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Wigan "Pier"

Wigan "Pier" is a set of quays in an open, wide stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. This is a photo of what used to be warehouses and what is now the Orwell Pub. The most distinctive feature left over from its industrial past are the roofed sections sticking out over the canal with the remnants of hoists, used for loading cargo onto canal boats.

The Orwell section is the most representative of what's left, as I understand it. The section of roofed overhands along the warehouse which is now the ex-museum of the area had wooden walkways build underneath them in the '80s - good for quayside walks, lousy for giving a sense of the purpose of the overhangs.

The view in the other direction. The brick building beyond the bridge is a dead-end for the canal, another site for loading canal boats.

The canal turns a corner here, coming into (or out of?) the open area through a low bridge.

The Trencherfield Mill and a large construction site for new flats lies just beyond it.

The water was beautifully still, the weather clear, and the sun setting as we walked around the compact site.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
My homeland!
(I told you part of my family came from Wigan, didn't I?)
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
I had no idea! The Wigan connections are coming out all over.
Feb. 12th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
My sis-in-law worked in Wigan - before moving to the Old Trafford area. So that's where I was three winters ago. :) And I did the Orwell thing. Hey, Animal Farm was only beaten in depression by Lord of the Flies. Why they made you angstful through your GCE's I don't know. I'm so old, my exam system has expired...all of them have, ACH's don't exist anymore either.
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:38 am (UTC)
Another Wigan tourist! I haven't read either Animal Farm or Lord of the Flies. But I have read 1984 (part of a dystopia/utopia project).
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
Sorry, ex-museum? The museum is shut now? :-(
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
From here:
The Way We Were heritage attraction closed to the public on the 20th December 2007.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our many visitors who have supported us since our opening in 1986 and helped to give the museum its reputation as a much loved visitor attraction and award winning educational facility.

We hope that we can count on your continued support as we look forward with anticipation to a new year and a number of exciting developments, including the regeneration of the Wigan Pier Quarter.

This multi-million pound development is planned to include an arts and heritage learning centre with the majestic Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine as its centre piece. During the interim period we hope to offer a range of opportunities for continued visitor access to Trencherfield Mill.

It was certainly looking very closed:

Feb. 12th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC)
This is a photo of what used to be warehouses and what is now the Orwell Pub.

Thus proving that anything can be turned into a pub if you put your mind to it.

I also used to work in Wigan, it was the nearest office to me when I was living at my parents' house (which is a couple of minutes' walk away from Euxton Balshaw Lane station).
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm astonished to find quite so many people I know have Wigan connections!
Feb. 12th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! I've never heard of Wigan, but it looks like an interesting place to visit. I especially like the first two pictures, with their overhangs and their reflective canals ...
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Until this week, I mostly just knew Wigan as the place that pittenweem tried to convince everyone that C. was from. Now it's much more meaningful to me too. We spent all of half-an-hour there though. If it hadn't been late afternoon on a Sunday, I might have seen if we could visit the Trencherfield Mill Engine. Other than that, I can't actually say what one would do there. I haven't even read the guidebook entry.
Feb. 16th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
I really need to see more of England in general. I've only been to Cambridge and London. Someday I'll travel more, I hope ...
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Let me tell you what my favorite guidebook has to say about Wigan! (Blue Guide, 1995 - they're way too PC these days. This particular entry isn't even very snarky, but it's the snark, as well as the thoroughness, I like so much about the series. At least, that the series used to have.)
Wigan (79,500 inhabitants). Its reputation as the typical Northern manufacturing town was summed up by the old joke about 'Wigan Pier', made popular by the Wigan-born music-hall comedian George Formby Senior and perpetuated in the title of George Orwell's study of industrial depression in the 1930s, 'The Road to Wigan Pier'. The name is now used for the buildings by the basin of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, on A49S of the town centre. They include a Heritage Centre, with exhibits and performances by actors brining to life the history of the area, and Trencherfield Mill, with the world's largest working mill steam-engine as well as textile and rope-making machinery. All Saints, rebuilt in 1845-50, has a partly 13C tower and a S aisle window by Morris and Co. (1868). There are two RC churches in Standishgate, the classical St. John's (1819) and the Gothic St. Mary's (1818).
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Gawd these photos are freakin' GORGEOUS!
Really, these are images that I'd be proud to have taken, especially the one next to the post.

Feb. 12th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Gawd these photos are freakin' GORGEOUS!
Thank you! The light and weather were perfectly cooperative. I got a new camera at Christmas, and have been very pleased with its results so far.
Feb. 13th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
I have a totally unrelated question, so I'll just bung it here. I remember you saying at one time that when you were working on your PhD thesis, you tried to always write 250 words a day. Did you count writing you did in research notes, or just writing you did on the thesis itself proper?

I only ask because it seemed like a very sensible goal to have in mind, but I am now starting to panic a little because although I have started to make notes, actually putting anything down on paper feels rather far away.
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't count work in research notes, only words towards the actual content - HOWEVER the boundary between those was sometimes blurry, as I would write research notes directly into what was meant to be a draft, only to need to rework it later.

There's a very good reason to not count research, actually - it gives you too good of an excuse to not start writing the real thing. And believe me, you will be ready to start writing it far sooner than you think you are.
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
I remember going there on a school trip. My! how time flies.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )