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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Thursday, 28th July, 2022)

The Holts Arms

The Holts Arms
The Holts Arms aka The Foot.

Photo: Mick Byrne  (Panasonic DMC-TZ100)
Views: 1,934

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 28th July 2022 at 07:26

Looks like a nice old pub. The grass is very green not like it is here in Norfolk....not a green lawn to be seen they are all dry & dusty.

Comment by: Syd Smith on 28th July 2022 at 08:40

When I saw today's photo, at first glance I thought it was a pub somewhere in the Cotswolds.
Looked it up and it turns out to be in Billinge its a listed building, dating from around 1721 it once housed the hospital mortuary its known as the Foot o'th Causeway due to its being at the bottom of Billinge Hill.

Comment by: local lad on 28th July 2022 at 08:58

Nice pub, but very expensive.....

Comment by: Helen B on 28th July 2022 at 09:14

Used to be my Dad’s local in the 1950’s. I loved sitting outside with him, watching the bowling. I remember going inside for pop and crisps, walking along a flagged passageway to, what seemed to be, the little off licence.

Comment by: PeterP on 28th July 2022 at 09:42

Local Lad this is why pubs are closing .If a couple turn out for a drink for an evening it would soon empty their wallet.

Comment by: Veronica on 28th July 2022 at 10:02

I just love these old historical buildings. I could just sit outside on a warm day admiring it from afar. It takes your breath away to think it’s 300 years old. I wonder what it was in the beginning before being a mortuary.

Comment by: James Hanson on 28th July 2022 at 10:24

It was a pub. Built as a pub and always a pub, Veronica. Pubs were used as mortuaries back in the day.

Comment by: irene roberts on 28th July 2022 at 10:38

That's a really lovely photo....almost like the lovely photos that used to be on Chocolate Box lids in the 1950s and 1960s..... pretty country cottage scenes, finished off with a ribbon bow under cellophane. People used to keep them after the chocolates had been eaten, to hold stationery or cotton hankies. I hope the pub keeps busy enough to stay open.

Comment by: Veronica on 28th July 2022 at 10:43

I knew they were ‘officially’ or ‘unofficially’ important buildings back then but had forgotten about them being mortuaries James - thanks for that. I seem to remember them vaguely ‘holding court’ in pubs as well. Not sure if criminals were sentenced though. I must look it up.

Comment by: DTease on 28th July 2022 at 11:02

There is a photo of this pub in the Album taken in the wintertime when it was covered in snow. Can't remember who posted it but it's a cracking photo, as is this one.

Comment by: Joan on 28th July 2022 at 17:28

House on the canal bank next door to ours was once the Merrick's Arms pub, and their cellar was used to keep the dead.
We can sometimes hear funny noises coming through the wall when we are watching the telly.

Comment by: Cyril on 28th July 2022 at 17:40

I do know that some outlying village or hamlet pubs were in ancient times often used as temporary mortuaries with the cellars being cool, but why would Billinge Hospital use the Holts Arms as a mortuary when the hospital had always had a purpose built mortuary of its own.

Veronica according to this Euxton website a village pub there was sometimes used as a courthouse. Scroll down to Papa Luigi's/Red Lion/Anderton Arms (169 Preston Road) https://www.euxtoncouncil.org.uk/history.php

There is also a snow covered scene on the photos of their home page web site DTease, and quoted from their home page 'the Holts is never quiet' Not a bit like a morgue then.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 28th July 2022 at 17:48

As it’s been a long held ambition of mine to attend my own wake , and since it’s become apparent that you can’t rely on anyone else these days, I tend to hold my own wakes ,at least once every wik…..Err ! sorry...week .

I’ve been to at least a dozen, possibly more of my own wakes in recent years ,…and I hope to attend several dozen more before the final one ….God willing.

Coincidentally I’m having another one tomorrow evening . All are welcome, but do fetch a bottle….times is hard, and scrap prices are through the floor right now.

Another ambition of mine is to topple off the bar stool and fall lifeless onto the parquet flooring, a few feet from the spittoon , with just a couple of Hanovers remaining in the back pocket of my old faded 501s.….( for faded read ‘mingin’ )

So it’s just a pity that the Foot doesn’t serve the function of mortuary these days.
It would save me a few groats by not having to pay Halliwells to cart me off and feed me into the AGA.

I take it you’ve heard about my AGA ?

Although I “ suspect “ I may well have milked that one dry at this stage .

See you all last week. Ozy.

Comment by: . Ozy . on 28th July 2022 at 19:05

So ! , I understand you’ve got funny noises coming through the walls when you’ve got the telly on , have I got that right Joan ?

