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READERS MEMORIES OF HINDLEY GREEN
If you have any memories of Hindley Green and would like to share them.
Please contact the HGRA Webmaster: hgrawebmaster@fastmail.fm


Joan Pavitt nee Ashcroft, Anglesey, North Wales. Wrote:

I would like to reply to Neill Shottons remark about Ashcroft' shop on Atherton Road.
I am the Grand-daughter of Gilbert and Nellie Ashcroft who kept the shop in the 50's or thereabouts. I am also the daughter of Eric and Greta Ashcroft who was the son of the said Gilbert and Nellie. Together with my sister Wendy, we lived next door to the shop until I was married in 1964 then I left Hindley Green to live in Tyldesley.
I remember serving in my Grandmas shop and I used to like serving the children when they came in to look at the (penny tray) which we had a tray full of sweets ranging from a halfpenny upwards to about 3pennies. In those days you could get alot for your money, not like today. Another unusual item my Grand-parents sold were (clog irons and rubbers) which the customers used to bring in their clogs and we would measure the clogs with the irons or the rubbers.
Another thing my Granddad used to do apparently, but I do not remember this as I was only 8 when he passed away. He had a small place across the road from the shop where he used to do work with batteries of some sort, I am not sure, but he had some sort of work-shop.
Another shop which was next door to my grandparents shop was the chip shop which was kept by Annie Ankers I do not remember her huband' s name. I used to go in for my Auntie Doris for a 6penny mixture, which was a portion of chips covered with mushy peas and they also did a lovely steak pudding - lovely.
My Grandmother sold the shop to Marion and Joe who now live, I believe, in Hindley. Their daughter had the shop at one time for a flower shop and later a sandwich shop. The daughter's name was Dawn.
Another thing I remember well was having he milk delivered every morning and was taken out of the "milk churn" which was parked at the corner of the Victoria pub and also "Lewis's" ice cream which was at the very top of Long Lane. We used to go for walks up long lane and call for an ice-cream.
Those were the "good old days"


Neil Shotton Wrote:

I wonder if anyone remembers the Rev. A. N. James of St. Johns Church, I think he left some twenty odd years ago to go to another church. One of his hobbies was Amateur Radio, being licensed, this allowed him to transmit television pictures out as well, I remember fiddling about trying to tune an old video recorder in, I came across one of his transmissions accidentally. I remember it was in black and white, he didn't have a colour camera, also there wasn't any sound, his radio callsign was G4IVD.

Reply: hgrawebmaster@fastmail.fm


Neil Shotton Wrote:

Hi, I saw that someone was interested in former times about land opposite the Spinners pub. I've included some recollections of life as a kid in the fifties, early sixties.
Yes, the area did have several terraced houses, I remember a shop at the junction of Atherton Road and West Street, well, not so much as a shop as a temperance bar, Florrie Pye was the proprietor, also, along West Street, there were two terraced houses, I re-call on West Street, there was a chap that did welding, he repaired a hole I had in the silencer of my motor cycle.
Directly across the road, there were also a block of four terraced houses.
From what I can ascertain, Thomas Kirkpatrick bought the mill in 1864, this suggests that he also bought surrounding land, indeed, he owned the land that the present St. Johns School is built on.
Thomas also owned a mill in Hindsford. Still there at 650 Atherton Road, was the factory managers house.
Thomas Kirkpatrick, November, 1881
Kirkpatrick, like Caleb Wright, was once apprentice to Messrs. J. and G. Jones of New Mills, Tyldesley. He was born in 1806, and has so prospered that in 1845 he was able to buy Hindsford Mill near to Shakerley Brook. He lived for a time at the Walmesleys in Bedford, but later purchased Meanleys as a residence, and in 1864 acquired another mill at Hindley Green. Kirkpatrick was a Liberal; he sat on the township councils of Tyldesley and Bedford and was for twelve years chairman of the Leigh Board of Guardians. At his death he left four sons, Edward, Henry, James and John, and a daughter, Annie, who had married Caleb Wright. He
died November 19, 1881. Though the Kirkpatricks never operated on the same extensive scale as their rival contemporaries in the cotton trade, they were a constant force for good in the neighbourhood and made their influence widely felt throughout two long generations.
http://www.peterjtyldesley.com/bongs/lunn/pages/P09.html ( Page 140 )
Across the road from St. Johns School was a shop owned by the larger than life Gwendoline Bibby, in what is a present take-away food shop, I remember, there was a large slab of stone under the shop window, a feisty woman, she wouldn't give you your penny deposit if you returned milk bottles, you had to buy something,
Ena Sharples would've been envious of her.
Moving further down the road to where the wall at Kirkpatrick Mill ended, there was a post office letter box built into the wall, the factory fire exit doors nearby. In Summer, these doors would often be open, you could watch the workers inside looking after their machines, quite a few of the local population worked at that mill including some of my relatives.
In my youth, there was a shop, a chip shop, next door to the factory but in former times, it had been the local post office, the daughter of the local coal magnate ran it, Margaret Southworth. Moving on towards Hindley, after the shop, there were about four, maybe five houses, and then, as now, a petrol station/garage, known then as the "Bulldog Garage," this was later owned by John Plumpton based in Wigan, he had petrol
stations all over the north west.
The "School Row" came next, at the end at what is now Hawthorn Avenue, there was a grocers shop, I'd always heard of it being called "Margarets," often, as a kid, on a Saturday morning, I would be sent there to buy some Penguin bars, crisp and ½ an ounce of pipe tobacco for my grandfather. I think, it was owned by Eric Ashcroft, possibly the son of Gilbert Ashcroft who had a hardware shop next door to what is now the "Little Chippy."
That hardware shop also sold small fishing hooks which we attached to home made fishing rods, we used to spend many hours fishing in one of the Kirkpatrick Mill lodges.


