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Brick Kiln Lane

Brick Kiln Lane
This was across from the old Wigan and District Equitable Co-operative Societies Department Store and went round to Dicconson Terrace. Westheads had a place here where they made toffee.

Comment by: Bill Hillman (Bobcaygeon Ontario, Canada) on 8th December 2018

In the 1901 census my grand mother's family lived at "Brick Kiln Lane House" in Wigan. Their name was Bentley and her father was a butcher. The blurb at the top says "Brick Kiln Lane" is no longer there but doing a Google Map search it shows it to be still there. Can anyone tell me if this one on Google is the same as the one in 1901 and is "Brick Kiln Lane House" a separate address or a house on this street. I would love to get any information or a picture from back then. Email me at billhillman@hotmail.com Thanks Bill Hillman

Comment by: bryan traynor (wigan, england) on 26th December 2015

I attended St Johns 1945-51.Miss Parker taught the first year-she taught my father before the first World War!Every one had a part in the nativity play.My line was "I am a thistle on a donkey" which amused my parents greatly and I was reminded of it for years afterwards.

Comment by: John (Adrian) Tyner (London , UK) on 25th November 2014

Hi Christine, glad you found the photo. I've added a few more names. Mrs Hart is my sister Dorothy who lives in Coppul. They had their golden wedding anniversary last year

Comment by: Christine Johnson(Griffin) (Orrell Wigan, England) on 25th November 2014

Hi John, I found the photo and added my comments. I cd remember quiite a few faces but sadly I am not on the photo. As I said I don't seem to have been in the right place at the right time. Regards Chris

Comment by: Christine Johnson (Griffin) (Orrell Wigan, England) on 22nd November 2014

Hello John lovely to hear from you too. I have looked on the site and the only one I can see I recognise some but it wasn't our class cos Christine Tickle and Dorothy Blackledge is on it and they weren't in our class. Is your sister Mrs Hart cos if I'm correct she used to teach me at St Thomas More School in Wigan. If you have seen the photo tell me how to find it as I haven't got the best technology skills. Regards Chris

Comment by: John Trayner (London, UK) on 7th November 2014

Christine, how nice of you to remember my name after so many years. Adrian is in fact my middle name and I've used my first name for the past 50 years. My sisters still call me Adrian. There is a photo on the site when we were in big Miss Davis's class. 1958/9. Perhaps you can fill in some of the names

Comment by: Christine Johnson (Griffin) (Orrell Wigan, England) on 1st November 2014

2nd message to Steve Connolly from Standish. Steve I have remembered your first teacher at St John's. She was Miss Fay who got married and was then Mrs Quail. She later went to teach in Africa. Other names I remember we're Colin Trainer, Julian Regan, Adrian Traynor and John Sharkey. Wish I had a school photo but sadly I haven't

Comment by: Christine Johnson (Griffin) (Orrrell, Wigan) on 27th October 2014

Message to Steve Connolly from Standish. I was in your class at St Johns and I remember you and Paul Beesley, David Grimshaw, Peter Atherton, Patricia Walters. So sorry to hear about the death of Terry Goulding

Comment by: Sheila Fort (Wigan, UK) on 7th May 2014

My friends and I used to call for curly aniseed rock to WESTHEADS on our way home from Girls High School (now Mabs Cross)The smell was amazing!

Comment by: Sue Cookson (Round) (Pwllheli, North Wales) on 15th June 2012

I remember Brick Kiln Lane mainly for Westheads toffee factory, I went to St Michaels primary school in Swinley and we used to walk down to Westheads to the side door and buy bags of broken toffee!!

Comment by: Keith Cherrington (Wesham, UK) on 19th May 2012

How you doing John. It was a great win and another great win against Huddersfield. You may not be a St John's lad but we never beat you Pat's lads at rugby. I was looking at some old pics the other day and came across one of you in Blutos. What great times.

Comment by: John O'Brien (Wigan, England) on 14th May 2012

Some names from the past although not a St Johns lad I went to John Fisher with a few of you how are you all doing Dave, Keith , Tim Good win against Saints again Keith!

