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Places that have gone

Timberlakes, Library Street
The old Fire Station in Chapel Lane, The Central Station in Station Road (Wigan's third railway station) George Makinson had an ironmongery shop at the side, the Hippodrome (Where many well known stars appeared), H H Timberlakes had a showroom for cars in Library Street, and the Royal George a Lodging House in Hardybutts.

Comment by: Barbara parr(née Caunce) ( Golden Grove. Sth. Australia , Australia) on 10th April 2022

Peets. Butchers Market Hall Pavilion Cinema. Library street Princes cinema. Court Hall. Cinema and Dance hall

Comment by: toni Francis (Chatteris, cambs, uk) on 4th May 2016

We lived in Poolstock in a house with no bathroom that backed on to the River Douglas (which in those days stunk).The houses were all Victorian but I remember that the yards and paving was fabulous stone slabs. I wonder what happened to the stone when they pulled it down - it would look great on my patio now!

Comment by: joseph tighe (leigh, england) on 24th January 2016

I certainly remember poly do owts cloggers shop at the top of Cambridge st ,buti only remember her husband tom lowry doing the clog repairs,i used to spend many an hour watching tom repairing clogs, and having a good natter with him.

Comment by: stephen pye (westhoughton, lancs) on 6th December 2015

the old timberlakes showroom, where fishers carpets was now displays the remains of the old timberlakes sign.

Comment by: joseph tighe (leigh, england) on 5th August 2015

I certainly remember john farrimonds gents hairdressers in darlington street east.he was a very funny man.he would say things like,and he drew out his sword and cut up a side street.i spent many happy times gas bagging with this man

Comment by: Mr Boyes (Sthelens , Uk) on 2nd December 2014

Anyone got pictures of the pavilion cinema or memories my mum used to b an usherette there ?

Comment by: Terry (York, England) on 19th June 2014

Douglas Street, Newtown. Help me please. I have fond memories of my grandma and granddads house in Douglas Street where I was born but, alas, cannot find any photos of the street which has long since been demolished. Can anyone help me as I am trying to compile a photo book of my life. Please contact me at mail@magsterr.plus.com.

Comment by: Joe crawford (Cleveleys, England ) on 19th October 2013

When I was courting 1955 i walked my girlfriend home and asked her where she lived she said in a big house and pointed to the royal George and I thought I had hit the jackpot but I did because we are still together

Comment by: deborah geelan (wigan lancs, uk) on 15th October 2013

Does anyone have memories of John farrimond's gents hairdressers on Darlington Street?

Comment by: susan bradley (leigh, england) on 8th September 2013

I remember room at the top, I spent every weekend there for years, thanks for the memories I went to Notre Dame convent, originally near st john's at the back of Tesco's this has also gone I used to also go to a hairdresser called Joseph. he was the best

Comment by: Chrissie (Bury, England ) on 17th August 2013

Hi does any one remember , Room at the top , Sloopys , bamfords roller rink . the hideout , or pink elephant has it became . I spent a lot of my teenage years in these places , I loved watching the live bands at the pink elephant , and room at the top .I would spend sat afternoon at Bamfords roller rink at pemberton . had a whale of a time . What more could a teenager have wanted .

Comment by: alec almond (wigan, england) on 1st March 2013

In answer to what was where gala bingo is in Crompto St,it used to be S&S Motors.

Comment by: Mick McCabe (Wigan, UK) on 9th February 2013

Dennis Ratcliffe, I don't know much about Walmesleys, but I hope you are the same lad I used to go to school with in the 50's and 60's ( St Pats and John Fisher)? I remember you starting at Walmesleys after we left school. Often wondered what had happened to you. If you want to get in touch email me at michael-mccabe@blueyonder.co.uk

Comment by: Mick McCabe (Wigan, UK) on 9th February 2013

In answer to Jeff Harts query about what was in Crompton Street before the Gala Bingo and the multi storey. We used to call it the Pit Yard. It was used as a car park and also used by Silcocks Fair to park their caravans and vehicles when Wigan Fair was held on the old Market Square. On Crompton Street itself, was a small row of shops, opposite the grass bank that went up to the Central Station.

