Memories of King Street Wanted

Started by: jo anne (34110) 

To share your memories, email: by midnight on Fri 28th Jan


Started: 10th Jan 2022 at 23:12

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (9461)

Before Christmas, I was in the alleyway off King Street, trying to locate where the old 'Movies' club was located, you walked down some steps to it, but it was always pitch black down that alleyway at night, so I never registered where it was.

I think this was the entrance to it.

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 14:37
Last edited by Tommy Two Stroke: 12th Jan 2022 at 14:38:41

Posted by: sonlyme (3149)

I remember the snooker hall.

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:06

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (9461)

The Snooker Hall which became Chaplins, and Chaplins closed by agreement with the council, when the owner of Chaplins, opened the Prince's Nightclub in the old cinema

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:31

Posted by: ena malcup (939)

TTS Is that College Avenue?

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:36

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (9461)


Yes it is College Avenue

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:40

Posted by: tonker (25112) 

I have some fond memories of that door!

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:44

Posted by: ena malcup (939)

I did work in King Street in the 1960's, though only very briefly. (Weeks).

It was convenient for me, as I arrived by train from Bryn, and simply walked across iron bridge to King Street.

Post Office Engineering Dept. had their drawing Office in upper floors of one of the buildings. Can't remember if it was same block as Bodega, or adjacent/close.

This was very different from the usual Engineering Drawing Office. It was a record of the wired network of the district ie. which ducts were occupied by particular cables Where a cable ran to, and from, and the termination/connections at the ends of each cable.

One of the categories of employment was 'Reproduction Assistant'.

This gave rise to one of those bloomers. Quite genuine: I've seen the original.

From publication: Amendments to the rule book of the Union of Post Office Engineering Workers.

It reads:

"Insert in front of female candidates. reproduction assistants."

and, has been oft quoted over the ensuing years!

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 16:57

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (9461)

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 17:06

Posted by: sonlyme (3149)

I used to play guitar in the Turnkey.

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 18:15

Posted by: broady (18055) 

The Oompah band in the Bier Kellar. Everyone trying to get their round in the Clarence or the Stable Bar (Minorca) as the ale was more expensive in the Bier Kellar.

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 18:27

Posted by: tonker (25112) 

Ziggy played guitar too, apparently. Maybe not in the Turnkey though!

Replied: 12th Jan 2022 at 18:29

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

Ideas on ways to improve King St are also needed.

Make King Street the ‘King of Streets’: Survey

Replied: 18th Jan 2022 at 17:38

Posted by: JR (324)

As an underage drinker (not on my own there) it was the Shakespeare (long demolished) followed by the Bier Keller, if I had the money to buy the ridiculously priced but incredibly strong German lager. But good days. The Shakespeare had photos of celebrities who had appeared at the Hippodrome. A great pub to start the night in winter with a roaring coal fire glowing. As a hippy in the day I wasn't allowed into quite a lot of pubs and almost every restaurant... so I do appreciate being welcomed without prejudice by the few decent people who only judged on behaviour rather than dress. Colin Cook at the Market Hotel called everyone sir regardless of appearance or social status.

Replied: 18th Jan 2022 at 18:21

Posted by: cindy (5942) 

Anyone remember Wigan Transport club, Down College Avenue.

Replied: 19th Jan 2022 at 17:01

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (9461)

I thought that the Transport Club became Pemps in Dorning Street, and then the bus drivers had a shed on the way to the bus depot in Melverley Street (1980s), which they called the Transport Club.

Replied: 19th Jan 2022 at 17:24

Posted by: ena malcup (939)

I really enjoyed my brief period of working on King Street in 1960's.

Back then, there were some brilliant places to get lunch/dinner in central Wigan.

I think best of all was the Conservative Club in Commercial Yard. They had a 'wet subsidises dry' policy, so you got a good bargain. Still remember their gorgeous golden syrup sponge pudding and custard.

Also, the Chinese on Market Street. (Only the one back then) and Park Hotel were places where I frequently dined.

But Tory Club trumped the lot!

Replied: 19th Jan 2022 at 18:08

Posted by: basil brush (18168)

I couldn't believe they shut chaplins down for the sake of buying the princess.

Replied: 21st Jan 2022 at 09:32

Posted by: Owd Codger (596)

I can remember a few years ago, King Street being described as Wigan's equivalent of America's wild west with some of the bouncers said to being as bad as some of the customers who were coming from miles around because of it's reputation for trouble.

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 08:57

Posted by: momac (11994) 

I used to take my Son to Blue Coat School in the late seventies and as we lived in Warrington Lane it meant going up and down King St an awful lot..Tesco's was a very nice little supermarket,then close by was Frank's sweet shop.Kinleys men's shop further up where my Mam bought hubbys shirts etc for his Birthday..the coffee shop at the top in the fifties was supposed to be the first cafe to sell coffee in glass cups and saucers.
When I was a little one my Dad took me to see 'Jane Eyre'at the Hippodrome,it frightened me to death..and can remember my Mam telling my Dad off for taking me.
I think if memory serves me right the 'Palace Cinema' was where Brocol House is now.
Of course the Court Cinema was a favourite at the time..there was a film on at one time that I wanted to see..I was in my early teens,my Dad also wanted to see it so there we were in the queue when a voice at the back of me who it turned out to be my classmate saying " I'm going to tell your Mam of you being with a lad" was I proud of my Dad that she thought he was a lad.
'The County 'was another great Son is in a rock band and they practice upstairs there..the saying 'what goes around comes around' come to Mam and Dad were in the queue one night there when a horse was running up King St,my Dad grabbed him and he got a letter of thanks from Paul Foster thanking him..I still have the letter.yes I have plenty of memories of King St.

