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Is Wigan worth a look?


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Hi we're passing through Wigan later in the week travelling from the Leigh branch and heading towards Liverpool.   Is Wigan worth a look and where's best to moor up?  Can you moor up near Wigan Pier and if so is it safe?

 

Thanks! 

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Not particularly nice, but it is useful for shopping. The best place to moor is on the pound with the dry dock etc. Can’t remember the number but it is one lock down from the junction, and that is where you will find boats moored, and it feels good. The pound on the junction looks a little bleak and there are no boats. The pound below the dry dock pound has some “secure” pontoons that are not that secure. Ok for mooring but generally, there aren’t many boats moored there and it is a bit run down. Wigan pier is round the corner. You could moor there probably, but you wouldn't really want to! It’s amazing how the character of a place changes when you move one lock up or down!

Edited by nicknorman
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I live in Wigan and am struggling to answer your questions.

 

As Nicknorman suggested moor in the pound with the dry dock and then walk through the Trencherfield Mill car park on to Wallgate and turn right towards the town.

 

The only place I can suggest you look at is Wigan Parish Church.

 

The Wigan Pier site is being redeveloped at the moment so I would just sail through slowly and have a look.

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23 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Not particularly nice, but it is useful for shopping. The best place to moor is on the pound with the dry dock etc. Can’t remember the number but it is one lock down from the junction, and that is where you will find boats moored, and it feels good. The pound on the junction looks a little bleak and there are no boats. The pound below the dry dock pound has some “secure” pontoons that are not that secure. Ok for mooring but generally, there aren’t many boats moored there and it is a bit run down. Wigan pier is round the corner. You could moor there probably, but you wouldn't really want to! It’s amazing how the character of a place changes when you move one lock up or down!

So true. I is as if there is a Wigan on/Wigan off switch. That said, I like Wigan. Our winter mooring is just outside of Wigan. 

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12 minutes ago, Pie Eater said:

I live in Wigan and am struggling to answer your questions.

 

As Nicknorman suggested moor in the pound with the dry dock and then walk through the Trencherfield Mill car park on to Wallgate and turn right towards the town.

 

The only place I can suggest you look at is Wigan Parish Church.

 

The Wigan Pier site is being redeveloped at the moment so I would just sail through slowly and have a look.

Thanks for your reply.  We're actually filming.  Does this mean Wigan Pier is covered in scaffold? :(  

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15 minutes ago, Pie Eater said:

I live in Wigan and am struggling to answer your questions.

 

As Nicknorman suggested moor in the pound with the dry dock and then walk through the Trencherfield Mill car park on to Wallgate and turn right towards the town.

 

The only place I can suggest you look at is Wigan Parish Church.

 

The Wigan Pier site is being redeveloped at the moment so I would just sail through slowly and have a look.

Actually the mill car park is a bit interesting, there are various old machine things as sculptures. It’s a pity the engine thing is only open on Sundays(?).

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19 minutes ago, Pie Eater said:

I live in Wigan and am struggling to answer your questions.

 

As Nicknorman suggested moor in the pound with the dry dock and then walk through the Trencherfield Mill car park on to Wallgate and turn right towards the town.

 

The only place I can suggest you look at is Wigan Parish Church.

 

The Wigan Pier site is being redeveloped at the moment so I would just sail through slowly and have a look.

I once spoke to a chap who was mooring up and explained how the pier was just around the corner.  He was far more interested in the site of Wigan Casino.  Turned out he was a big Northern Soul fan and whilst passing through didn't want to miss the chance to visit.  So I directed him to Debenhams!

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We were lucky as Trencherfield Mill was in steam the weekend we were there but I see its now closed https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

You do realise what Wigan Pier looks like don't you?  [DSCF0826%5B3%5D]

Edited by ditchcrawler
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The area around the canal at Wigan could be amazing if some money were spent on it. It is only the North though, so unlikely to happen. A real pity.

2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

We were lucky as Trencherfield Mill was in steam the weekend we were there but I see its now closed https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

You do realise what Wigan Pier looks like don't you?  [DSCF0826%5B3%5D]

Your excellent pic makes it look bigger than it really is!

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I remember a winter afternoon in the dreadful environs of Wigan. All round was the lunar landscape of slag-heaps, and to the north, through the passes, as it were, between the mountains of slag, you could see the factory chimneys sending out their plumes of smoke. The canal path was a mixture of cinders and frozen mud, criss-crossed by the imprints of innumerable clogs, and all round, as far as the slag-heaps in the distance, stretched the ‘flashes’— pools of stagnant water that had seeped into the hollows caused by the subsidence of ancient pits. It was horribly cold. The ‘flashes’ were covered with ice the colour of raw umber, the bargemen were muffled to the eyes in sacks, the lock gates wore beards of ice. It seemed a world from which vegetation had been banished; nothing existed except smoke, shale, ice, mud, ashes, and foul water. But even Wigan is beautiful compared with Sheffield!

