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Hope Street

Hope Street
This was a continuation of Woodcock street and went past the old bus station. Does anybody remember the old Public Weigh Bridge at the side of the old market hall (long before the old fruit market was built) and the fish shops behind British Home Stores? What was the name of the entry that ran down the side of BHS? The Wishbone Restaurant, Wheelan's Supermarket, this was the start of the JJB story for Mr Dave Wheelan. And of course the Salvation Army had it's rooms here.

Comment by: Bill Hillman (Bobcaygeon Ontario, Canada) on 9th November 2018

According to my grandmother's birth cert. she was born at 3 Hope Street in 1889. By the 1901 census they were living at Brick Kiln House. There name was Bentley and her father, Thomas was a butcher. I would like to hear from anyone who has more information or pictures from back then. You can email me at: billhillman4@gmail.com Thanks.

Comment by: Mark Green (Pforzheim, Germany) on 10th February 2017

My Grandad was born at number 3 Hope street in 1902. He used to say, "I was was born on Hope street and I've been living in hope ever since!" He was the son of Ralph Horne who was a greengrocer in Wigan at the time.

Comment by: matthew rogers (nottingham, nottinghamshire) on 28th December 2014

yes what wonderfull days l remember owning the paper shop :jeffers: dialy store and yes in came mr wheelan to collect his daily mirror what lovely memories it brings me back to glory times .......

Comment by: Eric Hodgson (Wigan, Lancashire) on 15th June 2014

Before it was weelans it was ormrods as I worked there I started when I seventeen. In fifties sixties I worked there for twelve years the church on the corner of hope st was hope street methAdist Anyone else work there

Comment by: Sue Cookson( Round/Hammond) (Nefyn, North Wales) on 2nd December 2013

I grew up in Wigan in the 60's and 70's and worked in Whelans on a Saturday with my friend Sandra Dean (Dave Whelans niece) Some Saturdays we would finish work, get ready to go out in the toilets and then get the coach from the gas showrooms across the road to go to the Palais at Blackpool. Other nights were spent at Pemps, Sloopys, The Grand and The Commercial down Commercial yard, I still visit Wigan regularly to meet up with friends .Happy Days!!!

Comment by: jackie kindred (charlestown, cornwall) on 10th September 2013

What great memories, Tommy Moss taught me to ballroom dance I always feared the ash from his constant fag would fall down onto me !! and Room at the Top I remember Wince, Kenny Hayes, Ipso Facto all good, Alan Adlington dancing creating northern sole moves every Saturday night and me getting up on the stage with Jimmy Ball from Hindley miming to Sonny and Cher "I got you babe" happy days

Comment by: joan jones (wigan, lancs) on 11th February 2013

My Auntie Alice had a fish shop at the side of B.H.S. They had to stand in the open air and in winter it was freezing cold but she never complained.

Comment by: Elsie Smith (wigan , old bus station) on 5th December 2012

Does snyone remember the old bus station, it had ladies toilets and one end and gents at the other end. I worked in the ladies for many years and keep threastning to write a book about my exploits there. We also had a left luggage office it was a busy place at Wigan Wakes weeks. Oh happy days. I now live in Chester but whilst you can take the girl out of wigan you can NEVER take Wigan out of the girl Best regards to all who remember me. Elsie Smith

Comment by: edward sherrington (wigan, uk) on 7th June 2011

the ribble bus offices under the moss school of dancing

Comment by: Rosemary (Beccles, UK) on 27th August 2010

I've never been to Wigan but my great great great grandfather's sister ran a grocers shop there in 1851. Her name was Rothwell. Would love to find a photo.

Comment by: linma (preston, england) on 5th August 2010

I used to work in the confectioners under the Wishbone on a Saturday. Used to have our lunch upstairs. By the end of the day the teapots were that heavy because they never emptied the leaves out between customers. Does any one remember one of the waitresses. She used to have pierced ears and her earrings must have been that heavy she had long slits in her ears which she used to put plasters over.

Comment by: David (Worthing, UK) on 27th June 2010

In the 60s there was a fish and chip shop in Hope Street. Two sisters, Rita and Elsie worked in the shop which was, I think owned by their father. The sisters married two brothers - Rainfords.