Comment by: Dave Middlehurst (Wigan, Lancashire ) on 5th February 2012

Hi Keith, I did once split my head open playing British Bull Dog, I was the last one with 25 to get past. I caught a brick pillar sticking out from the wall. But I swear to this day the wall moved! Good to hear your doing well Tim in sunny Saudi

Comment by: Tim sherry (Riyadh , Saudi Arabia ) on 30th January 2012

Dave Keith where has time gone you old farts. Things are good living in Riyadh it's my retirement plan on my second stint did 4 years in the mid nineties came back out 2010 Trust you boys doing well !

Comment by: keith cherrington (wesham, lancs, England) on 2nd January 2012

Happy New Year Dave. Did you once split your head open on the school wall during play time?

Comment by: Dave Middlehurst (Wigan, Lancashire) on 18th December 2011

From St John's class of 73/74 there were also Richard and Stephen Lea and Paul Gaskell. Richard became director of music at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The rugby shirts we used hadn't been worn for at least 10 years. The shortage of boys meant that lads from from the two top years combined to play the first season under Mr Woods. In his 3rd years of running the team they won a cup played at Central Park in 1975. I've seen Mr Woods at the Brocket Arms in recent years. The school yard was long and narrow with a six foot wall all around it and goals marked both top and bottom. It was fantastic for playing football, sometimes we played after school in the dark with only a single street light to see by. All the match seemed to finish 20 vs 19. Polly was the fastest lad in the year and lived in Maple House Upper Dicconson Street. He use to play table tennis at St John Church Club. The church hall were we had school dinners was later used for under 18 disco's. Up stairs was a full sized snooker table used when there had been a youth club there. Hi Tim and Keith.

Comment by: Steve Connelly (Standish, Wigan, England) on 11th December 2011

I went to St Johns from 1955 to 59 (from age 7 to 11), my first class was in Miss ? who got married that year; then Miss Murphy, Miss Prior, Sister Christine, big Miss Davies, who lived with her sister off Standishgate nr the back entrance to Central Park. My best mate was Terry Goulden who sadly passed away 5/11/02. Other classmates were David Marsh, Eddie Marshall, Patrick McNulty, Mark Chesnyak, John Bass, Christine Griffin, Christine Rimmer, Pauline Topping, Julie Tickle etc. I have a class photo, but cant remember all the names; can anyone help?

Comment by: keith cherrington (wesham, england) on 13th November 2011

I remember we had around 40 kids in each class. The girls out numbered the boys 3 to 1. We went on a bus once a week to the swimming baths in Library St and to play rugby at Ashfield playing fields. Every lunch time marched down the Lane to the old damp hall. P.S. How you doing Tim?

Comment by: tim sherry (riyadh, saudi arabia) on 2nd October 2011

polly was paul o connell......he had two brother peter and john..they ran the b&b and dickenson terrace and its still their ....

Comment by: Mike sumner (Wigan, England) on 1st August 2011

Does anyone recall St.Johns school song ? I attended in 1953 to 1957

Comment by: Dave Pilling (Sornac, France) on 15th June 2011

Coming back to my offering of June 2009, I remember the name of the quietly spoken lady teacher at St John's school that I mentioned. T'was Miss McGee. I also remember Mr Baron, former headmaster and also Sister Christine and Dr Campbell.

Comment by: ms (wigan, lancs, uk) on 13th November 2010

Brick Kiln Lane is still there. It is the address for the Finance Directorate for Wrightinton, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust.WN1 1XX

Comment by: C. Park (Kirkham, England) on 30th August 2010

I attended St John's for 7 years leaving in 1974 to start at St John Fisher. i too remember Sister Christine although she was replaced by Mr Rynn. I remember Mr Wood's arrival and he started a school rugby team. We played our games on Wigan Rugby's training field and often walk there through Central Park. Our strip was purple with a gold hoop. I remember there wasn't that many boys in the class - think the register was; Keith Cherrington, Tim Jones, Nick Roberts, John Roberts, John Gannon, Gary Lamb, Paul Sharples, Mark Hughes, Tim Sherry, Dave Middlehurst, Stephen Bowden and Polly (don't remember his name). To the side of the play ground was the over grown land that we called the jungle. The old Co-Op store had a cafe in it, scones and milk.

