Wigan Pier :: Shared Description

Wigan Pier was made famous by a joke and a book. George Formby Senior (father of the more famous ukulele-playing George Junior) included jokes about Wigan Pier in his Victorian Music Hall act whilst writer George Orwell used the pier as a symbol of the region’s industrial decline when he wrote the book “the Road to Wigan Pier” in 1936.

Despite the humorous connotations of the name which conjures up an image of a seaside pleasure pier, whilst Wigan is in fact an inland and traditionally industrial town, the pier was not simply an invention of fiction. The original "pier" was a coal loading staithe, probably a wooden jetty, where wagons from a nearby colliery were unloaded into waiting barges on the canal. Wigan pier was a “Tippler”. Coal laden trucks, or tubs, from nearby collieries would travel down tracks to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. They would hit the jetty and tipple (topple over), unloading the coal into the waiting barges. There were many of these tipplers along the canal. The pier here was connected to Winstanley Colliery and became known as the Wigan Tippler or Wigan Pier.

George Orwell looked for the pier but was unable to find it (LinkExternal link George Orwell, BBC Overseas Service broadcast, 2 December 1943); in his book, he wrote “..and even the spot where it used to stand is no longer certain” (The Road to Wigan Pier, Ch 4). Orwell couldn’t find the original pier because it had been demolished in 1929, with the iron from the tippler mechanism being sold as scrap for £34. A replica was built in 1986 by students of Wigan and Leigh College.

Today, the name “Wigan Pier” refers to the area around the canal around the original pier. In the 1980s, the canal warehouses were restored and put into use as a museum, exhibition hall and pub. The nearby Trencherfield Mill was incorporated into the "Wigan Pier Experience", with a waterbus linking it to the main site. The area is set to undergo a further transformation with the development of a cultural "Wigan Pier Quarter" which will include a performance centre and retail outlets.
by David Dixon
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21 images use this description:

SD5705 : Warehouse No 3 at Wigan Pier by Mat Fascione
SD5705 : Boatman at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal by David Dixon
SD5705 : The Orwell at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal Bridge #51 and Trencherfield Mill at Wigan Pier. by David Dixon
SD5705 : No 1 Wigan Pier by Mat Fascione
SD5705 : Statue at the Wigan Pier by Mat Fascione
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Gibson's Warehouse at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Disused Warehouse at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Wigan Pier, Replica Tippler by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Waterbus at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : The Orwell at Wigan Pier by Mat Fascione
SD5705 : No.1 Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : No.1 Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : The Orwell, Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Leeds and Liverpool Canal Bridge #51, Pottery Road Bridge at Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Pottery Changeline Bridge No 51 by Mat Fascione
SD5705 : The Terminus Warehouse - Number 1 Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : The Orwell, Wigan Pier by David Dixon
SD5705 : Pottery Road Bridge by David Dixon


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Wed, 8 May 2013, Updated: Wed, 8 May 2013

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2013 David Dixon, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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