looked up this information?
And didn't you all poo-poo it?
I had to look it up to prove a point!
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 17:54
Ah., but, jo anne, did I not tell you what it was BEFORE I looked up this information?
And didn't you all pooh-pooh it?
Your first mention of it was 9.04pm yesterday, Tonker, and no, I haven’t pooh-poohed it anywhere, but I did want to see the evidence to prove it too. Where did you find it?
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 18:05
I made it up!
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 18:21
And it’s not even April 1st!
So we still don’t have a definite answer!
What could it be?
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 18:28
Last edited by jo anne: 6th Mar 2021 at 18:28:50
Or did I?
Replied: 6th Mar 2021 at 18:40
the enamelling of the sign is in very good condition
Replied: 7th Mar 2021 at 14:28
This style of plate is EXACTLY how French old/vintage style house/street numbers were deigned. Hundreds for sale on antique sites, although not seen any with Roman numerals. Could there be some connection with Wigans French twin town.
Replied: 7th Mar 2021 at 15:43
I think it refers to something relating to the gas or water supply.. maybe VALVE?
Replied: 7th Mar 2021 at 17:26
Whatever makes you think that, Admin.?
Replied: 7th Mar 2021 at 18:12
Hi Joanne, it's not a water supply thing as Tonker suggests, those signs are diamond shaped, and usually at ground level. Could it be a Vent? Covered over because its in the wrong place internally? There does look to be something behind it if you look at the bottom edge? It would be interesting to know what's on the inside in that position, if somebody is brave enough to ask? I suspect it will remain a mystery. Interesting though.
Replied: 9th Mar 2021 at 21:04
Last edited by Jazzy: 9th Mar 2021 at 21:15:35
Fink out the box! everyone's saying it's a V. But look underneath, mortar holes and a raw plug. Perhaps were more plates there, the answer may be a small word beginning with V ?
Replied: 9th Mar 2021 at 22:07
How about when the building was being 'dun up' there was a blemish in the brickwork, a chunk missing, a hole, and the builder, got ,found, acquired that blue metal plate with a V on it, just to cover up a hole in the building
It is just a decorative piece
Replied: 9th Mar 2021 at 23:28
Hello Jazzy, I’m not convinced there is something behind the sign, but my picture isn’t really clear enough to tell.
Pewfall, what could the small word beginning with V be?
TTS, just a decorative piece to keep us all guessing?! It’s doing its job if that’s the case.
Replied: 10th Mar 2021 at 10:05
I'm well rubbish at countdown Jo anne...... but i've found another cloooo someone posted on FB an ad fm 1959........let's see if i can do my first picture link and get it to work......
Replied: 12th Mar 2021 at 01:21
Last edited by Pewfall: 12th Mar 2021 at 01:27:06
that was polava.... my first pic link.
Replied: 12th Mar 2021 at 01:28
Cheers for your first pic, Pewfall.
So the premises was a wine merchants twice over - Maltby’sand Munro’s - so could it be V for Vintner or Volume?
Replied: 14th Mar 2021 at 09:31
I'd go for victuallers? That pic of Maltby's lo anne is on corner Compton Street where 'Game' is. Builiding in question is actually the one in the centre of that pic between the 2 black lines.
Replied: 14th Mar 2021 at 12:27
Thanks, Pewfall, my mistake.
Replied: 14th Mar 2021 at 12:58
There’s a new lead! Someone has spotted another ‘V’ on the old Pagefield Hotel which was in Gidlow Lane (the new one was built in 1902).
Replied: 6th Apr 2021 at 13:05
and i'd only just forgotten how much this was dooing me ead in
Replied: 7th Apr 2021 at 18:25
Tonker: I made it up!
Oh no, you didn’t, Tonker! It’s taken me long enough, but I finally found the reference:
If what Gerald England says is right, then the Wigan signs could be a posh version of water valve marker plates. (But why no corresponding measurement if so?)
Replied: 12th Jul 2021 at 15:19
Two ‘V’s I spotted in Higher Ince recently, complete with measurements.
1) Hook St.
2) A wall of Empress Industrial Estate in Anderton St.
Replied: 12th Jul 2021 at 15:25
I remember when they were filming 'Liam' there in the surrounding streets, driving up a street which was a film set, every morning before filming they took everyone's TV aerial down, and then after each days filming they put them up again
Replied: 12th Jul 2021 at 19:13
You have been out and about jo Anne. Well done!
Replied: 12th Jul 2021 at 19:21
I like that anecdote, TTS.
Thanks Anne, I love exploring local places these days.
Replied: 12th Jul 2021 at 20:32
i think Admin is right it means VALVE if you look on the walkway directly under the V you may see a cast iron plate covering the Valve,
Replied: 15th Jul 2021 at 10:12