Comment by: Gwen Callaghan (Wigan, england) on 7th July 2010

I remember Brick kiln Lane, as a young child at St john's in the mid 60's to early 70's.Sunday school.Dr. Campbell. The smell of the toffee, the paper shop, the priest hiding hole in the shop next door.Dinner hall across the road with Fungus growing on the walls.I remember Sister Christine I remember her being very kind.Miss Murphy was cruel with her pen,Mrs Benson was an angry woman, and Mrs Murphy in our last year was awful, you couldn't cough without getting a detention.I remember my friends at the time, Janet southern,Jane Lowe,Gwynth Rooney,Andrea Witherington, Marcella Sherry,Ruth Knowles, Sandra Wadeson,David Myers,John Cooper,Richard Kindrad,so many faces I remember.The haunted House at the bottom of the yard, so creepy. The smell of beer when we walked home, up upper dicconson street. Walking days and crowning days. Singing in church.All my children went to the merged St Mary & St Johns, and I hope my grandchildren do, (4 already).What memories this is bringing back.

Comment by: Caroline Finch (Wigan, England) on 12th September 2009

I went to St Johns in 1974 to 1978. I remember brick kiln lane and I definately remember Westheads. Used to love visiting that shop and I remember all the sweet jars stacked behind. The shop had a dark wooden shop surround and looked very old fashioned but that memory as stuck with me since I was very young. I used to love buying from the penny tray.

Comment by: Dave Pilling (Sornac, France) on 29th June 2009

A few names that spring to mind from the the distant memories of St John's primary from 1947 to 1952: Teachers includued big & little Miss Davies,Miss Murphy, Miss Parker and another lady - can't remember - she taught the second year class after Miss Parker if I remember rightly. She was quite young, quietly spoken and gentle mannered. Miss Murphy's brother taught me also at Thornleigh College, Bolton. My pals included Maurice Myers, Tommy Eames, Norman Roberts, Joe Grady, Susan Livesey, Philip Higham (who was tragically killed by a car driven by an American serviceman at the main gates to Mesnes Park) and others that don't come to mind immediately. I can remember great, long slides in the ice in the playground in winter, outside toilets, kneeling in the classroom corner when two or three of us poured stones and tin cans into a neighbour's washing, drying on a line (never forget that!), the small bottle of milk given to each child to drink every morning, the Wesleyan school "over the wall" next door, playing murps (marbles) and winning "big blobbers", playing conkers and being rapped on the knuckles when the hard conker didn't break and flew back on your hand. Happy days - but it didn't always seem like that at the time. Dave

Comment by: julian knowles (Abingdon, Oxon) on 13th March 2009

I have more information about big and little miss Davies as they were both my great aunts! I also have some group photos of St John's pupils from around the 1930's if anyone is interested.

Comment by: MIKE SUMNER (STANDISH, ENGLAND) on 1st January 2009


Comment by: Susan Rynn (wigan, england UK) on 10th October 2008

How could I forget Brick Kiln Lane, St John's School...My dad. Tony Rynn was Deputy Headteacher, then Head after Sister Christine. Doctor Campbell, Father Bridges, were the religious figures. Behind the dining hall/ christmas play hall.. was the Bluecoat School where I used to go through the potholed car park opposite the school gate..each night to meet my mum who taught there for a while before she taught at the convent.. Doreen Rynn died (cancer)when she was 68 almost 10 years ago now. Sweet smells from Westheads, oily smells and often fires...from the garage on the opposite side of the alleyway! And the corner shop at the bottom of the cobbled alley..where many a penny was spent on cherry lips, sweet ciggarettes or better still chocolate ciggarettes. I never remember how I broke my arm...one playtime...anyone know? Sue.

Comment by: Gweneth Rooney (Wigan, England) pre 2009.

I went to St John's and remember the names of some of the previous posters from the late 60's and early 70's. Catherine Fulton(ann's sister) emailed me a while ago and they emigrated to South Africa,which is where she still lives as far as I know. I still see Mr Rynn out and about in the area and am still in contact with lots of old faces as many of us have children who attend the amalgamted St Mary and St john school.

Comment by: Brian Foy (Waterloo, Ontario Canada) pre 2009.

I attended St Mary's school in the infants (1945) and then the juniors until 1954. My family lived in boyswell lane where I was born and then Millgate next door to Hannons second hand shop. I remember the river douglas flooding. I believe Mr Dickinson was headmaster and Mr Charnock was the rugby coach.I have many happy memories of those times. My family now live in Canada. Brian Foy Canada

Comment by: dave orrell (billinge, uk) pre 2009.

is that the joe fairhurst who could sing a bit.