Colin Hall wrote:

I enclose a photo of the Bowling club members of the Railway Hotel ( Rubber ) taken in 1952 on the bowling green at the rear of the pub, I am the little boy sat at the front and was born in 1943 my name is Colin Hall and my father is the one to the right of me James Hall and the one with the flat cap on behind him is my grandfather Stephen Hall who was a overlooker in the old kirkpatricks mill which was on Atherton road .

I also enclose a photo of Evelyn needle & Dorothy Ashton ( my Mother ) taken in Riana park hindley where she used to go swimming in the brook as a girl the year was 1936,


I hope you can make use of the photo's


 

 


Gordon Brockley, Location: Hindley wrote:

I remember the monkey bridge, it was near the rear of the Turners Asbestos factory. I had occasion to take a walk over there a couple of years ago but for the life of me I couldn't find the monkey bridge, everywhere is overgrown with trees, the railwaw line has pretty well vanished. Nature has taken over and the area is unrecognisable from what I remember as a child in the fifties, early sixties.



Brian Lee Wrote:
This is the picture of the maggot and pig farm in Hindley Green which was my families farm. The farm got bought by the highways agency in December 1997 to put the blue route through. It was knocked down and demolished in early 1998.
The farm was purchased by my grandfather (Simeon Johnson) in 1952. His son in laws (Frank Grundy and Kenneth Lee) carried the business on from 1972 when my grandad died. I worked on the farm from 1982 until it closed.

The picture which I sent was around 1974. We farmed around 2000 pigs and 250 beef cattle at the height and also bred the house fly maggot (squat or feeder maggot) all on 6 acres of land. We also supplied the local fishermen for miles around with bait.


