Ince Post Office 1971

Started by: sir bob (7084)

In the Photographs of Wigan, Album – Places – Higher Ince Section, there is a photo of Ince Post Office from 1971 and there as been a lot of debate as to where the Post Office was located, although just about everybody as finally agreed that the Post Office was in Higher Ince.

Higher Ince Post Office 1971

So here is proof of where the Post Office was located.

From a 1969 Map of Wigan, which includes Higher Ince, the map shows the location of Post Offices, the black dot is the location of a Post Office

Close up

Map key

A 1967 Walking Day photo of Manchester Road, with arrow pointing at Post Office

Close up

Present day photo of the bus stop on Manchester Road, which is exactly where the 1971 Post Office was located

Started: 8th Nov 2015 at 18:22
Last edited by sir bob: 8th Nov 2015 at 18:37:17

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Thankyou, Sir Bob!

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 19:15

Posted by: Anne (3789) 

Lower Ince post office never had a sign over the top as shown in Sir Bobs album pictures link.

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 19:22

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Pic on Albums in definitley not Spring View PO, which used to be opposite the bottom of Taylor's Lane, where my grandmother lived, it was there until about mid 70s, which was when the floor caved in, and I think it was at that time it was relocated.. I was born in Hope Street, Spring View and my Aunt had the shop next to the Warmsley Arms, so I used to know that area very well.

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 20:21

Posted by: irene (2900) 

My Aunty lived in Hope Street, Jazzy, in the 1950s/early 60s. Her name was Sally Gittoes.

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 20:50

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Irene, I was born in 1950, and we lived there until I was about 4 years old I think, then we moved to Bickershaw.

Irene, a bit off topic, did I read somewhere you used to work in Debenhams Wigan?

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 20:52
Last edited by Jazzy: 8th Nov 2015 at 20:53:26

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Yes, I worked there from 1973 until 1976, three years to the day. I left on the same date I started!

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 21:35

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

I might know you, where you on the hosiery counter by any chance?

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 21:37

Posted by: irene (2900) 

No, I worked on Glass and China in the basement, then on Dress Fabrics on the ground floor, then on Curtains on the top floor. Where did you work, Jazzy? Off to bed now; catch up tomorrow.

Replied: 8th Nov 2015 at 23:05

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Hi Irene, I think I left in 1973, so we may have crossed a little bit, I was the Max Factor Consultant, ground floor, right by the door.

Kyra was the Estée Lauder consultant, beautiful Irish girl with blond hair. Charles of the Ritz consultant was at the end farthest from the door and Elizabeth Arden round the other side of the counter facing hosiery.. Can't remember the other ladies names, it was a long time ago!

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 08:34
Last edited by Jazzy: 9th Nov 2015 at 08:36:02

Posted by: irene (2900) 

I started at the end of August. I remember three ladies on the cosmetics. Two were older ladies; the Charles of the Ritz lady, (wore glasses, can't recall her name), and Mrs. Mears, (May, I think),who was on either cosmetics of fragrance. The younger girl on cosmetics had very long black hair but again her name escapes me. Might have been Lynn. I would know it immediately if you said it. They always looked very glamorous in the canteen and always touched up their make-up before returning to the shop floor.

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 19:54

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Yes your right Irene. May was Elizabeth Arden, Lynn was Coty I think. I think the Charles of the Ritz consultant was Eileen, forget her second name.

If you remember Lynne, we did overlap, as I remember Lynn leaving and a girl who was a Debenhams employee got her job.Can't remember her name now, but her in laws had a pub in Newton le Willows, I think it was the Legh Arms.

Kyra was stunning, (Estée Lauder) she had been a Miss Ireland, quite tall and she had the most fabulous thick blond hair.

Max Factor was next to Estée Lauder on the long side of the counter.

I should know you, as I got married in 1972, and haunted the basement, especially lighting, as the lady in that department brought in the first fibre optic lamps I had seen. She was a lovely lady, but I've forgotten her name.

I'm trying to remember the supervisors name on Fabrics,( I bought my bridesmaids fabric there) but it escapes me. A lovely lady mid thirties maybe early forties I would guess, and had worked there for donkeys years.

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 20:57

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Oh I think I remembered the name of the girl who took over from Lynne, I'm sure it was Edith.