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

I remember Brick Kiln Lane, I attended St. John's between 1938 and 1946. The infant classes were mixed but from then on the sexes were taught separately, and as far as I can remember, never mixed. The infant teachers were Mrs Parker and Little Miss Davies. She was the younger sister of Big Miss Davies taught the older girls. Mrs Murphy taught junior boys, she was very handy with the cane that's if she didn't have you kneeling at the front juust because you coughed or moved when she had asked for silence. Miss Prior also taught junior boys but left and was followed by Miss Boardman. She was a lady. She put a class play at Christmass and I was Mr Mole in her version of Toad of Toad Hall. Sammy Clarke came next. He travelled from Southport by train daily. He liked the cane and had an selection of them in his desk. He often let the recipient choose the cane with which he was to be beaten. I left before I got into Mr Baron's class but our paths did cross because access to Sammy Clarke's class was through Mr Baron's class. He didn't tolerate lastecommers so I often got the cane from Mr Baron before I reached my own class. Does any one remember Mr Miney who came to teach singing. And what about the games lessons and swimming lessons. Once a week, in summer we walked to Whelly St. Stephens playing field to play football and in winter we walked to the old baths in Millgate for swimming but these treats were cancelled if it looked like rain.

Comment by: Helen (O'Neill) (west midlands, england) pre 2009.

Whoops sorry! Anne Fulton didn't live in Danesway (which is of course in Wigan...). It was Devon Drive, Standish, near The Bleachworks. I have since found Anne and her details listed on Friends Reunited for St. Peter's, Orrell, leaving in 1977.

Comment by: Helen (O'Neill) (West Midlands, England) pre 2009.

In answer to David Mercer's question about Anne Fulton... Anne Fulton, Karen Sickels and myself went to St Peter's High School in Orrell following our time at St. Johns. As far as I know, she didn't go onto any sixth form education, at least not immediately following "St Peys". Anne lived in Danesway in Standish at the time. I don't know where she is now. I think the family were originally from Scotland and I'm sure that it was once mentioned to me that she had moved back there, or maybe I'm imagining that...

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

I attended St Johns in the fifties and was a regular customer of Miss Murphy for the stick not for disobedience but for getting my sums wrong. I remember she kept it in the top drawer of her desk it was a blue chair spindle which she called Excaliber and it hurted

Comment by: david mercer (wigan, lancs) pre 2009.

St Johns School, 65-72. We only had 12 lads at the end - not enough for a Rugby team - cos a lot of them left for John Rigby PREP school (you paid!). Tom Standish had a furniture shop next to Thomas's. The 'dining hall' further down the lane had fungus growing INSIDE. But they were good days. Mr Rynn was a fine chap. Mrs Benson not cut out for the job. Whatever happened to Anne Fulton who was in my class? The school building is still there, as it was. Used for offices or something now though.

Comment by: Chris O'Halloran (Wigan, Lancs) pre 2009.

I went to St John's between 74 & 81 before the school merged with St Mary's. Remember Mrs Hall & Mrs Myers, particularly the former who was very handy with the old wooden ruler for the most minor of offences. Remember breaking my arm in the playground 5 minutes before we had to walk accross to the church and make our first confession. My cries of pain fell on deaf ears with the teachers who didn't beleive a word of it and the first confession went ahead right on schedule.

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

The garage in Brick Kiln Lane belong to Joe Swift. Coxheads garage was off Standishgate down by the side of The Griffin

Comment by: Jim Fairhurst (Fleetwood, England) pre 2009.

Reply to Joe Fairhurst, Melbourne Australia. Hi Joe, if you're the Joe I think you are, maybe you'd like to get in touch for a chat. I'd love to know how you, Marie and Stephen have fared in oz.

Comment by: anne clarke (Wigan, Lancs) pre 2009.

I went to the convent on stabdishgate from 1967 until 1972, we used to go to the Whitesmiths fro a tray of chips for dinner and walk home up brickKiln lane, my mum went to St john's school and talked about a Miss davies and how she had her knuckles rapped if she spoke in class

Comment by: malc maguire (wigan, lancs) pre 2009.

hi brick kilne lane was the home of my grand parents if you need any info i'll do my best to answer

Comment by: Nick Spencer (Nick Spencer, USA) pre 2009.

