Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Tuesday, 27th September, 2011)


Irene and Peter Roberts of Abram salute The Forties!

Photo: Irene Roberts  (KODAK DX6340)
Views: 5,076

Comment by: irene roberts on 27th September 2011 at 07:43

Thanks for putting this on , Brian. We have also made it to the current issue of Lancashire Life! We attended the forties day at Darwen recently and Lancashire Life was there, snapping away. Fame at last!

Comment by: Maureen Andrews nee McGovern on 27th September 2011 at 09:21

You both look very nice Irene..and I love your dress.

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 09:43

Thanks Maureen; you are definitely the Mayoress! It isn't an old dress; just 40s style. I got it from New Look a few years ago. Peter's suit is original. It was made-to-measure for a Colonel Harris, but could have been made-to-measure for Peter. The difference in weight to his modern suit is unbelievable.

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 09:47

Sorry Mauree, that should have said Colonel Hilton.

Comment by: tricia on 27th September 2011 at 10:01

Well done Irene. What a handsome pair you make. You both look very smart. Love the 'stone martin'

Comment by: Margaret Wall on 27th September 2011 at 10:35

Nice to see you Irene. I feel I know you already over the vinegar bottles etc but it's lovely to know what you look like. You both look very smart in your 40's attire.
Is Peter's moustache false?

Comment by: Maureen Andrews nee McGovern on 27th September 2011 at 11:26 you know,I still look for that vinegar bottle every time we go to Bygone Times.

Comment by: irene roberts on 27th September 2011 at 11:29

No, it's real, Margaret. Still searching for the vinegar bottle. As you can guess, we love old stuff and are always in antique/junk shops, and we ALWAYS look out for "Margaret's vinegar bottle".
Tricia, "stone martin"?...You've lost me a bit that the mink?

Comment by: Catherine on 27th September 2011 at 11:55

Lovely photo. One of my Nannas had a fur like the one in the photo. It used to scare me to death!

Comment by: janet on 27th September 2011 at 12:36

What a 'Lovely' photo of a very 'Handsome' couple.... Nice to put a face to a name, not that I know you Irene, only as a name on here... but I've enjoyed your stories and a lot of our memories of our chilhoods are very similar...

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 16:36

Thankyou, Catherine and Janet. Been out all afternoon minding my grandson so have only just seen your comments.

Comment by: halsall on 27th September 2011 at 17:00

looking good Irene, youve not changed a bit! x.

Comment by: neil cain aka flaggy delf on 27th September 2011 at 18:11

Very stylish I must say.Peter really looks the biz and Irene too. Are there pies in that basket?Is that my auntie Jen;s brooch Irene?
Hope you enjoy Pickering weekend

Comment by: Jack on 27th September 2011 at 18:13

A lovely photo and such a smart couple, almost a perfect picture. Just a pitty about the dead fox.

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 18:21

Thanks Brenda. To be honest, although I am the first to admit I'm not ten coats of paint, (who said "HEAR HEAR"?!), I wasn't that thrilled with it, BUT we have been going to 40s dos for over a year now and have asked countless people to take a full-length photo for us, and every one has cut our feet off up to this one, so it was now or never! We've actually called in Hindley Tesco dressed like this; I think the staff thought they'd stepped through Duckett's Passage in Goodnight Sweetheart!

Comment by: Margaret Wall on 27th September 2011 at 18:29

Thanks Maureen and Irene. I wonder who will find my vinegar bottle first!
Irene I read your poem yesterday about Ince and it really is excellent. I myself love poetry and I have dabbled a bit but I don't think I'm quite up to your standard!
Your cousin Joseph is a good poet as well. It must run in the family!

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 18:38

Thanks Neil and Jack. Yes, it is your Auntie Jenny's brooch Neil,but we'd eaten the pies! And the mink is very, very old, from the days when it was considered acceptable to wear fur, and long before I was even born. But to leave it hanging in the wardrobe sadly won't bring it back to life, or I would do that.

Comment by: dave marsh on 27th September 2011 at 19:35

A great photo,Irene,with lots of details,is that a bomb shelter?

Comment by: Billg on 27th September 2011 at 19:48

Both of you 'cuttin' a dash' there, Irene. For some reason it reminds me of 'When the Boat comes in.'

Comment by: Brian Bradshaw on 27th September 2011 at 20:16

Ihad heard that you were an actress, but I never knew that you were a MODEL. Irene this is a brilliant photo, I could not have done any better!!!!!!