Edna Booth: Lowton St Mary's wrote:
Just checked in again to HAGRA website....shock! horror! ....found Frank Hilton's "Thi pullin' th' owd schoo' deawn" poem I had missed that! What the devil was wrong with it - they are vandals! But just thought you might be interested in my memories, which seem to go back a bit further than Frank Hilton's.
I went to Hindley Green Primary School (under-age) because I couldn't get there fast enough! Some older girls had taken me round in the evening, lifted me up to the Infants' Class Window, where I saw a ROCKING HORSE! Grey-dapple with a long white mane and saddle, stirrups, reins! I'd been hooked on horses since I knew what a horse was and I wanted to ride it! I also wanted to learn to read properly, because all my local relations (poor pit-men) had bookcases full of books! I had a "rag book" with pictures and nursery rhymes - but I wanted more than that!
So I pestered to go to school till one Monday-washing-day morning my mother got fed up, dragged me to the school, asked to see the Headmistress, Miss Darwen, and asked her to tell me I was too young! Must have been just four (if that) at the time, but Miss Darwen had some lee-way and did not like to turn children away if they were keen! So I started school that day! And I got my ride on the Rocking Horse - just the one ride, because I got "jocked off" for riding dangerously!
But in my day there was no fishtank outside Miss Baxandale's study - she did not even have a study. She must have followed Miss Darwen as Head of School. But I remember her! Miss Beckett I remember in infants, although there was a lady before her whose name I can't remember. Then, going up the school, there was Mrs Winstanley, Miss Darwen, Miss Baxendale - and in the Top Class Miss Smith! Miss Smith was a demon - she did not tolerate bad behaviour! If you were bad she welted you! She would stand you in front of her desk, open the classroom door in order to prevent glass-breakage in the top of the door, and then give you a thump which took you out into the corridor! I was a naughty girl - been there, done that - and it did me no harm! Might even done me a world of good - because it got me through the "Scholarship" to Hindley and Abram Grammar School!
In my day we did not have a photo-day in the small hall. What we did have in the small hall was a country-dancing session once a week (I remember there was a Maypole, with ribbons - but we never used that) - "Gathering Peascods" is what I remember! But you had to wear shoes for that - clogs were not permitted!
I remember being walked to the Bethel for the disgusting lunch - frogspawn pudding, ie semolina - and you sat there until either you ate it or it was time to go back to school!

The playground - No Supervisor! In the front playground the girls played top and whip, hop-scotch, skipping ropes, bell-horses (where you linked hands two-by-two and practiced your walk, trot and canter). In the back playground the lads played footie and fought!
In rainy weather you took shelter in the coke-shed! When there was no coke for firing the radiators you were instructed to tell your mothers to send you to school next morning with additional jumpers!
One thing which sticks in my mind is from years long-gone. I met at old school-mate who must have been then mid/late-thirties. He'd been walking along Market Street, Hindley, past a bus-stop, when a hand grabbed his shoulder and a voice said "Surely that's Neville.". It was! And the lady was Miss Darwen, then 90-odd, who remembered him from Hindley Green Primary School!
It is all so sad - upgrades, rebuilds - and the kids are leaving school unable to read and write.........CuB4-2 is as much as most can manage! Why should England tremble? Bring back the old days!
Just thought there might be something here of interest.


Edna Booth


Byron Morris of Wigan, wrote:
As a child I played around the clay hole, my grandfather was Peter Turton, he owned Ranicar Farm, 20 Long Lane, the farm fields stretched right up to the clay hole, after my grandfather died in 1956, the land was sold for housing. I have attached a couple of photographs, the first one was taken on the farm, sometime in the 1940's, the second one is of my aunt, Hilda Alice Turton, later Rigby, delivering milk from the farm, somewhere in Hindley Green, they used to pour the milk from pint and half pint measures, into customers own jugs, one of the customers was the canteen at Kirkpatrick's Cotton Mill, and if I was with my aunt, a lady from the canteen always gave me a pie.
I see somewhere on your site, Albion Colliery, Hindley Green is mentioned, my great grandfather (also Peter Turton) was killed there on March 22nd 1852, he died from suffocation, following an explosion of firedamp, along with three others, I believe the 3 others were the boys I have attached below, all buried on the same day, I believe William Booth lived at Pear Tree House, Carr Common. I wonder if anyone else has any information about this accident.
Burial: 25 Mar 1852 All Saints, Hindley, Lancashire, England
Peter Turton -
Age: 47
Abode: Hindley
Buried by: John Morgan, Offg. Minister
Register: Burials 1834 - 1864, Page 193, Entry 2340
Source: LDS Film 93746

Burial: 25 Mar 1852 All Saints, Hindley, Lancashire, England
William Booth -
Age: 15
Abode: Hindley
Buried by: John Morgan, Offg. Minister
Register: Burials 1834 - 1864, Page 193, Entry 2341
Source: LDS Film 93746

Burial: 25 Mar 1852 All Saints, Hindley, Lancashire, England
John Atherton -
Age: 11
Abode: Hindley
Buried by: John Morgan, Offg. Minister
Register: Burials 1834 - 1864, Page 193, Entry 2342
Source: LDS Film 93746

Burial: 25 Mar 1852 All Saints, Hindley, Lancashire, England
Roger Robinson -
Age: 10
Abode: Hindley
Buried by: John Morgan, Offg. Minister
Register: Burials 1834 - 1864, Page 193, Entry 2343
Source: LDS Film 93746

My memories in verse By Frank Hilton ( Alder Lane Nurseries )

Linda's Chickens
( By Frank Hilton, Alder Lane Nurseries )


Neh tha's appen heard of owd Linda.
She use't be a florist on't green.
An in her spare time, she kept poultry,
Eee, thi were biggest hens tha'd er'e seen.