Comment by: John Westhead (Nr Chorley, U.K.) on 19th May 2010

Did any work for Pirelli Construction in Prescot St in the late 60s early 70s if so get in touch John Westhead Poclain Operator

Comment by: joe thomas (wigan lancs, england) on 10th November 2009

my late dad worked at the savoy chippie in the 50 s&60 s when he weren t driving ribble buses i used to work for the ribble when i was there there were two o m o drivers stan gaskell the other i think was paddie last name i forget

Comment by: Lynne (Stamford, Uk) on 15th August 2009

I remember bretherton row very well it was the ally at the side of BHS. There was always motorbikes parked there causing an obstruction. I was a bobby in 1980 and was probably one of those who booked you for parking there. Xx

Comment by: jim cartwright (manchester, uk) on 13th April 2009

i remmember sleeping on long seats up stairs on the bus home from kerkley street .. new springs... my familys name is cartwright.. my gran parent lived at no five and they let me in the back room of a pub called the oak... jim cartwright manchester

Comment by: Kath Podmore (nee. Arnold) (wigan, UK) on 19th October 2008

I remember Cameo hairdressers where I had my long hair cut off in the 60's (shorter hair was coming into fashion more and I wanted to be 'in'). Kanes too where so many many times my Mum bought a length of material to take to my Auntie who'd create exactly what I wanted to wear on 'walking day' - it was always something a bit special. The Three Crowns Pub I don't actually remember because Freeman, Hardy & Willis shoe shop was already there. The back of the building though was still as it had been many years previous and whenever we took the shortcut through to Standishgate my Mum pointed out the window that had been her bedroom. Around 1936/37 I think, my Maternal Grandmother, Marion (Minnie) Crawford, was the licensee of The Three Crowns and I sometimes think that she was the lady Doris Speed studied for her part as 'Annie Walker' in Coronation Street - they were so similar. Grandma decided that, as Landlady, it wasn't her place to actually run the pub - she was the hostess and she spent most of her time on the other side of the bar. My Mother, she'd have been about 14 or 15 then, did all the ordering for the beers, the spirits, cigars etc. etc. and I still have the original book she used (you should see the prices way back then .....). I can't remember any mention of a link with Royalty but I was told (several times) that Margaret Rutherford stayed at The Three Crowns during her appearance in a play at Wigan Little Theatre and my Grandma had many an interesting conversation with her during her stay. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the pub but I would love to see some.

Comment by: derek (hindley, england) on 29th September 2008

My great grand mother Agnes Unsworth lived at 4 Harwardens yard in the late 1800's before she married.

Comment by: x milkman (wigan , england) on 18th September 2008

do u remember the don cafe ?? tea and toast near the park pub always plenty in mostley busmen milkmen and so on

Comment by: gordon green (Hindley,wigan uk, uk) on 16th September 2008

When I was a lad I work at Ben Turners butchers

Comment by: Jane (Wigan, UK) on 5th July 2008

Don't forget there was also Warburtons' Furniture shop next door to the Park Hotel!

Comment by: jean mcpherson (nee crane) (colwyn bay, nth wales) pre 2009.

i rember going to work in whelans not long after he opened the supermarket, his dad used to do the sweeping up in one of those brown coats like ronnie barker wore in open all hours. Dave whelan took us "his staff" to the golden garter in withenshaw for our christmas do, my first time in a propper night club

Comment by: Frank Atherton (Wigan, U. K.) pre 2009.

The store which Dave Whelan took over was Rushton's warehouse. They used to have the red brick building on New Market St before it was the Gas showrooms and for a time it was Pendlebury's/Debenhams because they had a fire at the Standishgate store. I used to work at Rushtons shop on the corner of Mesnes St on the order bike.

Comment by: Suzanne Hendon, nee Winstanley, Schofield, Brockba (Wigan, now New Zealand, now New Zealand) pre 2009.

I remember Hilda Moss, but i was originally taught to dance at the Dance School above the cinema next to Woolworths, when i got my 1st gold bar and danced transferred to Eccles school of dance then moved to Hilda, she was teaching then at the labour club in Greenough st. i also remember working at wheelans when i was 16 (and paid a pittance), but as a 7yr old (it was safe to travel alone then) going to dance class on saturday mornings, but going to the underground toilets near the side of the road (at the front of some of the shops) and taking home some 'paper bags' from the back of the toilet door, to use with my play shop at home, and getting a clout of my mother for taking 'sanatory bags' home!

Comment by: Jean Moss (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I was going to say "Why has no one mentioned 'The Room at the Top' but one person has. I used to go there when I was in my teens. It was very dark inside with Black lighting. That would have been early to mid-sixties. We went to watch 'Faces Tickets' also known as 'Ipso Facto'. By 1971 /3 I was pushing babies round the shop below which was Morrisons - I think.

Comment by: Bert (Hindley, England) pre 2009.