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 22:07

Posted by: irene (2900) 

The girl with long black hair, (may not be Lynn), was there when I was there; I used to see her when I went in Debenhams as a teenager, and thought her so glamorous, and couldn't believe I was in the same canteen as her. I think she was still there when I left, but the passage of time has blurred my memory on that. My supervisor on Glass and China was Marion Evans, and I remember the lady on lighting but not her name. When I went on dress fabrics, we had a male supervisor, Mr. Holmes, and when he left we had Colette Morris. Two of the other ladies were Beryl Baxendale and Barbara Wilcox. Barbara worked there from leaving school to retirement. Lastly I worked for Eric King on curtain fabrics on the top floor. I worked up there through my pregnancy through the long hot Summer of 1976, (no windows or air conditioning), and the day I left the weather broke and it rained! Miss Holland was the Manageress. Lovely to exchange memories!

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 22:43

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

The girl with the long black hair was Lynne, Irene, and she definitely left before I did. But not long before, maybe 6 months. And then Edith got her job. She had applied for the Max Factor job, but I got it, so things were always a bit strained between us. Lynne was a real party girl, and very friendly with Tommy Rathbone I remember.

Barbara Wilcox was the lady on fabrics I thought was the supervisor. A really lovely lady, but she always seemed a bit nervy. She sold me my bridesmaid material.

I remember Miss Holland, and there was an elderly gentleman who was one of the senior managers, He had been there man and boy, and I remember him telling me that when he started there he used to have to work till midnight on Christmas Eve!

My abiding memory of working in Debenhams is the smell of Estée Lauder Youth Dew, which was all the rage at the time. By the time I got home from work, it was all over my clothes, hair and skin, and I can't stand the smell to this day!

I had my eldest daughter in 1975, but before that I'd had another job, so I'm pretty sure I left in 1973 or maybe early 74.

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 23:53

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

sir bob, many apologies for commandeering your thread

Replied: 9th Nov 2015 at 23:55

Posted by: sir bob (7084)


No problem, I remember when Debenhams was Pendlebuys and going to see Father Christmas, being towed along in a boat, pulled by a couple of Swans

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 09:38

Posted by: irene (2900) 

As I said, Jazzy, I started at Debenhams in August 1973 and I turned 21 in October. Miss Evans bought me a Wedgewood bud vase with a Poppy design on which I still have on display in my house 42 years later! At Christmas, she bought all her staff, (three or four of us), a gift, and mine was "Memoire Cherie" perfume; I THINK it was by Elizabeth Arden, but I too recall the sickly, pungent smell of Youth Dew, and I didn't even work on that counter! I got married in January 1974 and, as I have said, worked until I left to have my son Jamie, who will be 39 at the end of this month. I remember Miss Holland's sister worked there, and was married to one of the management, but I can't recall their will come to me eventually; I recall telling him I was fed up with dusting the curtain dept. one day, and he said, "Well, you might be dead tomorrow and then you'll wish you were dusting"! (Very true!). Barbara Wilcox lived with her Mother and ran the scouts/cubs at The Queens Hall. Debenhams once had a Christmas Dance at Ince Public Hall and someone bought her a "Pony", which was a little bottle of sherry, and she panicked and said, "Don't tell me mother I've had a sherry".......she was 36 at the time! Do you remember Olive who worked in accounts, and the lady with beautifully manicured nails who took the floats off us at the end of the day? Brian Towers? Frank Webb? Mr. Peach in DCB, which was situated in the yard outside? Julie Howard, (later Ward), was his assistant, and Julie and I later worked together at Boots, where Julie still works.

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 10:06

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Sir Bob, that sounds novel! I assume the boat was on wheels, but can't figure out the swans? They couldn't have been real, but what where they, motorised somehow?

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 10:54

Posted by: sir bob (7084)


It was done in real water and the Swans were about four foot high

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 10:58

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Irene, what a fantastic memory you have! I don't remember any of the other people you mentioned, sorry!

The Youth Dew used to be sprayed into the air, why I do not know, because Kyra couldn't refill the shelves fast enough. People just went mad for it. Yuk!

Oddly enough, I started at Debenhams just after my 21 birthday, in 1971!

Do you remember the lady on the Carmen rollers, the counter was right next to fabrics? I've forgotten the lady's name, but she did my hair when I got married. She was very pretty with dark hair.

And the other person I was friendly with was a guy on records, which was in the basement. He left to go to work in Smiths in Mesnes Street, and I remember going in years later, and he recognised me, don't think he would these days! Again his name escapes me.

