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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

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

Photo-a-Day  (Thursday, 24th November, 2022)

A Lonely Tree

A Lonely Tree
A single tree near Woodshaw, Aspull.

Photo: Dennis Seddon  (Sony DSC-WX500)
Views: 1,840

Comment by: Fred Mason on 24th November 2022 at 08:40

Amazing how a single tree can look so effective in the right surroundings.

Good 'un, Dennis.

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 24th November 2022 at 09:12

Now this takes me back to three places, first was California and seeing the lonesome pine growing out of a crack in the rocks,  next to the pacific  coast highway
Second place would be in New Zealand and climbing up one tree hill.
Third place would be just around the corner from where I was living,  a little street in Singapore named by the colonial settlers One Tree Hill, after the hill in New Zealand.

Comment by: Gary on 24th November 2022 at 09:38

Both yesterdays and todays photo were walks I did with my Grandad as a two year old. It amazes me how Wutchie looks so natural now, unlike the grey ridge with two black mounds I still remember from then.
The Forestry Commission planted trees in 1964 - I was twelve going on thirteen, never realising how well their efforts would work out.
Excellent picture , Dennis.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 24th November 2022 at 09:50

Nice pic Dennis.
Very much like a small tree we walked by that I took a photo of. We were on The Icknield Way , in Cambrigeshire. It was slightly stunted too by the winds coming across open fields.

Comment by: irene roberts on 24th November 2022 at 10:35

The first thing that came into my mind when I saw this was the theme from "Folly foot"....The Lightning Tree. Before a certain pedantic person adds the information that The Lightning Tree was bare and the one in the photo has leaves, I do know that. It was the sight of the lonely tree that brought the memory back. Why do photos on p-a-d so often put a song in my head that I can't shake off? I'll be singing it all day now...."Down in the meadow where the wind blows free......"!

Comment by: Dennis Seddon on 24th November 2022 at 10:58

I remember the trees being planted over the Wutchie, Gary. At the time this whole area was a barren wasteland where nothing grew. We all laughed at them for thinking they could do anything with what was then a huge mound of coal waste but we were proved wrong.
The place is now an area where rabbits and other wildlife live, and since Kirkless Wood was planted on the New Springs side it’s a great place to go for a walk. A bit of a problem with motor bikers chewing up the paths, but you can’t have everything can you?

Comment by: Veronica on 24th November 2022 at 11:11

Reminds me of Laurel ‘n Hardy singing
‘ in the Blue Ridge. mountains of Virginia. On the trail of the lonesome Piiiiine ……
Although it’s not a Pine is it?. Before JH gets on to me….

Comment by: Cyril on 24th November 2022 at 17:05

The leaves look similar to Oak Veronica though it's difficult to say for sure. When Mick mentioned the lonesome Pine I too thought of that song and the film Way Out West. Trust Ollie to get a ducking in that hole in the river bed when they're wading across and again on the way back, even when he thinks better and wades across further up.

Comment by: Elizabeth on 24th November 2022 at 18:02

You're right Dennis,it is a lovely walk around Kirkless Wood.I can remember when the 'Wutchie' was just a very dark coal waste hump......it's lovely now and as for the scramblers,it's so steep,I don't know how they manage to keep on their bikes.

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 24th November 2022 at 18:42

David and Chris Baybutt, from Wrightington Both British Grass Track champions got a contract from the NCB to remove the slag heaps and plant trees and grass.
I remember driving up the M6 and you could see a patchwork of different shades of grass being grown that they had planted as an experiment on the side of the Chisnel Hall pit slag heap.

Comment by: Pw on 24th November 2022 at 19:21

Is the Wutchie a slag heap or mining waste?Even though I did live in Hindley I have never been to it.

Comment by: Bruce Almighty on 24th November 2022 at 21:46

A slag heap IS mining waste. Yes, it's one of those.

Comment by: DTease on 25th November 2022 at 00:04

Slag is not coal mining waste. Slag is what is left in a furnace after the iron making process.