I also remember the Moss school of dancing on Hope St with it's formidable staircase It was there that I learned my first few faltering dance steps. However I was taught by the lovely Hilda and not Tommy. This was on Saturday afternoons and after the lessons had been completed all who wanted to were all allowed to go up into the ballroom proper. At this time rock'n'roll music was taking the whole of the western hemisphere by storm. The ballroom was quite small as ballrooms go and dimly lit. This gave it a cozy intimate atmosphere and the very latest pops were piped into it. Unfortunately not many couples took advantage of this concession. But I do remember one young chap who gyrated on his own and he was a brilliant mover. His name was Joe and he had all the latest gear. He usually wore a charcoal grey suit the coat was finger tip length fastened with a link button and black crepe soled shoes. However it was the socks that dazzled everyone these were either shocking pink or green and really did accentuate his movements. This was fifty years ago and I still remember Joe and hope that he is still with us and dancing

Comment by: derek (fernie, canada) pre 2009.

I too remember shouting at "Clapper" and running off, he never caught anybody as far as I know

Comment by: Pat Brennan (naas, Ireland) pre 2009.

Meeting Christine Davies. I need to contact her. Thanks. Pat

Comment by: Phil (Wigan, england) pre 2009.

Shouting at "Clapper" and running off

Comment by: Barb Johnson (Seattle, USA) pre 2009.

Last time I saw Wigan Town Centre was from the top of a double-decker bus stopped outside the old Woolworths a couple of days before Christmas of 1984, it was dark (about four in the afternoon)and snowing , everything was lit up for the season and it looked like a Christmas Card, it was magic . We`d just bought six of those pork pies with the jelly on top in the Old Arcade. My kids are grown up now but still talk about that christmas, their last one in the UK.

Comment by: Ron Briody (Perth, Western Australia) pre 2009.

Re Howardens Yard. That was slightly higher up Standishgate than the Three Crowns. My ancestors lived at No 3 from 1861 to 1877. The Three Crowns was on the site now occupied by Beaverbrooks jewelers on the right of the Galeries entrance. The entrance to Howardens Yard is now occupied by jewelers Ernest Jones but it is marked by a cast iron cone which left undisturbed when the Galleries was built.It is set in the wall between Ernest Jones's shop and what was Radio Rentals. I have searched long and hard for a photograph of The Three Crowns and Howardens Yard but the best I can do is a photograph of the Three Crowns only, which I found on this site today in the "Picture Post, 1939". Does anyone have a shot of Howardens Yard?

Comment by: John Murphy (Warrington, England) pre 2009.

My abiding memory of Wigan, even though I have supported the Rugby League team for years, is the Room at the Top. I was sixteen when I started to go their, we would meet in Earlestown at the Prince of Wales, then around 21.00 get the bus to the depot exactly opposite the Room. For those of you who don't know the room, if you stand with your back to the market square with Mesnes park on your left, it was at the top of those buildings. We would purchase some chemical stimulation (come on, most had been working all day Saturday) at one Shilling and three pence a time (that's about 6p today) then hit the dance floor. The Room would start at about 20.00 but it really picked up about 23.30, it would finish at 07.00 on Sunday morning then it was on to the baths, a shower to get rid of eight or so hours of sweat created by dancing at 100 miles an hour, then an hour or so in the pool then some breakfast then start walking towards Newton-Le-Willows. I did that for about eighteen months, then it was shut by the council, or at least that's what we were told. I remember walking up the stairs one night and a tune was playing that I'd never heard before, it was a new release and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up I thought it was amazing, it was "soothe me" by Sam and Dave still one of the greatest records (in my opinion) ever made. Wonderful memories

Comment by: Frank Barton (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I worked as a saturday job in the chicken rotiserrie part of the Wishbone which was downstairs with a confectioners. Upstairs was the restaurant where I used to clean the spits in the kitchen. I remember once moving a tureen on a shelf just above the sink and beening engulfed by flies. It was owned I believe by the people who had the Turnpike in King St. I was barbecueing chickens there when England won the World cup.

Comment by: Sam (Wigan, Lancs) pre 2009.

I remember the Park Hotel. The billiard room, the farmers room. Mrs Brown and her all girl staff.

Comment by: Pat (Wigan, UK) pre 2009.

Does anyone remember the folk club at the Park Hotel in the sixties? I went there in my teens with a boyfriend. Quite an exciting thing for me as I had never seen the inside of a pub before!

Comment by: margaret (wigan, england) pre 2009.

does anyone remember the savoy chippy that was on woodcock st their chipps were great,especially with plenty of salt and vinegar on and the bag was all soggy.m m m !!!!!!!!!!! also the room at the top nightclub i didn,t go there myself i was to young but my friend and i would stand in mesnes st and listen to the music because it was that loud.

