Back to Wigan Pier?

One thought on “Back to Wigan Pier?”

  1. Enjoyed the post. Not sure how my virtual trail happened upon your site, but I’m happy my meandering brought me by.

    My mother was a child in Wigan at the time in which these photos were taken. The youngest of seven, her mother died when she was an infant. My Grandfather had been a miner who transitioned to the gas works. My mother was dealt a childhood in such a seemingly bleak landscape at such an ominous time, but you could not have discerned that from the stories she told. The Wigan that she painted for us, her children, was a place wealthy in family, faith, and pride. For my mother, her brother Tim, and their best friend Jimmy, the abandoned pit fields were a place of wonder and adventure, the canals and gates were magical portals, and the River Douglas really ran with the scarlet hue of the blood of an ancient warrior. The war, the depression, and the absence of a mother did bring hardship, but it also cast the shared good in sharp joyful relief. A tin of jam was a vary rare treat, but oh the sweetness of that jam when it was brought home. The cakes that the more affluent Jimmy would sometimes lower by string from his parent’s side window were a secret kept between only the three. Her father and older siblings would not have permitted her to accept such a “handout,” but to a child, it was sugar manna. These and so many other stories were told and retold to us during our Southern Californian childhood. I’ve been fortunate to have visited Wigan many times as adult, and the family still living in the area. I’ve always felt at home there. Wigan can be like that. Thanks again. TS

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