Did they still have the system for sending money up to the cash office when you were there? You put the money in a capsule thing, and off it shushed, and a receipt or change came back. I was always intrigued by it, haven't a clue how it worked though!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 11:10

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Sir Bob, how was it done in real water? Did they build a canal for it?

Crikey that sounds such a lot of work!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 11:13

Posted by: sir bob (7084)


I don't know I was only about four at the time (early 1960's)

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 12:03

Posted by: irene (2900) 

I can't bring to mind the lady on Carmen Rollers but would probably know her if I saw a pic of her. The man on records was called Keith, and he actually still worked in Smiths when my daughter worked there in around 2001-ish, and he remembered me! No, the capsule paying system had stopped and we had tills. Credit cards had just come in and we had to put them through a duplicating machine and people had to sign, so I imagine the capsule system would have been difficult for those payments. I remember the capsule system when I was a little girl when it was Pendlebury's......I had no idea it would still have been used as late as the 1970s! I have a feeling that I could have rattled off so many names only a few years ago that now escape me.....old age!......but I do remember a lot. My grand-daughter Edie goes to St. Andrew's School in Springfield and one of her teachers, Mrs. Holmes, recognised me from Debenhams and told Edie she used to work with me. I went to have a word with her, and I knew her face but couldn't have said where from. Miss Evans came to live near me many years ago but sadly died from breast cancer. According to a friend of hers, she knew she had it and wouldn't go to the doctor.....who knows, maybe she could have been saved? I was so sad, as I felt I was getting to know her as a person instead of a former boss. Barbara Wilcox died a few years ago. The day I started at Debs, a young girl four years my junior started there too, and we became great friends, and stayed so for many years. Her name was Carmel and she sadly developed cancer in, I would say, her late thirties. She fought it valiantly but it re-occurred in different parts of her body and she sadly died aged 53. She had a little grand-daughter, Mia, the same age as our Edie, but only knew her until she was two. She now has a grandson that she never knew about. Sometimes when I have a moan about having to pick up Edie,(8), and Oliver(6), from school, and look after them in the holidays, I give myself a talking-to when I realise how lucky I am.

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 12:26

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Irene, your memory is so much better than mine! It was Keith, he had a sort of Buddy Holly look going on. Black glasses. Lovely chap he was.

I thought the capsule system may have gone by your time. We used to use it for Debenhams accounts (cant remember quite how they worked, but pre cards) and at the end of the day, the tills were cleared 30 mins or so before closing, and any sales shushed up to the cash office, 5 mins later they shushed back. We had tills for the rest of the day though.

I'm sorry to hear Barbara died, and my condolences on Miss Evans and Carmel.

I have no grandchildren, and won't have, as there is a genetic problem on my side of the family. Not something I knew about at the time I had my children, so I passed it on without knowing. It's a great sadness.

But I try to count my blessings

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 14:22

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Once again, I realise how lucky I am. My daughter doesn't want children.....her husband is much older than her and has a daughter from his previous marriage who is nearly as old as Ashley, (my daughter). They live on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides so we don't see them often but Ashley rings most weekends and as long as they are happy that's all I'm bothered about. Jamie was 30 and his wife was 33 when Edie was born so we didn't think we were going to have grandchildren, then had two in two years. They have just been to Blackpool Illuminations and Oliver informed me that he is going to take me when he's 17, IF I'M STILL ALIVE!! Out of the mouths of babes, eh?!
I had thought you meant you had the capsule system instead of tills, which had surprised me as I often went in Debenhams before I worked there and didn't recall them, but they had gone when I started; we used to carry two bags up to the cash office at night, one with the takings and one with a float for the next day. Were you there when we used to get our wages in a little brown envelope every week, brought round by what was seemingly a nice young man.....a long-term member of staff......and one day he disappeared with all the takings?! We went onto monthly pay soon after that, paid into the bank.
I think I only recall Keith's name because he worked with Ashley in Smith's, although I remembered him as a person because he was so nice and easy to get on with. There is a photo on the Album of when Debenhams staff went to Manchester on bikes, roller skate etc . for charity. Have you seen it?

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 18:17

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

I recall you chatting to Billy about going to see your daughter on Lewis. It must be very beautiful there.