Comment by: John Barbour (Needham Market,Suffolk, ,Great Britain) on 26th April 2012

Anyone remember that other German bomb that dropped in Wigan in the Second World War. Not sure of the exact date about 1942-4e perhaps.I was there a few hundred yards away ok,in my cot but have vague memories. This was down Brock mill lane in the grounds of Sicklefield House.The crator is still therethere

Comment by: sandra burgess (Newton-le-Willows, England) on 14th November 2011

Las Vegas club near Coops sewing factory- the chinese dancer with a green leather coat and the girls in cages-I also remember room at the top - I worked at Starrs printers just around the corner in 1965 an then later at Empress mill in Ince as a wages clerk. Happy happy days

Comment by: Jeff Hart (Hindley, uk) on 6th October 2011

can anyone remember what used to stand on Crompton St before the Gala Bingo and the multi story car park was built ?. Jeff

Comment by: John Murphy (London, England) on 5th July 2011

Who remebers the "Hen Pen" at Central Park - a holding area for all the little lads. We used to get free tickets from Mr McArdle at St Cuthbert's and off we would go on Saturdays. Always people watching over you, mainly to stop you escaping in to the main part of the stadium. Always got caught though until one day during a home match with the Saints (packed house), perhaps 1958, a mass break out was planned and put in place. About 50 of us got over the Wall! Steve McQueen eat your heart out. John Murphy

Comment by: jimmy nicholson (wigan, england) on 1st June 2011

i used to work at makinsons about 1969 some great people frank topping cliff martlew eddie mcartney joe knoles to name but a few we used to goto woolies cafe for dinner i used to love those burgers they used to serve

Comment by: irene roberts (wigan, england) on 12th May 2011

To Jeanette.....yes. TE Gallagher was the "pickle-works" in Ince. I remember it, (and its smell!), very well; it was known locally as "TEG'S".

Comment by: Edna Booth (Warrington, UK) on 14th April 2011

Christine Ackland was not dreaming. The Old Baths in Wigan did have a dance floor overlaying the pool on occasions.

Comment by: tedcoal (Wigan, England) on 30th December 2010

I lived in Bickershaw and had to travel to Irlam Steel works as part of a course of "Man-management".I used to catch the train that left Wigan Central at 7 am and called at Lower Ince station, Hindley Stony Lane, Bickershaw and Bickershaw and Abram "which served Crankwood and Plank Lane colliery before running through to Irlam and then Manchester central (reputed to be the oldest passengeronly station in england) The town hall is on the site of the wigan terminus.

Comment by: Christine Ackland (nee Hunter) (Southampton, UK) on 25th September 2010

What about the old baths. If i remember rightly didn't a dance floor used to cover the the pool? I'm sure i went to a dance there once or did i dream it?

Comment by: Jeanette (Fleetwood, ENGLAND) on 16th September 2010

Does any one in Wigan remember a factory in INCE called T E GALLAGHER & SONS? I have found a glass bottle while walking around Trough of Bowland but I am struggling to find any history surrounding its origin. Can you help? Thanks

Comment by: Derek Lyons (Wigan, England) on 4th September 2010

Does anyone remember the cloggers shop at the top of Cambridge St. Polly Do Outs. She put irons on your clogs while you sat waiting on an old wooden bench. If you didn't have holes in your socks you were considered a real toff!

Comment by: christine Jolley (Poulton Le Fydle, Lancashire) on 30th July 2010

I remember the Hippodrome burning down I was devastated to say the least!!! The Royal George in Hardybutts I remember real well as my Aunt and Uncle lived opposite Edith Catterall and Billy going back to the 1950's here around 1958 59 My Nanna also had a shop on Warrington Rd Lower Ince The Outdoor Licence Mrs Pennington I used to serve in the shop and Loved it cos I could have sweets and Steakpudding and Chips from Farrimond's chippy down the botton of Warrington rd Happy days xx

Comment by: christine jolley (CROOKE VILLAGE) (Blackpool, United Kingdom) on 15th July 2010

I remember the room at the top Across the road from the Bus station where I used to catch the 333 Bus to Shevington, I remember a little guy who used to play the drums whenever we went up during the day I left Wigan in 1964 and moved to Blackpool where it was all happening then!!! Mecca Twisted Wheel 007 Nightclub with Brain London and Ronnie Hunter Met Mary Hopkins in there once and had a dance with her with all my friends

Comment by: josephine A Bretherton (Wigan, England) on 5th July 2010

Chapel Lane [where the old fire station was]. I remember fire tenders emerging, the road was narrow and the fire fighting vehicles had difficulty coming out onto Chapel Lane. They used to ring a brass bell to notify pedestrians to get out of the way. Campbell's furniture shop was opposite the fire station. On the same side of the fire station was an underground cobblers/clogger's shop. Across the road was a Church and Woods [Jewellers]. Chapel Lane extended across Darlington St. under Chapel Lane railway bridge. The railway kept holding yards for cattle and one foggy night when I was going out on a date with my boyfriend, a chap emerged from the Judas gate asking me had I seen an escaped cow. The Palace Picture house was on the corner, next to a pub. There was a toffee shop on the opposite corner. Next door to the toffee shop were public toilets. In Chapel Lane having walked under the railway, there was the Basket Works, a Saddlery. A lady sold blocks of salt from her house. At the top of Queens St. was the RAFA club. Happy Days.