Her hens, they really were beauties.
an reason that they were so big.
WAs they'd eyt a spud moo'er than a porker.
An then they'd go back un eyt pig.

They'd ett'n pen barren of fodder.
There wern't even enough for a rat.
Or to put it in't words of her mother,
"They'd eyt an iron dobber dipped i fat.

Neaw, in order to feed all these raptors.
Some help, she had to enlist.
So she gave a few eggs away freely
Then towd folk, they'd have to assist.

So Peelins and leaves cum in cartloads.
An biscuits an rice they were fain.
An Mick a't cum early on Fridays
An raid all't green bins out in't lane.

So now Linda were happy wi't setup.
An her chickens were happy wi it.
An her friends were happy wi't free eggs.
It were Frank that was shovelling s......t!!!!
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Thi pull'in th'owd school deawn.
( By Frank Hilton, Alder Lane Nurseries )


Thi pullin thowd junior school deawn upon't green.
On Thomas St..... Tha knows which ah mean.
THere's hundreds o memories in them thee'er walls
Thil be buried forever when she crumbles and falls.

Like tropical fishtank near Miss Baxendales study.
Full of blue Neon tetras, Black Mollies an Guppies.
Kids on " Fish Duty" were let out of class
Fer't feed um wi ants eggs an polish the glass.

LIke school photo day, we'd line up bi small hall.
Hair slapped deawn wi Brylcream we'd wait for our call.
We'd sit on a stool wi a backdrop cloth.
It were back o piano wi't cobwebs brushed off.

How we'd walk hand in hand deawn t Bethel for dinner.
and show our clean plates to Miss Becket.
But we'd scrape all our food on't floor under table,
Not even church mice came fo't tek it.

Miss Wilkinson reigned over playground.
Wi her spit, she could mend a grazed knee
She did'nt teach class, just appeared at playtime.
As guardian of all she could see.

On't flagged part o yard we'd play matchbox.
On't soft part o yard, murps were best.
Play'in keeps wi yer newly won sponnie.
Tha were guarateed lose it wi't rest.

Rainy day lunch spent in't classrooms
Hundred kids all soaked through t skin.
Socks, shoes an mittens all dry'in on't pipes.
Teachers could;nt be heard over din.

Thi pull'in th'owd junior school deawn up on green.
An them memories will be all but lost.
I wish the new school nowt but the best.
But technology comes at a cost


Edna Booth: Lowton St Mary's wrote:
Checking this lovely site again, for new content and another look at the photos, I came across Lois Best's contribution - had seen it before, but missed something. She refers to her dad's bungalow just past the Alec Pub on the right, which was built on a pit site. I know the one she means (used to be at livery on a horse-yard with a woman who lived there), and it was indeed built on the site of the Bugle Horn Pit. Bugle Horn farm is just a bit further along - at the bottom of Warish (or Wearish) Lane, dependent on the date of the map you are using. This farm was owned by a family called Southern. A branch of the same Southern family also had a farm in Sandy Lane, right opposite the Fever Hospital. When I lived at the rejuvenated Fever Hospital Jimmy Southern still had a field opposite the farmhouse - all other land gone for building! He also had his daughter's retired riding horse, name of Penny, stabled on the old farm yard and grazed in the remaining field. Sometimes Penny would break out of the field and go a-wandering. On one occasion she came wandering round the track behind the Fever Hospital bungalows. Our nextdoor neighbour, Harry Raines, and his wife, were watching a TV Western. Harry suddenly said "Agnes - a horse!", to which she replied that the film was all horses. But it was Penny! So, as usual when there was the occasional loose horse in the area, they came for my dad - a natural horseman....how I wish I'd inherited his touch with horses! He'd say "Give us yer close-line" to my mother. Then he would walk calmly up to the recalcitrent horse, use the clothes-line to apply a gypsy rope halter, and lead the horse home!
Lois also mentions the bus which used to run between Hindley town centre and Daisy Hill (known to some as "The Little Bus"). You got on it in Hindley after doing your shopping. When it started to go down Sandy Lane the driver stopped at wherever you wanted to be - no concern for the official bus-stops. The drivers knew the customers, and would say "Old Hospital - here you are!" and drop you off at your front door! But Lois was uncertain of the other name for this bus. I remember it well - it was "The Pungle Flier" - named partly for a film about a similar local bus called "The Flier" and the fact that an area in Daisy Hill was then called "The Pungle"
Hope this is of interest, and really must send yoy the photo of the Old Hospital when it was a hospital!