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 10:08

Posted by: cindy (5942) 

Remember listening to Ronnie Carr & The Beat Boys in the Transport club in College Avenue..

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 14:45

Posted by: fossil (7232)

Ena Malcup,I was also employed on underground maintenance at Post office Telephones,and signed on in the morning at Victoria buildings on King St. More often than not we would use the side entrance in College Ave,next to the entrance to the Transport club.
This was late 1960’s.

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 20:38
Last edited by fossil : 23rd Jan 2022 at 20:40:30

Posted by: roylew (3548)

Aww..remember the bierkeller with a one man ban..the m6 breakdown band….brilliant….everything all’s right now…incredible string band….lager 7/6d litre….

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 22:12

Posted by: ena malcup (939)

Thanks fossil.

I thought it was the same building, but was not sure.

Tis over 60 years ago, so my memory is not as clear as I might wish.

One thing I do remember, was the very ancient lift. No push buttons. You entered, manually closed the scissor-concertina gate. Then you actuated a brass lever which closed electrical contacts, requiring you to keep the lever engaged whilst the lift was travelling.

It was very interesting device. I do wish that I had taken some photos of the thing.

Replied: 23rd Jan 2022 at 22:51

Posted by: fossil (7232)

Ena Malcup, yes I remember the lift but more often than not I would run up the two flights as was quicker that way.
Not now I might add!

Replied: 24th Jan 2022 at 13:47

Posted by: ena malcup (939)


Was a guy named Mort still in charge of UG maintenance in your day?

Replied: 24th Jan 2022 at 16:40

Posted by: fossil (7232)

Ena Malcup. Len Mort was a foreman engineer on underground construction based at Rose Bridge from what I remember.
Nice chap,he used to run the Sports and Social fishing club.
The Engineer in charge of Maintenance was Alf (AC) Smith and Frank Power was the foreman.
My brother tells me that he believes Victoria Buildings was the site of Wigans first telephone exchange in the 1890's.

Replied: 24th Jan 2022 at 20:48
Last edited by fossil : 24th Jan 2022 at 20:51:26

Posted by: ena malcup (939)

That's interesting.

Thanks, fossil.

Replied: 24th Jan 2022 at 21:10

Posted by: basil brush (18168)

Posted by: Owd Codger (62)
I can remember a few years ago, King Street being described as Wigan's equivalent of America's wild west with some of the bouncers said to being as bad as some of the customers who were coming from miles around because of it's reputation for trouble.

I think it was quite a few years ago when the bouncers weren't checked on and didn't need badges so anyone could do it.

Replied: 27th Jan 2022 at 09:02

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

On behalf of the King Street Wigan HAZ Programme, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) has launched an online survey for anyone with an interest in the area to help shape future regeneration plans.

They are particularly interested in hearing from young people, aged 16 - 24, to gauge their opinions on what is currently on offer for leisure and entertainment. (Link)

Survey Link

Replied: 18th Feb 2022 at 14:24

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

Photo Walks

• Sat 12th March
• Sat 19th March
• Sat 2nd April
• Sat 9th April

A series of free afternoon photography walks led by Ciara Leeming.

Email: Instagram

Replied: 19th Feb 2022 at 15:41
Last edited by jo anne: 25th Feb 2022 at 12:00:29

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

In case the poster pic isn’t clear, here’s what it says:

King Street Photo Walks

Are you interested in photography, people and stories? My name is Ciara Leeming - I am a photographer and writer. I’m looking for people to work with me on a collaborative art project inspired by the King Street area of Wigan. This will be exhibited in the public realm, in partnership with Streets Apart.

I’m particularly interested in including perspectives from people who currently work near King Street or have in the past - as well as anyone who has experiences of and stories about this area.

To kick things off, I’m running a series of free afternoon photo walks - a chance to get creative, see the area differently and meet new people.

All are welcome. No experience necessary - bring your phone camera or DSLR to take photos on the walk. Help is on hand, should you need it.

Find out more and book a place:

You can still get involved in the project without coming on the walks. Please get in touch.

Replied: 19th Feb 2022 at 16:30

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

More about Streets Apart - Link:

King Street was once the hub of entertainment in Wigan, and a new project called Streets Apart intends to celebrate this history, uncover hidden stories, and kick start a cultural revival. Created by a consortium of 9 Wigan and Leigh based organisations on a mission to bring world-class cultural activity to King Street, Streets Apart is a three-year project supported by £120,000 investment from national funder Historic England.

Over three years, this locally-rooted programme will commission artists, local creative partners & community groups to co-create unique street art, podcasts outdoor performance and more, culminating in a celebratory festival for the whole community in 2023.

Replied: 25th Feb 2022 at 12:02

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

The photography walks kick off this Saturday - 12th March

If you’d like to take part, email Ciara: (Link)

You can also still record your comments & views on the King St Heritage Zone online:

Info -

Replied: 10th Mar 2022 at 08:07

Posted by: jo anne (34110) 

Places still available on the photography walks:

• Sat 2nd April
• Sat 9th April

If you’d like to take part, email Ciara: (Link)

Replied: 30th Mar 2022 at 16:46


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