Comment by: Bill (Hindley, UK) on 1st July 2010

Timberlakes was on both sides of Library Street Wallpaper Supplies was originally a showroom and workshop and there was a smaller showroom on the other side which is now (or was) the carpet shop, It looks like it is Still the original front. They then moved to what is now GoOutdoors(Formerly B & Q) I bought a white Mini from them in 1976.

Comment by: OLIVE CHURCHILL (CHESHIRE, ENGLAND) on 20th June 2010


Comment by: Malcolm Ainscough (Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK) on 24th May 2010

I remember Chapel Lane from the late 1950's and early 1960's.My grandparents, Ralph and Polly Ainscough lived in Chapel Lane in a police house opposite the fire station and police station. My grandad was fireman and police sergeant during the war. He was quite a character and stood no nonsense policing a very tough part of Wigan! After the war he was awarded the OBE for bravery while saving workers from a factory that was about to blow up due to bombing. He was a very good cricketer and bowler. In the days of the Hippodrome they used part of the house as digs for "artistes" such a Harry Secombe when he was starting out in theatre. I have a vague recollection of my grandparents saying that Arthur Leslie, who played Jack Walker in Coronation Street, lived a few doors from them in Chapel Lane. But I may be wrong! Whenever I smell gas or sulphur it always takes me back to Chapel Lane which was only round the corner from the gas works and not far from the railway! Incidentally, my dad, another Ralph Ainscough, was a mechanic at Timberlakes during the war.

Comment by: julie prescott nee watson (wigan, england) on 1st May 2010

message for roy yes roy jack watson was my grandad he finally had to hang up his brown overall coat in the eighties already in his seventies by that time he went living in hindley with his youngest son and family and his loving wife betty. he died in 1996. a very much loved special smart and most cherished grandad anyone could have .

Comment by: Bill Moran (Preston, England) on 20th February 2010

Hi all I am Bill Moran - taught in Wigan for 23 years from 1978 to 2001 I taught at Gidlow Middle School then at Marsh Green Primary - what great people Wiganers are Fond memories of all those families Would like to reconnect with as many as possible, now that I am retired from Teaching, with stories about the Fishing teams, Chess Teams or Rugby Teams I coached Or about old teachers Like Louis Dickson at Gig Bill

Comment by: Eric Turner (Hindley, Wigan., England) on 8th February 2010

There was a large shop across from the N.W. Station by the name of Haddow & Rainfords, selling decorating stuff, paint etc, I think it's the Cash Converter now,the manager after the war was Miss Mary Marsh. She married James Eckersley of 126 Park Road, Hindley. One day in 1949 she came to our house and asked if I would go to Manchester with her, Mr Eckersley had fallen of the top of a load on his lorry and would I see to driving his lorry until he was fit. I went with her for the lorry and I left the job in 1977, 28 years later. E.T.

Comment by: Richard Banks (Melbourne, Australia) on 16th July 2009

I remember going to Timberlakes in Library Street with my dad in the old Rolls Royces we used to have....My dad was the local undertaker in Pemberton so we had a few old Rolls for the business.....

Comment by: Pat van Vliet (Amsterdam, Netherlands) on 9th July 2009

I was at Plessey, Lamberhead Ind. estate for a few months doing evenings when my daughter was a baby, must've been around 1970. I worked on relays, the job was utterly boring but the working atmosphere great, all women with a male supervisor. In between singing along with the same old tunes every night (one stuck in my mind "Aquarius", we'd be telling jokes. I can't remember the names of any of the girls I worked with, but one was a real joker, had us in stitches every night. Good memories!

Comment by: charlie (wigan, england) on 15th April 2009

this isnt a memory but i cant find anywhere else to post this. does anyone know who owns the underground club now? and if its some how possible to go in and have a look around.

