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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Wednesday, 20th March, 2013)

Carlton Club

Carlton Club
Carlton Club, Sportsman's Club Half Way House.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Sony HDR)
Views: 9,976

Comment by: David Fairclough on 20th March 2013 at 00:22

I'm confused Mick, just don't understand this photo.

Comment by: Thomas(Tom)Walsh. on 20th March 2013 at 00:24

When this first became a club it was The Sportsmans Club .opened in 1963 by Les Howard ,who was quite a famous singer ,who sang regularly with The Northen Dance Orchestra ,featured on BBC Radio,His Father was the landlord of The Bluebell ,in Scholes ,and later The Walmsley Spring View , Les would often sing in each of these hostelries ,no doubt to give a boost to business.

Comment by: Jance on 20th March 2013 at 00:28

Well it may have been a nice building at some time or other - but what an eyesore. Its alright these companies taking over these buildings but they could still keep it looking nice - a part of Wigan's past.

Comment by: Alan (on Van Isle) on 20th March 2013 at 00:46

That was a movie house (oops, I mean cinema) when I lived in Wigan. It has certainly seen better days. It is good to see the seedier side of the town in these pictures, rather than pretending that all is highly polished. Well done Mick.

Comment by: Ken R on 20th March 2013 at 01:48

Looks like it needs some TLC. Was this a cinema orignally.

Comment by: owdkewyed on 20th March 2013 at 01:52

What an eyesore and tatty looking place, how much would a bucket of paint cost to spruce it up a bit. I certainly wouldn't even think about buying owt from them. If they don't have any pride in the appearance of their own building then imagine the quality of their work.

Comment by: Allan Marshall on 20th March 2013 at 02:00

What a dump.looks like a shop in Afganistan

Comment by: Dave on 20th March 2013 at 07:21

What a eyesore knock it down seen its best days.

Comment by: John Hulme on 20th March 2013 at 09:05

Had some good times at the Sportsman’s in the 60s, and when it was the Carlton pictures my mum was an usherette there, and also at the Queens in Pemberton.
Happy memories but sad to see its decline.

Comment by: Lizzie down under on 20th March 2013 at 09:34

I can see what is being said......I bet it could tell a story or two.....I can smell the old mustiness.....yes the paint is peeling but that is just on the outside......cheers!!!!

Comment by: Carol on 20th March 2013 at 09:36

When it was converted from a club to a cinema (I think it was ~ '73) the cinema was named Unit 4 - a multi screen although some of them were tiny.

Comment by: Mick on 20th March 2013 at 09:39

A lot of men will remember this place as the place they met there first girl friends and wives, but for me I remember it for being the first time ever that I had a T Bone steak.

Comment by: Maureen Andrews on 20th March 2013 at 10:44

My dad was the projectionist when it was a cinema..sadly I don't know the date..probably in the forties.

Comment by: mw on 20th March 2013 at 11:12

had the best nights ever here in the 60s

Comment by: A.W. on 20th March 2013 at 12:09

It was the Carlton picture house then became a club in the 60s, it then reverted to a picture house in the early 70s and was called Unit 4. I think Unit 4 closed in the late 1990s early 2000s.

Comment by: Cyril on 20th March 2013 at 12:52

I went in there when it was the Sportmans and when it was the Unit Four, which was mis-named as it only had three theatres and you were packed in like sardines in a tin. When it first opened it showed those awful porn films of the time in the afternoons, I would often laugh at the queues of men in raincoats with collars pulled up and hats pulled well down over their faces waiting to go in.

I can recall it as being The Carlton though my best memories of that area are of Mrs Massam's shop next door on the corner of Ormskirk Road and Tunstall Lane.

Comment by: henry7 on 20th March 2013 at 12:57

Never liked it in the 60's, it was a scruffy place even then. Never understand why people put white paint over the top of brickwork, can somebody explain?

Comment by: Evelyn on 20th March 2013 at 13:00

Had many wonderful Saturday nights entertainment when it was The Carlton in the 60s, but my word, what an eyesore. Pity the poor neighbours who have to look at this everyday

Comment by: carl on 20th March 2013 at 13:15

For all those comments on the state of the shop.

The shop had a paint less than 18 months ago and due to the poor weather conditions the paint has peeled off again

This costs over £3k a time thats how much a lick of paint costs!!!

We try and keep our costs down to pass this on to our customers.

It is due one this year when the weather improves

Comment by: Jonathan on 20th March 2013 at 13:15

I think a guy called graham currently owns the business, scottish chap

Comment by: Loz on 20th March 2013 at 13:31

Owdkewyed - don't blame the carpet shop for the state of the building. They don't own it

Comment by: dh on 20th March 2013 at 14:08

saw Flash Gordon there in the late 70's.