Edna Booth


Edna Booth: Lowton St Mary's wrote ( in answer to a comment in the HGRA Guestbook)
Possibly not all that old - I remember these facts from when I lived in Hindley Green from 1940 to something like the late 50s/early sixties.
If you walked up Organ Street to Atherton Road and turned left you passed a house also used as a doctor's surgery, I think. then you came Cora Green's. Cora was a baker and confectioner, nwho baked in her kitchen and sold in the front-shop. She was renowned for her scones...and at weekend baked huge ones big enough to feed a family. Next door was Jem Pee's (James Peters) - painter and decorator, sold paint and wallpaper to the DIY-lads. Next, set back a bit, was Latimer's grocers - they sold cheap bacon which tasted distinctly of fish, and biscuits ranged in big tins on a rack. You took a brown paper bag, delved into the tin with your bare hands.....and none of us ever died of food poisoning! And next door to that was Flitcrofts! The Misses Flitcroft dealt in bits of grocery, bakery, household stuff, sewing materials etc. And a couple of blocks further along there was Burgoyne's Toffee Shop and even a bit further, before you came to Swan Lane, was Harry Pepper's - the local Chemist - (I think his real name was Harry Johnson). If you were ill and didn't want to go to the doctor you went to Harry Pepper, described your symptoms, and he would either send you back to the doctor or sell you a remedy!
Then there was Woodward's - toffee shop and Temperance Bar- just east of the Bethel Chapel. When I was a little kid my grandad would visit us in Leigh Road; he'd give me a real treat by taking me to Woodward's, where he'd buy a packet of pipe-baccy, then take me through to the "bar". He'd have a glass of "herb-beer" and I'd have a glass of Vimto....hot Vimto in cold weather! And in the current cold weather I am still drinking hot Vimto!
Am I the only dinosaur old enough to remember these?
Re the Co-op shops - a fellow called Harry Shepherd was the manager of the grocery. My dad, exempt from the Army and the pit by way of previous mining injury, had a pretty well-paid job at the Vulcan Railway Works at Newton. One week. must have put in some overtime, got an old fiver in his pay! Nothing like the current fiver.....stark white paper, with words in heavy back script...(Pay the bearer five pounds etc.) My mother took it to the Co-op to buy the week's food - the sales lady, Lily Seddon, boggled - called Harry Shepherd - checks needed to be done, like was this legal tender? It was, and we got our food! But Lily asked Harry if she could borrow it to show it to her dad, who was the local bookie! And I've still got three volumes of Charles Dickens, presented to said Harry for good attendance at Sunday School, which my mother bought when he was retiring and selling up!


Raymond a past pupil of the Hindley Green Co. Sec. School remembers:
The Boys Brigade hut in Thomas St was formerly the metalwork class of Hindley Green Co. Sec. School.
I remember they had two, maybe three lathes there, a forge, floor standing drills, and other associated metalworking tools.
Lessons there were usually held on Thursday morning and I think, were restricted to pupils who were in their final year at the school.
The teacher at the time was a "Mr. Keegan," who, at the time, (1964/5) was probably in his mid to late thirties.
They were enjoyable times. Mr. Keegan was a well respected chap.
I can remember him asking anyone if they had a match to get the forge going. He did take his job quite serious.
Before we started any practical work, we'd have a lesson about the different processes that metal went through, this included blast furnaces, and other types of furnaces, and general metallurgy.