Comment by: Brian Webb (Wigan, UK) pre 2009.

I remember Hope St and Woodcock St very well.I worked in Wigan town centre as a 16 year old lad.There was the Roy Cafe,Conroy Bros Fruit & Veg Merchants and a fish & chip shop where you could eat-in upstairs.I remember one day around 1966/7 I was coming from the bus station end,passing the fruit market heading towards Percivals roast chicken shop on the corner when I noticed this tall very conspicuous looking gentleman walking towards me.He was conspicuous in the fact that,although it was a reasonably mild day,he was wearing a long ,dark grey overcoat with the collar turned up and a trilby.It was Tom Jones.He was appearing at the ABC Ritz and staying at The Grand Hotel.I remember him speaking to me.He looked me straight in the eye and said,"Get from under't feet!"(The first part is true) Best Regards B

Comment by: kathleen (ince, england) pre 2009.

my friend use to work at the wishbone we used to go to mosses and the empress irember going for irish dancing lessons in hardybutts but cant remember the name of it

Comment by: John G (Bury, Lancs) pre 2009.

My main recollections of Hope Street stem from my late teens when I had summer job working as a bus conductor for the Ribble bus company. The Ribble offices were close to where the blue car is shown in the picture. There was one guy employed as an 'OMO' man. This stood for 'one man operation' as he drove a single decker bus and also collected fares. It was seen as a superhuman task in those days. If anyone had suggested that all buses would some day be manned by only a driver, they wouldn't have been believed.

Comment by: doreen c (wigan, england) pre 2009.

i remember mosses! couldn't wait for friday to come round, used to dance our socks off,if you were lucky enough to get a space that is ha!ha! great times

Comment by: Frank Rylance (Maghull Merseyside, England) pre 2009.

The most memorable thing about Hope St.to me and I should think to many other (old)Wiganers is that in the late forties and early fifties Tommy & Hylda Moss ran their dance school in the rooms above the shops opposite the Ribble Bus Station. Tommy was the one that put the lads through their paces round the dance floor usually with a cigarette in his mouth and his gloved hand clamped firmly on your shoulder. It was much better when we eventually went to the 'Emp.' and discovered that there were girls to dance with ! We still go dancing now and I am probably the only one in our area who was taught to dance by a teacher who was at that time a world champion for Latin American dancing. This was before Dave Whelan came on the scene and Ormerods Wholesalers used the premises that he eventualy occupied.

Comment by: Christine Davies (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

One of the enduring memories I have is of the fishmongers having rabbits hanging upside down with their heads in plastic bags filled with blood. I could never understand how anyone could buy a rabbit in that state and take it home to eat. One more small thing - Whelan has only one "e".

Comment by: Sue (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I remember the fish stalls and the lingering smell oh it brings back memories a photo would be nice

Comment by: Brian Cooke (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

Stop me if Im wrong but are we all talking about the entry that used to go down the side of the Penny Farthing cafe and came out accross from Debenhams, with the back end of the NatWest bank and Kiddiland toy shop ? Oh my childhood ;) And the Barclays that ended up being JJB's and is now Fabric Direct, does anyone have proof of that ever being open (?)

Comment by: Christine Nicholson(Holmes) (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I have been told that the entry down the side of B.H.S.was Harwardens yard, and some called it 3 Crowns yard, because where Timpsons is there used to be the 3 Crowns Pub.

Comment by: Janet Spencer nee Mason (Wigan, Lancs) pre 2009.

I remember the Cameo hairdressers, which was on the right hand side, up a narrow staircase, I was a junior model there, for a trainee hairdresser called Pam Wilson.

Comment by: Graham Charnley (Ince, England) pre 2009.

I used to park my motorbike in this cobbled alley near Kanes (as everyone else did) then one day we all got done for obstuction... Thank you Mr Kane

Comment by: A Culshaw (Wigan, UK) pre 2009.

Re Bretherton Row: It was, & still is, the 2nd entry on the left going down wallgate, running through to Arcade St (Grimes's arcade). The first one is Barracks yard, the third one is Rowbottom square (the old Wigan Observer office)

Comment by: Peter Foster (Dunedin, New Zealand) pre 2009.

Could I be right in thinking that The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners Pemanent Relief Society used to be in Hope Street next to Wheelan's Supermarket? I worked there as a clerk as one of the first jobs I ever had.

Comment by: M. Clayton (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I have a feeling that the entry down the side of the B H S was Bretherton's Row, please correct me if I am wrong and let me know where Bretherton's Row was. I too remember going up the stairs to Kanes and was facinated by all the rolls and scraps of material that could be found there.