The capsule system was built into pillars, that looked like a structural thing to hold up the ceiling, you really wouldn't have known they were there, unless you did know, if you see what I mean! You opened a thing like a small cat flap, and when you closed it off it shot.

I don't remember the chap taking off with the wages, but I was paid monthly by Max Factor, so I might not have realised!

I haven't seen the pic, I'll have a look for it, are you on it?

Meant to ask, did they still have clocking in cards when you were there Irene?

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 18:38
Last edited by Jazzy: 10th Nov 2015 at 18:40:36

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Just seen the pic and you with your L plate

The lady in the pram had the best spot!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 18:44

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

I can't find a pic of the inside of Debenhams Wigan Irene, but if you see the orange supporting pillars in this pic I've posted, it was something like that. All the tubes were hidden inside the pillars, with just the small flap for access at about 4 feet from the floor. So it was invisible really!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 19:04
Last edited by Jazzy: 10th Nov 2015 at 19:04:36

Posted by: irene (2900) 

I too must apologise to Sir Bob for taking over his thread about Ince, but thank him too as we wouldn't have got to exchange all these memories. If you ever go to Bridlington, there is a shop called see them all over Yorkshire. They're a bit like Woolworth's. In the Bridlington Branch there is.....or WAS.....a café on the top floor and a little museum of the shop in its former days, and it shows the chutes where the money used to go and explains how it worked. We haven't been for a few years so don't know if it's still there. They were quite common; Oxley's in Wigan used to have one when I was little, as well as Pendlebury's, but I think you could see the tubes then. Co-ops used to have them and the late Thora Hird describes in one of her books how she was the lady in the cash office who received the bill and the customer's money, then sent the capsule whooshing back to the sales floor with the customer's receipt and change.
How young I was on that photo!.....I would only have been 22, and Carmel was next to me but you can only see half her face. Yes, they did still have clocking-in cards as you went in the back entrance, but it later changed to signing in via a book, but I'm SO glad I got to clock in before it finished......I love old ways and hate to see them die out.
Lewis is beautiful in its own way, but it's not my sort of scenery. It's certainly peaceful, though. We have a photo of Ashley and Andrew's tiny house on top of our telly, and when the weather forecast comes on and shows Stornoway I always look at it and think of her. She lives about 20 miles from Stornoway, (just a pin-prick on the weather-map), but that is where they have to go to do their shopping, and if the weather is bad and the ferries can't get across there are often shortages in the supermarkets, but the islanders just accept that.
What did you wear for work at Debenhams? Did Max Factor have a uniform? I remember at my interview Miss Holland told me what to wear when I started.....I can't recall if it was a black dress or just "plain and dark". Anyway, I had a plain black and I wore that, but not long after we got a uniform, and there was a choice of a navy dress with a bow, or a navy pinafore with a choice of two blouses.....a shirt-type collar or a bow. I remember running up the back stairs to the canteen......I'd be puffing and blowing now! But at least we're still here, Jazzy!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 19:54

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Irene, I think because all the tubes were hidden it made it quite a mysterious process, it went up the chute, to goodness knows where and magically appeared back after a couple of minutes. You could hear it coming, just a quiet whoosh, and then a bonk when it arrived.

I remember the pinafore with the bow, and I think your right prior to that it was plain black.

Max Factor did have a uniform, it was a navy suit, with a pale blue blouse with a pussycat bow.

I remember the canteen vividly, I think the customers would have been surprised to see it! When I started there was linoleum glued to the table tops, and it really was quite shabby.

I think there were stairs just after the clock in machine that went to the canteen? But I think there was another staircase that came out in the top right hand corner of the ground floor.

If I'm remembering correctly you could just get a drink, I don't remember there being any food for sale?

I often used to walk down Mesnes Street to a chippy on the right hand side, quite near the bottom of the street next to Aspinalls Arts and Crafts shop.

Those were the days, I could eat anything and never put weight on!!