I often wonder if any other schools used this facility, it would surely have been uneconomic to have the placed used once a week.


Anne Greenhalgh, Australia Wrote:
Alexandra Hotel

I've just come accross some of your old photos of the Alexandra Hotel and on them I saw my Uncle Tom and Auntie Maggie Harrison who were the publicans. I live in Australia and my Grandma was Annie Purnell, mother of Ethel, (my mum) Gertrude, Bob, Tom and Annie Walls. Uncle Jack Walls and Annie took over the pub after Uncle Tom. I'm looking for more info on any of the descendents of Mark Purnell of Hollies Lane (in late 1800s or early 1900s) who might still be in the area. Thanks for any help you can give.

Jeff Unsworth, Hindley Green Wrote:
ESB Motor bike shop.

1961, I was working in a smithy ( John Bullough Nut & Bolt Works ) in Atherton.
I lived in Higher Ince in those days.
Travelling from Atherton to Hindley on the No 1 St Helens bus I spotted a motor bike outside a shop in Hindley Green, the shop was ESB motor bike shop.
I got off the bus and bought it. It was a BSA Bantam, 125cc, green in colour but was the same ones that was used by the Post Office.
It cost me £11.10 shillings.
I felt like Geoff Duke.

Vera howarth from Abram wrote:
Railway Hotel:

I was very interested to see the photo of the Railway Hotel on your site.
My great granparents were Landlord and Landlady of this pub.
They are listed there on the 1911 census -Daniel and Mary Whittle.
I have a photo taken at the back of the pub of one of their sons and his wife with their 3 sons-they were my mothers parents and brothers. ( See Hindley Green Old Photos )
Ithought you might like to have a copy ,it was taken we think about 1909.
Daniel and Mary were my mams grandparents and originally came from a farming family in Senley Green but in 1901 they were living in Bolton House Rd in Bickershaw. By 1911 they were in the Railway Hotel and unfortunately I do not have a photo of them.
The photo I am sending you is of my mams parents and their first three children, it was before the last three were born.
The couple in the photo later became the landlord and landlady of the Leg O Mutton in Hindley.


Edna Booth (nee Pennington) wrote:
Just read Vera Howarth's input on the Railway Hotel. In my day (1940-50s) the proprietors were Dick Hampson and his wife. They had a niece (Mary Hampson) living with them, and she was a mate of mine. I remember they had a bowling green behind the pub, and we were let to play around on there, provided we had bare feet or plimsols (and could brave the attacks from the chickens they also kept.). But the thing is that they also had relatives living in Shuttle Hillock....on your left from Smith's Lane, and I went to tea there with Mary a couple of times. I think it was part of Hindley Green. It's now buried beneath the Plank Lane Rucks, but I've never been able to find any trace of it apart from a map reference to Shuttle Hillock Road leading from the bottom of Bolton House Road in Bickershaw. It has intrigued me for years....why was it called Shuttle Hillock....there was once a pub there (the Yew Tree, I think). Any info gratefully received.
Funny thing is, I also had friends at the Farmyard (Briscoes had it then) and the Golden Lion (Westheads).

Edna Booth nee Pennington wrote:
The Boggart Houses
- I remember them well! An old school friend lived there in the 1950s and my dad's old mate, Bernard Hickey, had previously lived there. I was never frightened of the Boggart Houses, because these ace people had lived there and I'd not heard of any Boggarts! But I did live at one time in the old Sanatorium on Sandy Lane, Hindley - then council housing - and we had a Boggart! This Boggart used to shift things in the night, take stuff from your handbag and hide it in someone's pocket, and we had a very good dog who's hair periodically stood on end in the evening when you were alone in the house. We were told by our nextdoor neighbours that the previous occupants had moved out by reason of fear! My parents and I did not fear.....we called the Boggart "George". When something disappeared, or the teapot was found in the oven, we said "It's that George again". In a book somewhere I have a photo of the Sanatorium when it was a hospital. If I can find it I'll scan it in and send it. And the military were billetted there in the 2nd World War - I think they had a barrage and searchlights over the fields towards the Greyhound Stadium. I remember seeing the Guard Hut and the soldiers when riding my bike there.

