The Wigan Pier
On the Leeds to Liverpool Canal (the first canal built in England), where once echoed the hustle & bustle of Collieries loading Cargo, stands Wigan Pier some fifteen miles from the sea.
No one would have heard of the Pier, had it not been for the comededian George Formby Sr., after being hissed off the stage at the Wigan Hippodrome. A local man, he took his revenge by making fun of the Pier in his “Act”.
Victorian middle class holidayed at the seaside and converged on the fashionable piers. Southport built the first pier in1860, followed by other towns. By 1900, no resort could be without one.
As the story goes, a train full of miners stopped at a signal box. The ground in the area was liable to flooding and across it ran a raised gantry carrying the coal wagons. The miners, who were on their way to a demonstration at Southport, became impatient at the delay. One of the miners stuck his head out of the carriage window, saw the water and shouted to the signalman: “Are we there?””No mate”‘ was the answer- “YER AT WIGAN PIER”.
Many people have looked for Wigan Pier, including the famous Writer George Orwell who wrote “ The Road to Wigan Pier” in 1937, known for the book “ Animal Farm”.
The Queen re-opened the Wigan Pier and placed it back on the map in her wedding Jubilation year 1977.