I'm another former pupil of St. John's who has fond memories of Brick Kiln Lane. I was there in the early 70s, loved Mrs. Myers, Mrs. Hall and Miss Blackwell, but thought Mrs. Benson was mad. As you went from Thomas's toffee shop toward St. John's school there was on the right some sort of car repair place that always had blazing fires and loud mchinery noises. Anyone remember? The dining hall on the left was connected to the Parish Hall and had orange and blue tables organized in long rows. They served Manchester tart and liver and onions, but what else? As you turned right to go toward Dicconson Terrace you went by a derelict house that we loved to explore as we smelled the beer from the barrels being delivered to the back end of the British Legion. Great memories. Was there ever a kiln?

Comment by: Joe Fairhurst (Melbourne, Australia) pre 2009.

Wow! So many memories come flooding back. Four of us lads from St John's youth club would pretend to be scouts, acquire the key from the presbytery and spend at least one evening a week in St John's scout hut in Brick Kiln Lane playing cards, smoking Woodbines and drinking bottles of beer. I often wonder if the dear old parish priest suspected. Oh, we never saw a ghost in the scout hut ... just a few pink elephants.

Comment by: Kathy Beirne (Tustin, California) pre 2009.

I remember Brick Kiln Lane very well because I attended St. John's RC in the early 1970s. Mr Ryn (I think) was the headmaster and Miss Murphy and Sister Christine were still there. I was in Miss Murphy's class where my knuckles were rapped with a ruler quite regularly for small offences - such behaviour would not be tolerated nowadays, more's the pity - then I moved into Mrs. Benson's class before going onto St. John Fisher. I remember running down Brick Kiln Lane for lunch - which if I remember correctly was served in a building separate from the school itself. It seemed as though we turned left outside the school gates and then the lunch building was a little way down on the right. This really has been a trip down memory lane. I love this website!

Comment by: Anne Slevin (Clapham) (Newburgh, Wigan) pre 2009.

St Mary's school with Miss Chisnall head of infants and Mr Charnock head of Juniors - taken to school by "big boys" in our street namely Jackie Edwards father of Shaun! and David Jacobs. Later to the Convent for an education of a lifetime courtesy of sisters Dolores ,Isabel and Philamena not to mention the Ms' Dwyer, Dacre Brown and Ernie Savage. Was the penny loaf shop not run by Mrs Monks?

Comment by: Robert A Hopkins (Billinge, England) pre 2009.

Up Brick Kiln Lane at the back of St Johns Hall was the Scout Hut of St Johns R C Scouts 5th Wigan Troop, I was a scout with them from approx 1954/1957. This was the only Catholic Scout troop in the Wigan area at that time. Many fond memories and the camps we had at Bispham Hall.

Comment by: kate conroy (madrid, spain) pre 2009.

The newsagents at the bottom of Brick Kiln Lane just to the right in Standishgate was run by Mr.and Mrs.Alker. Next door there was a sweet shop. I think it was called Thomas's.

Comment by: Jim Fairhurst (Fleetwood, England) pre 2009.

Reading all the memories of St Johns really takes me back in time. I went to St Johns from 1956ish leaving in 1962. I remember the outside loo's, at the bottom of the schoolyard, which were freezing in winter. The headmistress at the time was Sister Christine. Miss Murphy was still there, and taught me speling. Does anyone remember the ghost of St Johns Hall? The toffee factory used to sell one penny bags of broken toffee, and the little bakery sold penny loaves. Happy days.. Does anyone remember who lived in the house adjacent to the school? It was accessed throught a gate between the bottom of the schoolyard, and the garage.

Comment by: Sandra Davies (Calgary, Canada) pre 2009.

I remember St. John's school and two more teachers, Big Miss Davies and Little Miss Davies. I remember the penny bags of broken candy and the penny loaves. Small bottles of milk, warming by the open fires in each classroom. Outside toilet facilities with no handwashing facilities, as handwashing after using the toilet was considered totally unnecessary. Behaviour guidance was by means of a sturdy cane. We lined up for nitty norah and for lunches in St. John's hall. All the girls were madly in love with Father Kennedy.