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 20:36

Margaret, thankyou so much for the lovely compliment about the poem. "Our Joseph" is no relation to me at all, actually, and I have never met him. I called him "Our Joseph" once on the Wigan World site and he was pleased by that, and we have called each other "Our Joseph" and "Our Irene" ever since. Joseph DID see me once at Leigh Sports Village when Peter and I were in our 40s gear, but unfortunately his father-in-law was taken ill with the heat that day and he had to leave without saying Hello. But I FEEL I know him, as I do you, Maureen, and everyone on Wigan World. It has been so lovely being "photo-a-day".Thankyou, everyone, for your comments. Goodnight!

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 21:02

I'm going to be up all night at this rate! Dave, yes it is an Anderson Shelter. We were at a 40s event in Stockport recently and we heard the people with the shelter, (and a stall full of 40s memorabilia), talking about Wigan; naturally we started ear-wigging and it turns out they are round the corner from us in Stubshaw Cross, and do talks at 40s events, schools etc on the 2nd World War.

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 21:04

Hello billg.....I remember "When the Boat Comes In", but not when it came into the Marine Lake at Southport with you, me and June Mcd!

Comment by: irene on 27th September 2011 at 21:07

You little tinker, Brian Bradshaw! Actually, I saw a forties night advertised at St. Pat's some time ago now, and Peter and I would have gone but we were on holiday at the time. I heard it wasn't too well-attended, but if they decided to hold another we would definitely come.Hope you and Nancy are well.

Comment by: Aimee on 27th September 2011 at 21:15

Oooo very nice photo !! :D
How do you like enter photos for the ''photo of the day'' Because i have some really good ones of Wigan! ??

Comment by: christine bishop on 27th September 2011 at 21:23


Comment by: Joseph on 27th September 2011 at 22:44

Great photo Our Irene, you and Peter look rather dapper in the 40's get up. Margaret thank you for your comment about me and Our Irene, and my poem too.

Comment by: josie on 27th September 2011 at 23:19

irene, you both look fabulouse how nice it must be to dress up in clothes from a different era , well done to get into lancashire life you will have to frame it x

Comment by: irene roberts on 28th September 2011 at 08:03

Thankyou Aimee, Christine, Our Joseph and Josie. Aimee, you just email your photo to And Thankyou Brian, I have had so much fun!

Comment by: irene roberts on 28th September 2011 at 08:09

PS.....I'll put a back-view on next time so you can see if my seams are straight...whooooo!

Comment by: Neil Cain on 28th September 2011 at 10:10

I think that we see so many young people slopping about looking like ragbags that to be reminded how stylish and well turned out people once could be even on a limited budget is a good thing. I remember my grandad would wear a three piece suit on Blackpool sands, and a trilby hat. Maybe a bit OTT for these days but even so better than looking like a tramp.
Irene and Peter you've certainly caused a few of us to sit up and take notice, even got that Brian B ogling you Irene. He should be keeping his mind on the Saints game.

Comment by: Dennis Miller on 28th September 2011 at 12:25

Brilliant Irene! Nice set of pins as well. ;-) Seriously, you both look grand.

Comment by: irene on 28th September 2011 at 13:42

That's you told, Brian! (Trust Neil Cain to bring rugby into it!)
Thanks Dennis, my old mate. Hope all the family is well; I see your Mum now and again. Whenever I'm feeling down, I will go back to this thread to cheer myself up. Thanks again, everyone.

Comment by: Ron Hunt on 28th September 2011 at 14:18

Hi Irene can you e.mail me

Comment by: John Williams on 28th September 2011 at 19:44

Hi Irene just wonered have you ever been to the East Lancs Railway 40s weekend in bury you might enjoy this if you havn't done it it takes place on the Bank Holiday at the end May

Comment by: tricia on 28th September 2011 at 22:01

Jack it isn't a fox, it is a stone martin and will have breathed its last long before any of us were even thought of.
Hello Irene. My first encounter with one of these was when I was a small child. My Grandmother had one(see Hart/ Smith Family born 1876) and they were very fashionable in olden days. I can vividly remember the first time I saw it, sitting on Gran's knee and my Mother teasing us both with it. It really scared me to death. In later years it still gave me the creeps as it had a sharp toothy mouth and little paws with claws!!!
I also enjoy the things you write and feel that I know you. Years ago we must have read the same magazines as I saw you on a letters page once with your Dad. I also have read articles in Past Forward. You have a gift for writing, Irene and should maybe do more of it.
By the way, Margaret, I have looked all over Spain for your Vinegar bottle!!!
Best wishes to all.

