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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Tuesday, 26th July, 2022)

The Canal

The Canal
The Leeds/Liverpool Canal at Appley Bridge.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 1,929

Comment by: Syd Smith on 26th July 2022 at 07:07

They should never have knocked down Appley Bridge hump back bridge.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 26th July 2022 at 09:12

I love canals, the narrow boats & towpaths, it brings to mind a different world.
Another interesting pic Dennis....you do get about !

Comment by: irene roberts on 26th July 2022 at 09:21

"I met my love by the gasworks croft; dreamed a dream by the old canal"....that scene certainly isn't reminiscent of "dirty old town", and looks a lovely place to live, whether in a house or on a boat. Lovely!

Comment by: Poet on 26th July 2022 at 09:55

Castle turrets white in the water ,
Silver buckets and watering cans ,
Varnished windmills , red and pink roses
Arabesques and gilded scrolls ,
Harlequin hatches green and vermilion
Blazing bright by Bottom Lock ,
Two Hundred and Fourteen feet Eight Inches
And Twenty Three broad beams to the Top .

Basin by basin they climb the cutting
In fortress gates of seeping canal ,
Steadily lifting they rise up the ladder
Like painted salmon on the Wigan Flight .

Comment by: James Hanson on 26th July 2022 at 09:59

Gasworks 'croft', eh? That's a new one. Is the gasworks croft at the other side of the gasworks wall?

Comment by: irene robertsI on 26th July 2022 at 10:40

I believe a "croft" was an area of rough land, James, where children played their games so I assume the "gasworks croft" would be an area of rough land near the gasworks. I didn't write "Dirty Old Town" and was simply reciting from it. The song goes on to say "Kissed my boy by the factory wall", so maybe The GASSWORKS Wall was a bit public with all those children playing on the other side of it!

Comment by: Joan on 26th July 2022 at 10:41

Thats right Syd, I live in a canal side cottage and the view of the old hump back bridge was lovely.
I dont know why they knocked it down and left the ones in Parbold and the one up at Red Rock standing.

Comment by: Dave on 26th July 2022 at 10:43

Well done Irene for using the proper original lyrics to that fine song .
I do love it when a smart arse drops a clanger .

Comment by: Veronica on 26th July 2022 at 10:56

I wish they would leave things alone.
“ A thing of beauty is a joy forever” …..
Irene be like Royalty ‘never explain… never complain.’ Especially to. Mr Hanson…. He loves ‘engaging’ with folk to irritate. There’s always Google.
Ps a ‘Croft’ was/is a cottage in Scotland. What’s left of them after the ‘Clearances’..

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 26th July 2022 at 11:24

Mr Hanson you may like to know the meaning of the word 'croft' in the English language,
A 'croft is a small field attached to a a small dwelling '
Perhaps early gasworks had caretakers, who knows. Do you ??

Comment by: irene robertsI on 26th July 2022 at 13:08

Thanks everyone. I have a much-read and much-loved book, "A Ragged Schooling" by Robert Roberts who grew up in the early part of the 20th century in the slums of Salford and he speaks of children playing on "the croft"...(I quote from memory, "The croft ran alive with Lowry-like figures").... and I believe the "Dirty Old Town" in what Dave rightly describes as "a fine song" WAS actually Salford.

Comment by: Veronica on 26th July 2022 at 13:37

I should have said a Croft - stone dwelling attached to a piece of land with regards to Scotland and the Clearances which was given over to sheep. That’s why you see more sheep than humans in the Highlands. Yes I know it’s not Wigan…

Comment by: ArthurP on 26th July 2022 at 13:44

Wasn’t there an area of land in Platt Bridge known as the “brick croft?

Comment by: Cyril on 26th July 2022 at 14:33

Syd Smith & Joan I should have assumed that you would have known why they had to knock down the hump back bridge, for it was to build a wider bridge to enable the council to put in those unused cycle lanes at either side.

There was a yard on Wigan Lane by the name of Cherrycroft, it was said that a field with cherry trees was once on the site. There is also Sanderson's Croft at Butts Bridge in Leigh, how that became to be named so I don't know, the last I was there besides houses there was a canal side quay, but maybe a field was there too at one time.

Irene, I can't say that I like the look of the scene as it looks like they've built on every conceivable inch of space, and I'd suspect they'll have permanent rat bait boxes stationed around too.

Comment by: irene roberts on 26th July 2022 at 15:29

Arthur P....I am told there WAS a "brick croft" in Platt Bridge in the 1950s.

Comment by: Marky on 26th July 2022 at 16:53

Cyril , I agree with your inch of space comment. I think the planning term ‘In keeping’ has another meaning these days . Joni Mitchell comes to mind ..

Comment by: . Ozy . on 26th July 2022 at 17:56

Congratulations on your well chosen vernacular compound noun there Dave .

Comment by: e on 26th July 2022 at 18:02

When I think of Appley ,
lapwings come to mind , my childhood lost in farmers field ,
and nesting to my blind , empty spaces , ruffled ground ,
water bottles ? A knock more found .
But still I’m glad , the lapwings found , the same space I once walked ..