As you say, we are still here, and going strong, which is better than the alternative!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 20:16

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Just had another thought Irene, I think Lynne might have been a Helena Rubinstein consultant!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 20:26

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Yes, I think you're right.....Helena Rubinstein it was! When I was at Deb's, you could get SOME food, I think, but the mind plays tricks. I know you could get toast, and soup, but I'm not sure about a full meal. Yes, there were a few staircases.....some a bit mysterious.....but I can't think where they were. When I started on China in the basement, I went through a door in the corner, near lighting, and it was quite a treck up to the canteen, and I can recall going up with the money-bags through the store to the top floor, but coming back down via he back stairs. A few of us once sneaked behind the red velvet curtain that hid a further staircase on the top floor, next to the lift, and we went up on the roof! The canteen WAS a bit shabby, and was in two parts with the serving-bit in-between. The first part had tables and chairs and the other part, if I remember rightly, had a long table with benches or chairs along it, and Lynn used to go in there. I suppose those rooms and staircases must still be's Wilkinson's now, isn't it? I remember the clothes-floor, where Carmel worked, between the ground floor and the top. They still had a millinery dept. with hats in deep drawers, and the lady presiding over it always had rouged cheeks. To be honest, she got a bit "whiffy" before she retired. There was another lady on that floor who always reminded me of someone from the 1950s with her waved blonde hair and make-up, like when you see photos of Ruth Ellis, but she was very pleasant. They had been there from another time, when it was Pendlebury's, and we young girls must have seemed out of place to them. I would love to be able to go back in time to see it in the forties and fifties; I have a fascination for old shops and old ways of packaging before plastic carriers. You have probably seen in my various Wigan World comments that Peter and I go to 1940s events, and love everything about that time. I hope we don't get in trouble, taking over this thread, but no-one has complained as yet!

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 21:18

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

You were more adventurous than me Irene, I never got on the roof! Wish I had though.

I have been reading another post about Debenhams with a few comments from you, the elderly gentleman I mentioned was Mr George, do you remember him? Was he the General Manager and Miss Holland the HR manager?

I dated Ken Twist a few times, believe it or not! I wasn't very worldly then!!

I remember being told that the floor above Fabrics had never been restored, after the fire, did you ever get up there?

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 21:33
Last edited by Jazzy: 10th Nov 2015 at 22:49:28

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

I don't know what's in place of Debenhams now Irene, believe it or not it's so long since I got home, it was still in the same place last I saw it.

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 21:35

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Where are you, Jazzy? I imagined you were in Bickershaw! Yes, I do remember Mr. George but his name had escaped me. Miss Holland WAS HR, or Personnel as we said then, not manageress. Ken Twist?! I always liked with him, but DATING him? He always wore an overall with the collar fashionably turned up and hated taking pictures off display in case he broke a nail. And......wait for it.....he used to say he wanted to dress me in brown and dusky pink, (hence my query about dating)! But he was okay, was Ken. It takes all sorts to make a world and there is room for us all. Debenhams, (I've been in today}, is now in The Grand Arcade, which was built where Station Road was, and the old Debenhams building is now Wilkinson's, (a bit like Woolworths), and still near M&S. The fabrics bit is, I think, a computer games place. Anyway, off to bed now, and hope you recall some more memories. Goodnight. x.
ps. would love to know about your date with Ken Twist! Did you go for a drink?

Replied: 10th Nov 2015 at 22:59
Last edited by irene: 11th Nov 2015 at 10:51:01

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Hi Irene, I live in Suffolk, we've been here 4 years, before that I lived in Essex for 25 years. I've not lived in Bickershaw since 1986!

I used to get home every couple of months but not so much since my parents died. I do have a sister who lives in Wigan, but it's about 10 years since I was last home. The Grand Arcade hadn't been built!

I am hoping to come home in the spring, Feb or March, with my younger daughter. If you fancy meeting up for lunch, or coffee and talk over old times, let me know

Ken was a nice chap, we went out about half a dozen times actually, and I had to fend him of on more than one occasion! I bet that surprises you, it did me too!! But we were friends, nothing more.

Replied: 11th Nov 2015 at 14:18

Posted by: irene (2900) 

Yes, that would be lovely, but please keep the memories going meantime if anything else comes back to you. You DO surprise me about Ken Twist; just shows you can't judge a book by its cover!

Replied: 11th Nov 2015 at 18:08

Posted by: Jazzy (8654) 

Irene, I will, you've got me thinking now, and thrown up some memories.

Let's start a new thread though, sir bob is a lovely chap to let us monopolise his thread, but we could start a new one, we could call it Debenhams memories or something?

Ask your Aunt Sally if she shopped in Jenny's, next to the Walmesley when she lived in Hope Street?

Wouldn't it be a coincidence if your Aunt did her shopping with my Aunt? But start a new thread. We've troubled sir bobs hospitality enough!

Replied: 11th Nov 2015 at 19:19


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