Comment by: irene on 29th September 2011 at 08:40

Hello John, and thankyou for your comment. We DID once go to the East Lancs railway 40s weekend, but long before we thought of taking it up ourselves, so we were just in our ordinary clothes. We only started joining in in costume last year, but missed the East Lancs weekend as our daughter and her husband moved to The Isle of Lewis last November and we paid our first visit to them in May, as it is supposed to be Lewis's "Summer" was their worst in 30 years, but never mind! We will note the date of the next East Lancs event and plan our Lewis visit around it. We have been to Pickering, (going again in 2 weeks), Lytham, Darwen and Stockport, and we love's addictive! Thanks again.

Comment by: irene on 29th September 2011 at 08:57

Hello Tricia, The "Mink", as I thought it was, came from the prop-box atWigan Little Theatre and I didn't actually know what it was. I knew it wasn't a fox, so assumed it was a mink, which is what I have told people who have enquired at 40s events; I can now impress them with my knowledge!( I call it Neville, actually, after Neville Chamberlain!).I would never condone the killing of animals for fur, but as you say, it breathed it's last long ago and not wearing it won't bring it back to life. When you go to the big 40s events, furs are everywhere, but they are all very old. Thankyou so much for your compliment about my writing, but I can't recall a letter involving my Dad, although I mentioned him many times in Past Forward articles; you have me puzzled there, tricia. Fancy the search for Margaret's vinegar-bottle reaching Spain! I hope she's reading this! Best wishes, Irene, (and Neville!).

Comment by: Margaret Wall on 29th September 2011 at 15:14

I have read your latest comment Irene and thanks Tricia for looking all over Spain for my vinegar bottle. I think this search could go global if it's not found soon!

Comment by: tricia on 29th September 2011 at 16:22

It was quite a long time ago, Irene. Could have been something like 'Take a Break' and it was on the 'tips' page. You were holding something up as an example.
I recognised your name as I had read other items you had written elsewhere.
Margaret, I must admit it has already gone 'global' I look everywhere. I have bought a sucession of the darn things here and they all leak or pour far too quickly. I remember when my Mother broke one and my father took the vinegar bottle and pierced the top with a nail. It worked well, although my Mother was not impressed. Unfortunately all the bottles here have plastic tops.

Comment by: irene on 29th September 2011 at 16:58

Tricia, I don't recall that at all; I think it may have been someone else with the same name. I don't recall ever sending anything to a tips page or to a magazine. I had a little piece about schooldays in the "Yours" annual 2yrs ago, accompanied by a small photo, but I'm sure it wasn't me in the magazine. I certainly don't remember sending in something with my Dad on; he died in 1985. Must be another Irene Roberts.

Comment by: tricia on 29th September 2011 at 18:40

It must not have been you , Irene.
Sorry for the confusion.

Comment by: irene on 29th September 2011 at 21:10

Don't worry tricia; it has given us a chance to have a little chinwag and put the world to rights, and that's not a bad thing. Hope our paths cross again on Wigan World.....I'm sure they will. Meanwhile, I feel like the Wigan World 1940s pin-up, and I wouldn't hesitate to say, "Move over, Vera Lynn" if I didn't have a voice like two cracked plates!

Comment by: Jean F (Wales) on 29th September 2011 at 21:41

Just love this picture....much nicer than the fashions of today !

Comment by: irene roberts on 30th September 2011 at 08:28

Thankyou Jean. The dress and jacket are modern and I wear them regularly, BUT....put the hat and fur on, and it actually FEELS different, and I find myself somehow standing taller and straighter; Peter says he feels the same with the suit compared with his modern suit; when we come back from 40s events, I don't want to get changed.

Comment by: neil cain on 30th September 2011 at 09:18

You want to eat snook and powdered egg for the full experience Irene. Why Neville for the fur?

Comment by: tricia on 30th September 2011 at 10:18

What a lot of posts your photo has generated, Irene. Nice pleasant thread too. That is what WW is all about.
Watch out for 40's nights at the Winter Gardens, if they still have them. We went there and they were brilliant.