Comment by: Weather Woman on 25th November 2022 at 07:30

The slag heaps in Standish Lower Ground and Upper Shevington where coal waste.

Comment by: Dave Swedefield on 25th November 2022 at 11:05

You surprise us Weather Woman, we was thinking that they would be heaps of waste gold like they are in London

Comment by: Pw on 25th November 2022 at 11:12

There were slag heaps near the Deep pit lodge in Hindley that came from the iron works and they were like solid rock.Always called pit waste rucks.In the 60’s I recall a bloke coming in an horse draw gypsy type caravan coming to old pit rucks down Liverpool Rd Hindley and levelling out plots and planting various things.He was botanist and his job was to find out what would grow on pit rucks.He came back for a few years to measure the plants.Brian Truman came with a camera crew and interviewed him for Scene at 6:30 and it was shown on TV,a few of my mates were in the shots.He was a nice bloke and let us help him.He used to go into the Bridgewater pub and his horse liked a drink of beer.

Comment by: Wigan Mick on 25th November 2022 at 12:33

Hindley Slag Heaps are still there, I went for a bike ride around them about 5 years ago.


Comment by: Pw on 26th November 2022 at 10:57

Watched your video Mick but not sure if these are the slag heaps up near Deep pit which is off Ladies Lane.The ones in the video look like the pit rucks going towards Hindley Green,spent many hours on my bike on these rucks years ago.

Comment by: The Real James Hanson on 26th November 2022 at 17:37

I've always known colliery waste piles as 'slag heaps'.
I've also known them to be called 'rooks', 'stuff rooks', 'stuffies', rucks', 'slack heaps', 'slackies' and 'th'hills'.
If you look on th'internet, you'll find that 'slag heaps' is used quite a lot, although those who are 'proper', ie. those who never lived near / played on / worked in the industry which created them use the names 'spoil heaps' or 'coal mine refuse heaps'.
The Aberfan 'Slag Heap' Disaster was highly publicised.

Comment by: DTease on 26th November 2022 at 19:11

Slag. Noun.
stony waste matter separated from metals during the smelting or refining of ore.
'the burning liquid iron was forming a scum of slag'

Comment by: John Noakes on 27th November 2022 at 02:36

Slag Heap - A man-made mound or heap formed with the waste material (slag) as a by-product of coal mining. Can also refer to the waste by-product from a foundry or furnace, formed into such a mound.

The Slag Heaps of Loos-en-Gohelle - These are slag heaps, the residue of 130 years of mining in the rich coal seam underneath

Coal slag heap designated World Heritage site - France’s Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin—along with its mining pit, workers’ quarters and slag heap

Slag Heaps - Leftover unprocessed waste materials displaced during mining piled in 'heaps.' The piles are of overburden, the waste rock or materials overlying an ore or mineral vein that are displaced without being processed.

Staffordshire Survey - One person said "we used to have more pyramids than Egypt .... except they were pit slag heaps"

.Wales needs £500m-£600m to make abandoned slag heaps safe. Devolved government asks for UK help to deal with dangerous legacy of coal mining

Each slag heap is imbued with the history of coalmining, which has left its mark on the landscape

Welsh mine worker wearing ragged patched and ripped clothes standing on a sack of coal on rough ground at a slag heap

Southern Street, Pemberton, backing on to the slag heaps of the old Pemberton Colliery

once used as a slag heap by local collieries at Low Hall

Orwell describes what he saw from the canal side. "All round was the lunar landscape of slag-heaps

Comment by: DTease on 28th November 2022 at 05:46

Orwell was describing Top Place at Kirkless. The slag heap there came from the furnaces of Wigan Coal And Iron.

Comment by: John Noakes on 28th November 2022 at 23:02

Could he not have been describing the canalside slag heaps of Rose Bridge Colliery in Ince? or, perhaps, the slag heaps of the Ince and Ashton in Makerfield collieries which were close to the Leigh canal branch? After all, in the same sentence he describes the 'flashes', which we all know are not near Aspull at all.

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