Howarth's Mill: I remember it well, and it was indeed on the site of Ingersoll Rand. My mother had been a weaver but never worked there. But in the late 1940s her brother's daughter visited from New Zealand - interested to know what things had been like when her dad was in the UK - and my mother arranged to take her for a look at Howarth's weaving shed. I didn't go - I'd heard enough clatter of the looms when riding my bike past there! And, incidentally, my grandad arranged for my cousin Anne to go down the pit at Plank Lane....I did not go on that jaunt either! No pits for me!

Scowie's pit: I think Scowie's pit was the one down Scowcroft Street. Some metal tanks were left (possibly fuel tanks from aircraft) and I think I remember a couple of kids had been drowned using them as canoes on the flash there. We were certainly warned off!

Pike View: houses opposite the Bethel Chapel on Corner Lane. I lived in Leigh Road and could see the Pike from my bedroom window (looked every morning to see if "Rivington Pike was wearing his hat"). But the Bethel Chapel was on Atherton Road, opposite to the junction with Leigh Road. There was, however, a Chapel on Corner Lane. This was a Baptist Chapel (we used to call it "The Dippers"). Can't remember it's name, might have been Bethesda. And it is not listed in the Wigan Archives catalogue of Non-Conformist Churches - I've just checked.

Edna Booth nee Pennington wrote:
Bobby Cochrane & Bobby Jones:

Just found your website - very interesting....particularly the bit about Bobby Cochrane, who had a daughter called Rosemary. Possibly this was why he was a bit tolerant of naughty kids! But the one to look out for was his nextdoor neighbour in the police houses on Swan Lane. That was Bobby Jones! I remember there were some knowledgeable kids who always knew which cop was on duty on which night, and would warn you....Bobby Jones is on tonight - behave, or he'll have you! Not only would he give you a clip round the ear - he'd march you home and tell your dad what he'd caught you at!
ClayHole & Smithy Bill:
Down past the lefthand side of the Farmyard pub there was an area, with one row of cottages, called The Clay Hole. About the middle of the row there was a guy, can't remember his name, to whom you took your wireless accumulators weekly to be charged up in a shed he had behind the house. (In those days most of us did not have electricity and for your radio you relied on a dry battery and these accumulators). At the Leigh Road end of The Clayhole there was a smithy, belonging to the fellow at the last house in the row of cottages - Bill Wilson was his name,( Smithy Bill ) I think. As well as general ironwork he was still operating as a farrier in the 1940-50s, shoeing the local farmhorses. If you had proved yourself to be quiet and still he would sometimes let you in to sit with the old fellows on a bench at the back of the smithy to watch him shoe a horse.....what a joy, if you could be so lucky! And outside the smithy he had a few old horse-drawn milk floats, traps etc., probably come in for repair and then abandoned, and many is the happy hour I've spent in one of them pretending to drive the horses!
Pitch and Toss:
Down the side of the railway station, on the way to Westleigh, there were some abandoned mineshafts, bricked up to about 5 ft.with the bricks crumbling and falling down. We used to chuck stones down to see how long before they hit the water. And on that route there was a place where the local men played Pitch and Toss on Sunday mornings....highly illegal, gambling. One was threatened, by one's dad, who incidentally was not a gambler, with dire consequences should one breathe one single word in public about what was happening here on Sunday mornings!
Tinker Lowe's:
I well remember Tinker Lowe's - used to be sent there for parrafin for the paraffin stove we had to keep in the outdoor lavatory to keep it from freezing up in the winter, and the little paraffin lamp we stood in the kitchen sink to prevent the taps freezing up. I also well remember the Co-op grocer and butcher on Atherton Road. My dad must have had a good job at the time, because my mother took a five-pound noted to the grocer to buy the weekly groceries. This was the old black and white fiver! The salesgirl, Lily Seddon, did not recognise it as legal tender, and had to call the manager, name of Shepherd, to authenticate the purchase. He'd heard of these notes, but never seen one.
Then there was Frank Hall - don't remember the name of his farm, but the house was on the lefthand side of Leigh Road coming from Bethel Chapel and before the Farmyard pub. He still had cattle, and if you were lucky he'd let you into the milking shed to see him milk the cows. In my day he was still using horses to bring in the hay from his fields further down Leigh Road. He had the local schoolboys helping with the haying, but no girls! How I envied those lads riding on the haycarts, bringing back the hay! There was a bit of truanting among the lads during hay-time.