Well , I’m not making fun here , and I’m not necessarily a disbeliever , but if you’d care to come and stand outside my shelter on the rare occasion when I’ve got the cat's whisker tuned into radio Hilversum , then you’d most likely hear a veritable tirade of unprintable noises coming through the bitumen coated , corrugated walls of my humble bothy .

And if you’d care to wait until I tuned into the debate regarding Boris Johnson’s replacement, you’d hear a damn’ sight more.

Comment by: DTease on 28th July 2022 at 19:44

Dear Ozy, do I detect a note of morbidity in your latest missive? All this talk of wakes and wiks makes me worry about your present state of mind.
I always thought that wakes wiks in Wigan were a time in July when the whole town shut down and de-camped for Blackpool. The factories and mills ceased production and the birds could fly around without coughing. A time when the one or two housewives left behind would take the opportunity to wash every rag in the house, safe in the knowledge that their efforts wouldn’t be ruined by the smoke from a thousand chimneys or the Coalman delivering up the alley.
I suspect that you may be getting a little lonely in your shelter with nothing to talk to except the Aga Ozy, but not to worry, given the present state of the energy market, I dare say come winter you’ll find more friends toasting their tootsies on the Aga than you ever knew you had!

Regards from your friend who still has a deal running. DTease.

Comment by: DTease on 28th July 2022 at 19:56

That’ll be Arthur Askey Joan, he’s still in there you know, in the telly. Was he singing the “Busy Bee” song Joan? He always sings the “Busy Bee” song!

Comment by: Ian on 28th July 2022 at 20:09

Cyril, The Anderton Arms may have been used as a courthouse because the Police Station was next door.
Of course, many people know the Italian restaurant (Papa Luigi's) and some probably know that this was once The Anderton Arms. But, the house next door, which is still standing and is now a private home, was once the Police Station.
By the way, Cyril, believe it or not, I have family in Euxton and they live quite close to the restaurant.
Euxton has a lot of very old buildings. Unfortunately, houses are being thrown up everywhere and there isn't going to be any piece of green land left.

Comment by: Veronica on 28th July 2022 at 20:31

I looked up the Red Lion (Now Papa Luigie’s) Cyril, used as a meeting hall, in 1871 and sometimes as the Courthouse . Which seemed logical as it was next door to the Police Station! Thanks for that.
Ozy I can just imagine you staring into the mirror over the bar and toppling backwards with a clang and sending the rest of the ‘barflies’ scattering….;o)). It’s a good job we can laugh in the face of the inevitable…

Comment by: . Ozy . on 28th July 2022 at 22:11

You’re very perceptive DTease.

Having been born into a bankrupt country , and spent a blissful childhood in a state of what would nowadays be termed virtual poverty , and having worked for half a century without a care , and moreover for a relatively mere pittance , I now find myself stuck in a bleedin’ sh***ole of a joke of a country where certain elements of the workforce appear to find it untenable to work for 35 hours per week in exchange for 52 grand per annum .

Add to this our elected representatives whose modus operandi would appear to be focused on knocking out a wad of fifties every five minutes or so, thick enough to choke a donkey, and perhaps you may be sympathetic to my reasoning when I say that I will have few regrets when the occasion of my next wake will be my last .

In the meantime, I still hope to be around for a week or two , just to torment you lot , if nothing else.

Regards. The Deranged Cleaver.

Comment by: DTease on 28th July 2022 at 22:38

Blimey Ozy! Let me know when you’re having your next wake, after your last comment I think I’ll join you!

Comment by: Veronica on 28th July 2022 at 23:23

Book a holiday that’s the best medicine Ozy. A nice change of scenery - never mind the hold ups at Dover it’s still worth it. Well I’m hoping so… ! I think most people are in a rut, it’s time to strike out and be bold.

Comment by: Poet on 29th July 2022 at 09:12

Go look at ducks and learn . No matter how the insane the mutable world gets a duck just carries on being a duck . It don't care and nor do I .

Comment by: Veronica on 29th July 2022 at 09:37

That’s right Poet! I’m trekking off Upholland to get me in training for when I go abroad the first time for 3 years. Upholland is the nearest to abroad if only in name!;o))

Comment by: David C on 1st August 2022 at 15:07

My local since I was 18. It's slightly more expensive than most pubs in the area (not by much though) but it's not a freehold pub so the prices are dictated by the brewery, unfortunately. Anyway, it's worth spending the extra cash to drink in such a lovely pub, I reckon..

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