Comment by: John Bowyer (Bramhall, UK) on 6th February 2009

I used to go to the Room at the top 1965-67 and used the Bodega. I used to wear a pea green suit. I did get thrown out by the bouncer one night but it wasn't kevin. All those stone steps - luckily the only thing I broke was my watch. We used to go to the Casino when it was a Casino and what was then the Empress ballroom did dnce nights on a Sunday with live groups before it became the Casino. Not quite sure how we survived the Room at the Top bearing in mind the amount of speed what we were taking to keep awake all night!!

Comment by: Lorna Bennett (Burnham, Bucks, UK) on 12th January 2009

My mother Lilian Gimson ran a boarding house in Bridgeman Terrace and used to take in the people performing at the Hippodrome. Six months of the year we had actors playing in repertory and the other half of the year we had the variety turns. I remember watching the musicians practising in our sitting room and going to the first house on a Monday evening.

Comment by: dave wheelock (newcastle upon tyne, england) on 11th December 2008

i used to play in a band at the room at the top very often it was one hell of a carry for the gear dropped the bass drum all the way down the stairs one night it had a great atmosphere one thing worried me was the little emergency exit at the back of the stage if there was ever a panic we would be crushed. i was in the denems 64/65 does anyone remember oggie and the membrains. dave

Comment by: sharon catterall (wigan, uk) on 10th November 2008


Comment by: frank walford (Ashton, England) pre 2009.

Iused to catch a train from Crankwood station to Central Station just in time to catch the last bus to Ashton.

Comment by: alf sudworth (wigan, lancs) pre 2009.

I WAS a driver for george makinson I olso worked at the enpress hall at nights helping with the bar it was about 1 0 clock when I got home and then I had to be up again for work at makinsons at 8.30. Alf

Comment by: dave johnson (wigan, u.k) pre 2009.

Remember going to Bob Housley to pick up shoes left the week before and you could guarantee giving Bob the ticket and his reply was nearly always "just going to do them next" and he did them while you waited. Happy days, how many shopfolk do you know personally nowadays?

Comment by: owd robiner (wigan, uk) pre 2009.

does any newtown folk remember getting their shoes at so much a week from billy mellings shoe shop on ormskirk rd newtown i got my first pair of clogs from there when i was at school and bob housley the clogger on warrington rd nr skew bridge used to mend um.

Comment by: Jerry Cayzer (Cebu, Philippines) pre 2009.

I went to the old M&T College in Library St.in 1944, when I lived at Springfield. The 'pond' in that area, someone inquired about, was an Emergency Water Supply as I recall. It was a great source of frog-spawn and sticklebacks. I'm keen to make contact with: Harold Dauber, Billy Woods, Harold Holland, and Norma Walsh.

Comment by: mick hoggarth (wigan, england) pre 2009.

Timberlakes, I remember the garage, opposite the tech. My dad served his time as a motor mechanic there way back in the late 1940's, and my grandad worked there as well as a chofeur? odd jobsman, driving Mr and Mrs Timberlake about, were they Lord and Lady Timberlake by any chance or was that just folklore?

Comment by: Dennis Ratcliffe (Sydney, Australaia) pre 2009.

I have lived in Australia for 33 years . I served my apprenticeship with Walmsley's from 1963-1968 , I have some very good memories of the place and I am hoping some of you Wiganer's can help me with the history of the closure of Walmsey's . I am writing my memeories to pass on to my family, so any help would be greatly appreciated . I know the business closed but have no idea of timelines . In its day it was a big employer , the annual dance at the Empress ballroom is something I remember as a big social event . The other memory I have is of the Walmsley canteen , what great meals they served . I remember the lady in charge whose name was Mary , she kept all the apprentices and many of the men in line . When I left in 1969 it was a thriving concern , what happened ? Are there any ex Walmsley folk out there who can fill in the gaps for me . I can remember many of the men I worked with all good people and if any remember me I would love to hear from you .

Comment by: Bob Johnston (Fish Hoek, South Africa) pre 2009.

I left Wigan in 1980 and my wife and I often reminice of the good times we had in Wigan. I remember going to "The Turnkey Restraunt" which was also the Wigan Round Table meeting room. Benthams Fish & Chip shop was also a favoured place. Are these places still going? I know the RT has disbanded,shame. Makinson's the general builders supplies was run by David Payne, and then there was Harry Wallwork who was a gents hairdresser. Favorite pub was The Railway with landlord Ken Gee.

Comment by: Michael Richard Lieser (Vancouver, wa, U.S.A.) pre 2009.