Florence Blyth nee Baxendale wrote:
I have been interested in reading about The Boggart Houses

On your site , you have a photo of a house built in Swan Lane and a row of houses in the background with a chimney coming out of the top.
I was brought up in those houses ,there was a long row then Johnson Street then a row with 6 houses and a shop at the end I lived in. The middle of this small row. The chimney was Richard Howarths cotton Mill. These houses where not the Boggert Houses, the Boggart Houses were in Alder lane I remember when I was a young child being scared of
going past these houses in Alder Lane.

Lois Best ( ex Hindley Green ) wrote:
I love the photos on your website.
I was born at 950 Atherton Rd and moved in 1958 to the bungalow my Dad (Jack Morris) built on Hindley Rd just past the Alex on the right hand side. I remember the long row (Swan Lane) well, the shop at the end was run by a Mr Heaton and his daughter Mary if I remember correctly - I think the row was pulled down around 1971/72. The site that my Dad built his bungalow on had been a pit site and we still had the slag heap in the back field. I don't know the name of the pit but looking at your list I think it may have been Bungle Horn ( actually Bugle Horn ) - the bus that used to run from Westhoughton then up Alder Lane to Hindley was nicknamed the Bungle Flyer ( Bugle Flyer ). Right at the end of Alder Lane opposite the nursery and the Alex there used to be 2 houses built in a yellowish brick, I think it was originally a coaching house. I very vaguely rememeber them so I reckon they were pulled down in the early 60's. My Mum's family lived there when she was very young (around 1927).
Did there used to be a Cotton Mill where Ingersol Rand is? ( according to the previous writer, the mill could be Richard Howarths cotton mill ) I think my Gran and her sisters had worked there (and lost a few fingers in the process).
I have some photos - Sacred Heart School children in the 60s and some of my Dad working at Turner Brothers, cricket teams etc. I also have my Dad's old cine films - some of Walk Day in the late 1950s along Swan Lane and Atherton Rd and Sacred Heart school children in the dinner hall and at the Clay Hole. (It looks too picturesque to be called the Clayhole now).

Eric Turner ( Hindley Green ) wrote:
Scowcroft's Colliery, Hindley Green.

The site was used for the storage of cotton bales towards the end of W.W.2 and for a few years after. ( see Hindley Green Old photo's ) There was a slag heap known as the Aerial Flights. The bales were stacked, covered with tarpaulins and corrugated iron sheets until needed.
During the War it had been RAF Depot,Hindley Green, not a lot of people know that.

Alan Roper ( Hindley Green ) wrote:
Cow & Calves Pub, Leigh Rd Hindley Green
( What is now Tattenham Works ) was known as “ Nurseries of Naughtiness or a “ House of ill repute”.

Unsworth & Wilcox Funeral Directors, Leigh Rd was once a Public house named “The Farmyard”
There were 4 Co-op buildings in Hindley Green.
1.What is now Wyndons Car spares.
2.On the corner of East St & Atherton Rd ( Now Barbers shop )
3.Where Body Image tanning shop is now.
4.On the corner of Smith’s Lane/Leigh Rd.
Other Shops in Hindley Green, in past days.
Where The Styling House is now was Tinker Lowes ( Iron mongers) Apparently there was always a very strong smell of paraffin when you passed the shop.
Williams Deacon Bank. Atherton Rd near to Palin St.
Ernest Yates Grocer, corner of Palin St/Atherton Rd.
The White House on Atherton Rd.
( Home of George Formby, famous Actor/Singer )

Hindley Green Athletic Field. ( Somewhere to the rear of School Row and right of Hawthorn Ave.
Local well known bobby (Bobby Cochrane) Lived in police houses 1940s/50s, situated in Swan Lane.
Apparently according to Alan Roper, Bobby Cochrane had a knack of just showing up at the right time to catch youngsters misbehaving.
Even though he suffered with arthritis he could still catch them and clip them round the ear, sometimes weeks after the incident. He always pushed a bicycle but never rode it.

“Pike view”Terraced row on Corner Lane, opposite the Bethel. named for obvious reason that they had a good view of Rivington Pike before the houses were built opposite.

 


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