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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 8th May, 2020)

Francis Padgett's grave

Francis Padgett's grave
Francis Padgett, a former Alderman and Mayor of Wigan. The Rose Garden in Mesnes Park named in his memory.

Photo: Thomas Walsh  (Apple iPad)
Views: 2,706

Comment by: Mick on 8th May 2020 at 06:47

Look like Francis Padgett the former Alderman and Mayor of Wigan grave could do with a tidy up.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 8th May 2020 at 07:40

A sad scene.

Thank you to Irene & Rev Long for the information on the town twining.

Comment by: irene roberts on 8th May 2020 at 08:50

A sad photo in some ways, Tom, with the look of the gravestone. However, sometimes family members follow each other into a grave until there is simply no-one left behind to care for it. I like the dappled sunlight on the more distant gravestones.

Comment by: Beryl on 8th May 2020 at 11:26

At my church the congregation adopt graves of those that would otherwise be neglected, even the kids would be involved usually as part of a family who have adopted one of the graves. Those inhabiting the graves are likely to have been part of the village past or a congregation member so it always seems to be a repectful thing to do.

Comment by: Veronica on 8th May 2020 at 11:55

Was this gentleman anything to do with the Painting and Decorating business Pagetts at the bottom of Greenough St Tom? The reason I ask is, if you had those decorators for your house you were 'somebody'!...

Comment by: janet on 8th May 2020 at 12:20

nice to look at on v e day francis

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 8th May 2020 at 12:46

Beryl that is a lovely idea, I had never thought of it in that way. When tending my parents plot in Kent we usually give the one next door, with no name that we can see, a quick once over.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th May 2020 at 13:17

Tom - funny you should intrude a 'd' into his name - the same has happened on the site (see under 'Stuff') giving details of his grave. Further details on him are at: https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/archive/civic-histories/wigan-civic/pagett-francis-james?
There are also a number of pics of him and of the children's trip he organised in 1922 in the Archives.
I came across him a number of times when researching WW1 Memorials, as he was either involved in unveiling ceremonies or on committees to fund them. One in particular is a bit of a mystery - the former social club at St Joseph's RC Church - an Observer article reports his being at its opening as a war memorial, but there are no other references to its being one.

Comment by: Thomas(Tom)Walsh. on 8th May 2020 at 14:00

Yes Veronica he was part of that family.
The following is from Wigan Council Archive.

Born in June, 1882 son of John Pagett, wholesale grocer of Scholes, Wigan and Ellen Leyland.

Educated at St Patrick’s Day School he served an apprenticeship as an engineer at Walker Brothers Pagefield Ironworks. Later becoming a wholesale agent and representative with W. Morton & Sons, Ltd., for several years before going into his own business.

In 1902 Francis married Ellen Tonge and they had two children, John Norman born in 1902 and Ellen in 1910.

In 1910 he successfully won a seat on Wigan Council representing St Patrick’s Ward, which he would hold for almost 40 years.

He was elected Mayor of Wigan in 1921, during his term of office Wigan was granted the right to bear Arms and Supporters by the College of Arms, the County Borough’s Coat of Arms was created. He entertained 2000 deserving children form Wigan Schools and raised large sums for Wigan Infirmary and many other charities.

In 1925 he was made an Alderman and in 1936 the honour of Freeman of the Borough was bestowed in recognition of his outstanding public service.

On the Council he served as chairman of Markets and Parks Committee from 1915 until 1949, under his leadership the Market business flourished, part of the Market Square was laid out to form a bus station and the parks were transformed with large areas of land being laid out a open spaces for recreation.

In 1934 he became chairman of the Watch Committee and represented the Council as a member of the Police Committee of the Association of Municipal Corporations. He also served as a Traffic Commissioner for the North West.

Described as “a great public administrator, he devoted the greater part of his life to the service of his fellow men”. He was very well known and respected in Municipal life both regionally and nationally, his wise leadership having a profound influence on the public life of Wigan for over thirty years.

Despite ill health affecting his later years he still maintained a keen interest in local politics until his death in January 1949 at his home on Wigan Lane.

A prominent supporter of St Patrick’s Church he was a member of the Catholic Young Men’s Society and served as chairman of the Wigan Branch of the National Catholic Thrift and Benefit Society. Following a service at St Patrick’s Church he was interred in Wigan Cemetery.

In August 1949 a section of Mesnes Park was laid out as a formal rose garden in recognition of his long dedication and service to the people of Wigan.


WE 21 & 28 January 1949 Biographical Cuttings book 6 pp221, 222

WO 12 Nov 1921 p19

WO 5 August 1947 Biographical Cuttings Book 6 pp230, 231

Wigan Almanac 1922 7 1923 (Chronologies 1921 & 1922)

1 item was found within 1921-1922, Francis James Pagett Mayor of Wigan

Comment by: Veronica on 8th May 2020 at 15:02

I thought as much Tom I recall my dad mentioning him. He once joked to someone after papering our from room that Pagett's had decorated it ..!

Comment by: Veronica on 8th May 2020 at 15:22

Thanks Tom - I knew he 'belonged' to St Pat's - take care x

Comment by: Mick on 8th May 2020 at 16:04

Theres a Pagett who lives in Appley Bridge.

Comment by: Mick on 8th May 2020 at 17:40

And the Pagett in Appley Bridge married a Hesketh also a Wigan painting family, so you could say they mixed some colours together

Comment by: Michael Gormally on 8th May 2020 at 17:41

Alderman Pagett's painting and decorating business was situated almost next to St John's presbytery in Powell Street. I was taught at Sacred Heart Primary School by a lady who I think was his niece, a Miss Pagett. I think her Christian name was Ellen although I can't be sure of that. I think she suffered from lymphoedema because her legs were very swollen.

Mr Long, I think the reference to a war memorial at St Joseph's Church actually refers to the war memorial on the pavement just outside St John's Church in Standishgate. The building immediately behind the memorial used to be St John's Catholic Young Men's Society clubhouse. As far as I know, although I have not lived in Wigan for more than 30 years, the memorial still stands and a wreath is placed on it on Remembrance Day every year.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th May 2020 at 19:41

Michael - no - the reference is definitely related to the social club at St Joseph's.
St John's actually had two WW1 memorials - the one you mention was to all Wigan men who lost their lives - so was the town's first WW1 Memorial for all casualties. The other was a memorial to the lads from the CYMS who were killed. Initially in the clubhouse, then forgotten in a cellar, it is now proudly on display in the church.
The Ellen Pagett you mention may have been his daughter - as recorded on the headstone.

Comment by: john on 8th May 2020 at 20:40

His son, who carried on the business, was a parishioner of St. Johns' and a J. P. I'm talking circa. 1958

Comment by: Michael Gormally on 8th May 2020 at 21:23

Thank you, Mr Long, for the additional information. As always, I marvel at your wide and detailed knowledge of Wigan, both past and present. I read this website every day and find your contributions extremely interesting and always very enlightening.

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