Comment by: Anon on 20th March 2013 at 15:02

Never judge a book by it's cover. So the saying goes. I don't care what the exterior of this shop looks like because we all know how the snowy weather has affected our gardens so don't be so quick to judge. I have had my house carpeted throughout from this company and they are brilliant in every aspect of their work. Very reasonable prices and excellent quality.

Comment by: tricia on 20th March 2013 at 18:09

Its sad to see the Carlton looking like this. I remember going there with my friend Janet to see 'Bambi'. As someone already said what on earth possessed them to paint the brickwork?

Comment by: kath pressey on 20th March 2013 at 18:27

in the 50s on a saturday morning. in the 80s we went there to see a Star ars film with my sons, the cinema was empty but for us until a man came in and sat right in front of us. weird!

Comment by: Neil Rigby on 20th March 2013 at 19:23

dh, you can see him again (1936 version) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I0lo42gcgM

Comment by: Neil Rigby on 20th March 2013 at 19:32

A little more history and photo at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ross08/6643300409/

Comment by: ann21 on 20th March 2013 at 19:38

By the crin Mick this brings back memories. When we were young,in the late 40s early 50s, the Carlton on Saturday afternoons. Cheering the Cowboys and booing the Indians.

Comment by: n on 20th March 2013 at 19:59

ann21, you might like to look at similar memories at http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/stuff/irem15.php?opt=irem including my own on 5th Feb 2012 about the Queens just up the road from the Carlton.

Comment by: Skeets on 20th March 2013 at 20:44

Our school, opposite the Carlton, took us there to watch "The Robe" a "religious" movie. Back in the day.

Comment by: Ellen on 20th March 2013 at 20:48

A really sad looking building. Surely a carpet warehouse company would be making enough profit to maintain the building! I remember the Carlton cinema, but never connected it with this travesty!

Comment by: ann21 on 20th March 2013 at 22:16

n I know I am a gawp but I can't find your link

Comment by: Ernest Pyke on 20th March 2013 at 23:00

ann21, copy and paste:-

Comment by: ann21 on 20th March 2013 at 23:18

Thank you n and ernest.

Comment by: Jean F (Wales) on 20th March 2013 at 23:21

Hope the carpets wear better than the building!

Comment by: Art on 21st March 2013 at 00:52

When the Carlton Cinema closed, the ex manager of the "Emp" Wigan, a Mr Foy, took over & refurbished it, to be called The Carlton Club. Les Howard of BBC northern Dance Orchestra, managed it.
It was later sold on & became The Sportsmans Club, then The Unit 4

Comment by: tricia on 21st March 2013 at 11:22

I also went to the Queens on a Saturday afternoon.
My mother once took me to a Hospital Garden Party.. I think it was at Wigan Infirmary.. and it was opened by Les Howard. I still have his autograph and can remember him vividly.

Comment by: A.W. on 22nd March 2013 at 09:59

Month Python, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, A Bridge Too Far. Those are a few of the films I saw at Unit 4 in the 70s. Cyril though there were only 3 cinema units I believe the name Unit 4 refered to the entire place.

Comment by: Derek Callaghan on 22nd March 2013 at 11:37

I remember it more as the Carlton Cinema. When it was converted into a club, my mate and I used to go round the back and pinch empty beer bottles to take back to off licence by the library for threepence a bottle. I think that was in mid sixties. Happy days but I hope I dont get a call from'Big Amy (rip)'. Now there's a name to conjure with. Who remembers this grand lady.

Comment by: Mick on 22nd March 2013 at 15:01

Derek Big Amy is buried with her two brothers in law Hector and Richard Holt in the church graveyard on the side of Parbold hill.

It says on her grave WPC No1 so she must have been the first woman bobby in Wigan.

I have a photo of her grave in my photobucket.

Comment by: Derek Callaghan on 22nd March 2013 at 21:30

Mick, Thanks very much for the info. I held 'Big Amy' with the greatest respect when I was a teenager. If only the were more like her now. The film I remember seeing at The Carlton was The Millionairess with Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers around 1962 I think, but I will stand to be corrected

Comment by: alan winstanley on 16th July 2016 at 14:33

I would like to bet that i would probably know most of you given the chance, i lived a few steps away 460 ormskirk rd between Graham Fairhurst and MRS BAXTERS SHOP, BORN 1947 SO in the mid 50s into 60s it was were i went to. This will tickle you the guy nicking bottles and getting pennies from them ! well we used to go around the area with a cart on wheels or somethin to collect jam jars ,any types and when we handed them in it was enough to get us in on saturday afternoons.

Flash Gordon and ming oh what belting times we had back then ,i also agree it should be cleared up too.

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