Comment by: irene roberts on 30th September 2011 at 12:09

♫♪Whale-meat again, don't know where, don't know when ♫♪ thanks, Neil, I'll have a pie! Neville after Neville Chamberlain. We have a few films at home containing that famous speech, "I am speaking to you today from the Cabinet Room of 10, Downing Street"; Well, you know how well-up I am in politics, (ha ha), and thought Tony Blair was still Prime Minister? Well,I've always thought it was Winston Churchill who made that speech, and have only just found out it was Neville Chamberlain, so I called my little fur Neville, (it suits him). But I don't think I'd better stand for Parliament, do you?!

Comment by: irene roberts on 30th September 2011 at 12:16

Which Winter Gardens did you mean tricia? Yes, it's been a pleasant thread, no bickering and arguing which sometimes occurs. Jack didn't like the fur but just expressed his opinion which he is entitled to do. I bet Brian wishes I hadn't sent it in! I never expected so many comments but have really enjoyed it all, and maybe people will think of giving the 40s events a try; they really are good fun, and the camaraderie is lovely.

Comment by: irene on 30th September 2011 at 12:53

Neil,Sorry about all those numbers; I had put musical notes on to show I was SINGING "Whale-meat again", but it obviously doesn't work on Comments. It works perfectly on an email.

Comment by: tricia on 30th September 2011 at 19:20

It was the Winter Gardens at Blackpool, Irene. Ages ago now but we all enjoyed it so much that I can still remember it vividly.The costumes were great and the music and all the dancers. The upper balcony was empty except for the 4 of us and we spent a lovely evening looking down on it all. Sadly, the friends we went with are both no longer with us. They lived at St Annes and we used to stay over at each others homes.

Comment by: irene on 30th September 2011 at 20:58

How sad, tricia. I'm sorry to hear that, but how odd!.....We have been watching a programme on BBC2 tonight which actually showed the Winter Gardens at Blackpool. Do you still attend 40s events, tricia?

Comment by: tricia on 30th September 2011 at 22:25

No, Irene. We have not even been back this year. We live in South East Spain.Hope to get back some time next year though. I need a Galloways pie and some Fish and Chips !!
We can get fish and chips here but they are not as good.

Comment by: Bob on 1st October 2011 at 15:17

Why do people move away from Wigan or indeed the UK, only to regret it.?????

Comment by: tricia on 1st October 2011 at 18:05

I do not regret it at all, Bob. I love living in rural Spain and love the Spanish people. But I am Wigan born and bred and love the town of my birth. As the saying goes... you can take the girl out of Wigan etc. I also come back to see friends of my parents, some of whom are too old now to travel to see me. I will always be a Wiganner at heart and although I have lived all over the UK and also in the Far East, when people ask me where I am from my answer is always the same WIGAN !!! The Ancient and Loyal.

Comment by: Bob on 2nd October 2011 at 16:57

In other words, you can settle!

Comment by: tricia on 2nd October 2011 at 17:15

Hi Bob
To answer your question properly I reluctantly left Wigan to follow my soldier husband wherever he went.My best friends are still the Wiganners I have known all my life though

Comment by: Jean Davies (nee Porter) on 8th November 2011 at 02:28

Dear Irene, saw your photo you both look lovely. Did you ever live in Abram? I lived in Abram in the 40's up to the mid 60's. Hope you reply.

Comment by: irene roberts on 8th November 2011 at 11:42

Hello Jean and thankyou for your comment. I have since got another hat and shoes which are much more "forties" but will have to wait until next year to wear them. Outdoor events finish for the winter, except 40s dances, and I don't know of any of those locally. Peter and I were actually only born in 1950 and 1952 respectively, but just have a "thing" for the forties. I was born in Ince and lived there until 1971 when our house came under compulsory purchase and we were moved to Platt Bridge. Peter and I got married in 1974 and came to live in Abram where we have lived ever since. I didn't really expect any more comments on the photo, but just like to go back and re-read the existing ones, as people said such nice things, and I'm glad I did as I may not have seen your comment.

Comment by: flaggy delf on 8th November 2011 at 16:00

Did you see that awful man Hodges? He really is the most boorish fellow.

Comment by: irene roberts on 8th November 2011 at 16:51

Is that you, Sargeant Wilson? Well put that light out!

Comment by: Captain Mainwaring on 9th November 2011 at 09:25

That's enough of the Jack Buchanan and Elsie Randolph nonsense. My Sergeant is on work vital to the Nation's security

Comment by: irene roberts on 9th November 2011 at 09:56

What? Making sure the pie-vans get through?!

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