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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan



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

Photo-a-Day  (Monday, 17th May, 2021)

Mesnes Street


Mesnes Street
The Chemist has the sun blinds out. Is that to keep the sun off, or is it to keep the rain off the people queueing for COVID jabs?

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 2,253

Comment by: Rainh on 17th May 2021 at 02:28

Dennis. It would be interesting to connect, from two different ends and times, your picture with Frank Orrell's picture item no 27111 in one of your Now and Then pictures. It would show a wonderful, if somewhat sad, comparison, seeing the shops it used to have. Thank you for posting.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 17th May 2021 at 08:01

I remember Mesnes St well from my childhood in Wigan. There was a shoe shop along where the people are queueing, they had an xray machine to make sure you shoes fitted....further up was Baileys Scotch Bakery, their meat & potato pies were good & the parkin biscuits. An alleyway by the bakers went through into Dicconson St where I lived for a while with my Bryson relatives & attended the Wesleyan School. Though not the happiest time in my life I like to remember places & people in Wigan.

Comment by: lock lass on 17th May 2021 at 08:01

Could be to keep people dry whilst queuing. Lovely photo Dennis.

Comment by: Veronica on 17th May 2021 at 08:15

Perhaps the blinds are out just to show they're open for business as usual...all the other shops look like they are closed down. Even Greenhalgh's have closed, although there is another one still open on Standishgate. The future is looking very bleak for Mesnes St.

Comment by: Aubrey on 17th May 2021 at 09:14

It seems the queue is for the COVID jab at the Hollywood vaccination centre.

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 17th May 2021 at 09:22

Mesnes Street used to be such a good shopping street. I remember Oliver Somers' where I got my Brownie outfit; I wonder how many Wigan children wondered how Father Christmas got down the chimney carrying a bike from Oliver Somers' shop?! I also remember Robinson's sports shop that sold lovely leather purses in addition to sports goods, and Smith's Of Wigan which was easily the best bookshop and stationery shop in Wigan. My daughter worked there for a time. I remember a pram and toy shop and a number of bakeries. Sadly, today, Mesnes Street looks lost and forlorn and the rest of Wigan seems to be following suit.

Comment by: janet on 17th May 2021 at 09:34

could we have more woodland photographs please dennis i find recent photos of wigan boring

Comment by: Jack on 17th May 2021 at 09:53

A was once very busy Market Hotel now boarded up.

Comment by: Arthur on 17th May 2021 at 10:19

Exellent photo.

Comment by: DTease on 17th May 2021 at 10:36

Janet, you’re on wiganworld, try googling woodland world.

Comment by: John G on 17th May 2021 at 11:22

Janet: Get yourself google World from the APP store then you can go to any woodland in the world.
Then when your ready you can bore yourself to death looking at Wigan streets again.

Comment by: Poet on 17th May 2021 at 11:40

Smiths had every publication under the sun , be it Parrot Preening Weekly or European Ironing Boards Monthly , they'd be sure to have it .
In the basement of Rumbellows , flicking through the bins of LP's , you were in a magic world for a hour or so . And Mesnes Street was a street of dreams for every school boy who got their first football kit from Oliver Sommers , pulling it down over his head and crying , 'Baggsie being George Best'.

Comment by: RON HUNT on 17th May 2021 at 12:37

A sad photograph of what was once one of Wigan's major shopping streets..

Comment by: Veronica on 17th May 2021 at 12:57

Mesnes St always seemed to be a bit more upper class to me in the 50's 60's and 70's. Slightly set apart with the posh shoe shops, hats and accessories shop, pram shops and baby wear shop. Even the Wallpaper and Decorating shop where I worked for a short while!
Dtease that made me laugh! I didn't know you could put orders in for what you wanted to see! I'll have a pastie from Greenhalgh's while I'm at it!

Comment by: Rainh on 17th May 2021 at 13:11

Baggsie! That word takes you back .

Comment by: Broady on 17th May 2021 at 13:38

Two meat and potato pies and home made onions in the Market Hotel. They dropped like a lead balloon. I worked in Mesnes House at the top of the street for a while.