Comment by: Owd Reekie on 26th July 2022 at 18:47

If “smart arse” is a compound noun then should it not be smartarse

Comment by: Ian on 26th July 2022 at 19:23

Cyril. There was an area named Cherrycroft off Wigan Lane, but it wasn't a yard.
Cherrycroft was a small area and to get to it there was a narrow road (just wide enough for a car), which was opposite Scarisbrick Street and between two buildings - easily missed if you didn't know where it was.
Once down the narrow road it opened up to a piece of wasteland. Also, across this small piece of wasteland was a track which led to gates to a large joiners's yard. To the left of the track was a small builder's yard. When you carried on the road, which went left and on for about 60m, you came to Cherrycroft Garage. I'm sure that there was one or two small houses tucked in there.
Small community hidden behind the shops on Wigan Lane.
Probably, all this has now gone.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 26th July 2022 at 21:49

If that was a question Owd Reekie then should it not be followed by one of these ?

Comment by: Cyril on 26th July 2022 at 22:27

I remember going along there Ian on leaving school to Jolley's builders seeking a job, and all I remember about then is that to me it looked rather like a large yard, and yes it has all gone, Central Park Way took a great lot of it and also the back yard of Tesco is on part of it too.

Comment by: Ian on 27th July 2022 at 09:50

Cyril, you are right in the fact that Jolley's builders was a large (builders') yard - this is the place I mentioned in my previous post when I typed: 'To the left of the track was a small builder's yard'. You may remember the two old terraced houses which were on Jolley's land. One house was mostly used as a storage place for bags of cement etc. The other house was used as an office, tea room, toilet facilities etc.
To get to Jolley's builders' yard, you went down (about 70 metres) this narrow road - possibly, better described as an alleyway wide enough for a car. As this 'road' went left and before you followed the road, Jolley's gates were facing you. Across the yard the two old terraced houses stood on slightly higher ground as the ground sloped upwards to them.
Cyril, this was only Jolley's builders' yard. Cherrycroft was all that area and I am quite sure that there was a sign on the gable end of one of the buildings which faced onto Wigan Lane. I know that the building, which was a three storey high building, on the right side as you entered the alleyway was demolished some years ago - possibly, about twenty years ago.
At the far side of Jolley's yard was Cherrycroft Garage. If you went down the alleyway to Jolley's yard and left the same way, you would have probably not noticed the garage.
By the way, I am sure that there had been a row of terraced houses there and possibly, there had been trees. Hopefully, someone has an old photograph of Cherrycroft and uploads it or hands it to Ron. Sadly, my parents weren't very interested in photography and cameras weren't that popular when I was a kid, so I don't have any photographs of Cherrycroft and I don't know anyone who has a photograph. I only have my memory, but this seems to serve me quite well.
Much of the, as to say, quaintness of this area of Wigan Lane has gone. There used to be a row of about fifteen garages - mostly, timber-framed - behind the shops and you could get to these two ways: one way was by an alleyway at the side of the Millstone pub and the other way was by going down Coppull Lane. Down Coppull Lane and up a dirt track on the left side, there was the old bowling green ( club and bowling green). This, later, became the Students' Club. The building was completely demolished and houses - I think, bungalows - were built on the land and this could have been in the eighties.
By the way, did you get the job?

Comment by: Cyril on 27th July 2022 at 15:33

I didn't get the job Ian, but knowing later what the job entailed i.e. heavy brick and mortar lifting in a hod and carrying up rickety ladders and scaffolding and you had to be practically running to keep the brickie's supplied and if the job was rained off there was no pay, no, I wasn't bothered at all.

Comment by: Ian on 27th July 2022 at 17:50

Cyril, I fully understand and don't blame you for not being bothered as the building trade, especially before some conditions regarding employment changed, could be extremely difficult. Also, weather in the north of England certainly didn't help matters and many brickies and labourers ended up with bad backs and arthritis.
By the way, I grew up next to Cherrycroft and spent many happy days, as a kid, playing on that wasteland and in that area. We used to build huts on the wasteland. Additionally, one of the lads living in the area was a Jolley and I am sure that his uncle owned that builders' yard.
Also, I am sure that the Massey brothers owned Cherrycroft garage when I was a kid.
Cyril, you said: 'Central Park Way took a great lot of it and also the back yard of Tesco is on part of it too.'
Central Park Way is further up Wigan Lane and 'The Saracen's Head' pub and about five shops between 'The Millstone' pub and 'The Saracen's Head' pub were demolished to make way for the new road. Also, the road runs behind 'The Millstone' and drops down to the River Douglas area (crossing the river) and lower down than Cherrycroft. Therefore, most of that land (Cherrycroft) must still exist, but I haven't a clue what is on that land now as I haven't been behind the shops, which are restaurants, take aways etc now, for many years. Only about six weeks ago, I walked up Standishgate and Wigan Lane to Swinley Road because the weather was nice and just for a change. I noticed that the alleyway at the side of The Millstone is now blocked off and you can no longer walk through to the land behind. But, there definitely is still land there and this stretches from behind The Millstone all the way across to the back of the 'Fox and Goose'.
Maybe, the next time I am there, I will take a look and see what is now there.
By the way, I hope that you got a great job and had a successful career.

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