 

G Orwell

 

We now have double glazing and central heating. 

2 minutes ago, catweasel said:

The area around the canal at Wigan could be amazing if some money were spent on it. It is only the North though, so unlikely to happen. A real pity.

Your excellent pic makes it look bigger than it really is!

5 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

We were lucky as Trencherfield Mill was in steam the weekend we were there but I see its now closed https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

You do realise what Wigan Pier looks like don't you?  [DSCF0826%5B3%5D]

 

Since that pic was taken, the 'pier' has been somewhat renovated.

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7 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

We were lucky as Trencherfield Mill was in steam the weekend we were there but I see its now closed https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Trencherfield-Mill-Engine.aspx

You do realise what Wigan Pier looks like don't you?  [DSCF0826%5B3%5D]

ok this gives me a better idea. 

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12 minutes ago, Pagefield said:

I remember a winter afternoon in the dreadful environs of Wigan. All round was the lunar landscape of slag-heaps, and to the north, through the passes, as it were, between the mountains of slag, you could see the factory chimneys sending out their plumes of smoke. The canal path was a mixture of cinders and frozen mud, criss-crossed by the imprints of innumerable clogs, and all round, as far as the slag-heaps in the distance, stretched the ‘flashes’— pools of stagnant water that had seeped into the hollows caused by the subsidence of ancient pits. It was horribly cold. The ‘flashes’ were covered with ice the colour of raw umber, the bargemen were muffled to the eyes in sacks, the lock gates wore beards of ice. It seemed a world from which vegetation had been banished; nothing existed except smoke, shale, ice, mud, ashes, and foul water. But even Wigan is beautiful compared with Sheffield!

 

G Orwell

 

We now have double glazing and central heating. 

One of my all time favourite books, by an all time favourite author.

6 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

It certainly needed it

Aye, the canals around Wigan need renovating. It could be such an interesting area. Such a shame since Wigan is a nice place.

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44 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Actually the mill car park is a bit interesting, there are various old machine things as sculptures. It’s a pity the engine thing is only open on Sundays(?).

A bit more about the engine https://nbharnser.blogspot.com/2018/06/crooke-sunday-3-june-2018.html

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22 minutes ago, Pagefield said:

 

Since that pic was taken, the 'pier' has been somewhat renovated.

Not so sure about that.  This is how it looked on the 26 July 2019.  That whole area is basically derelict, and I would not fancy mooring overnight there.

 

3DAD48D6-CF6C-4F24-A583-EF6069AF82A5.jpeg

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50 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Wigan Central bar is worth a stop on it's  own if you like good ale.  The two railway arches nearest to the Wigan railway stations.

I like this place. I really do!

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1 hour ago, TheBiscuits said:

Wigan Central bar is worth a stop on it's  own if you like good ale.  The two railway arches nearest to the Wigan railway stations.

That's a good call and is about the nearest pub if mooring in the pound between locks 86 & 87 where most  boats tie,there are a series of rings.

 

Doc's Symposium is a micropub worth a visit .It's  beyond the bus station.On an early July visit to Wigan both these pubs delivered some fine ale.

Edited by Quaffer
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1 hour ago, john6767 said:

Not so sure about that.  This is how it looked on the 26 July 2019.  That whole area is basically derelict, and I would not fancy mooring overnight there.

 

 

I was being generous with 'somewhat'.  And no, not a place to moor.  Either go beyond Ell Meadow  Lock 89 into Crooke Village, or stay in the Wigan Pound, as has been suggested.

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What is called Wigan Pier today is mostly new, particularly the rails. The first photo shows the site in 1979, when all you could see of the Winstanley Colliery staithe was the rise in the towpath. Going back to the origin of the Wigan Pier story, it comes from a song sung by George Formby Senior describing a railway trip to Blackpool. On leaving Wigan North Western station, he looks out of the train and wonders why they are going to Blackpool when Wigan had its own pier. This was the viaduct carrying the East Lancashire Railway from Wallgate towards Liverpool, the viaduct ending just before the canal. The East Lancs had a number of similar viaducts, and the second photo shows the one at Oswaldtwistle, with a bridge over the canal far left. These wooden viaducts were subsequently converted to embankments, with Wigan being the first to be converted, and Aspen Viaduct at Oswaldtwistle disappearing under colliery waste and soil in the 1920s.

Wigan:10 Dec 1979.jpg

Aspen viaduct.jpg

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