Comment by: Cyril on 17th May 2021 at 15:43

At one time almost anything you wanted could be found in the many shops along there. Baillie's Scotch Bakery still lives on, though it's now Galloway's Bakery with their granddaughter using the original recipes.
I was surprised the herbal shop remained open for as long as it did, you never saw many folks going in, I know they sold proprietary and patent herbal remedies and medicines, though I never knew if they mixed their own specific treatments for ailments.

The owners of the The Chocolate Box a few doors further up from Oliver Somers said they once had a shoe shop, whether it was the one across the road I don't know, when working at Watkins I would go to there everyday in the early1970s for 20 King size cigarettes costing then around 20p a pack, they're about a tenner a pack now, and I used to think then it was an expensive addiction - I'm glad that I gave it up many years ago.

When at Watkins I was told that the majority of the properties on Mesnes Street were owned by the Salvation Army having been gifted to them from legacies.

Jack, you're right about The Market Hotel being busy, even during the week, but on Fridays and Saturdays it was absolutely packed to the rafters, and no wonder as Colin Cook kept a perfect cellar of Scottish & Newcastle beers.

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 17th May 2021 at 15:51

Rainh, your order as been dispatched, but it’s up to Brian when and if it’s delivered.

Comment by: Axcroft on 17th May 2021 at 18:19

The proposed new town centre housing estate will add 464 new apartments / town houses in the location of the current Market Hall / Morrisons, and fronting onto Mesnes Street.  That should bring a few thousand more local residents, so should enliven the area.

Comment by: Veronica on 17th May 2021 at 18:33

I used to have to go to Arrandales Herbalist's shop for Slippery Elm Food. It was disgusting,
It was supposed to be good for a 'dicky' tummy!

Comment by: Mick on 17th May 2021 at 18:49

Where have all the Wigan shoppers gone
Long time passing.
Where have all the Wigan shoppers gone
Long time ago.
Gone to ASDA everyone,
When will you ever learn that local shops cant survive with out you
Oh, When will you ever learn
Oh, When will you ever learn

Comment by: RON HUNT on 17th May 2021 at 19:26

Market Hotel pies... BEST pies ever and that gravy OHHHHHHH Would go in regularly for my dinner with my mates when I worked at John Englands. Thinking about it now I can see that MEN ONLY ROOM where we went as though it was last week, and its nearly 60 years ago... Not a PROPER pub left in Wigan town centre now ...

Comment by: Anne on 17th May 2021 at 19:54

Now that should be good for recollections Ron.

Comment by: Edna on 17th May 2021 at 23:07

I am surprised Greenhalgh's in Standishgate is still open £5:00 for two potatoes pies, daylight robbery, as mother used to say.

Comment by: Ed Fort on 17th May 2021 at 23:18

Happy memories of passing time with Bessie Cliff in the Chocolate Box, just to the left of the photo, while waiting to go to night school at Wigan Tech!

Comment by: Maureen on 18th May 2021 at 12:21

I do miss the art shop..and some years ago we went to Oliver Somers to price a tandem,but it was £1,000 so guess who stayed with their ordinary bikes.
I went to to the herbalist when the Dentist unknowingly put a needle in an abscess as she was preparing to extract a tooth,I looked like I'd been kicked by a bull,the man sold me a bottle saying "This will sort it love"he was right",I'd just got to work when it burst..what relief,I could go out without wearing sunglasses to hide the swelling..I do believe he was a twin,I wish he was still there.

Comment by: Cyril on 18th May 2021 at 14:07

You're right about Slippery Elm being disgusting Veronica, I tasted it once and it was like eating sawdust; which in effect that's what it is - the powdered inside bark layer from a tree that grows in the US that the American Indians used for all manner of ailments. I worked at Potter's for a time and they sold tons of it as food for invalids, maybe they were too ill to spit it out.

Comment by: Veronica on 18th May 2021 at 14:37

My dad would never go to the doctors he went to Arrandales instead! I lost count of all the bottles and potions and health foods for 'dicky' tummies. He always said he had a duodenal ulcer.. he had no faith at all in doctors even when his life was saved from an aneurism and he lasted another 14 years!! Arrandales ended up in the Market Hall I think at some point Cyril.

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