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Chris Turnbull

Wigan Casino Shopping Centre

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Interesting couple of hours today - had to go up to Preston for work so decided to call in at Wigan on the way back to see how it has changed with the new shopping centre, etc.

 

Too young to have gone to Wigan but made a pilgrimage mid-1990's when the Casino site was still completely flat and you could walk up the back and stand looking over what would have been the dancefloor, as per an old RW TV feature.  At that time you could look along Station Road to the right with the cinema, and it was essentially as it would have been back in the day, minus of course the most important part. However now Station Road appears to have completely gone, and the whole site is virtually unrecognisable. Am I right in thinking the front of the Casino was where the back end of Debenhams is now, directly opposite the blocks of flats? 

 

Inside the shopping centre of course you could be anywhere, other than the Casino Cafe which has some memorabilia, record mural, etc. Interestingly a big photo on the wall of the 'Major Lance with crowd' shot which David Nowell's book says was Wigan Tiffanys, not the Casino.

 

NB. imagine living in those flats back then - can't imagine what the residents must have thought, though lucky for some I guess - a short walk home  :)

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You must have  missed the Blue Plaque unveiled the other week downstairs from the cafe.

I did miss it, you are right - funny, I was a bit disappointed there wasn't more to do with the Casino, but of course now it's just a generic shopping centre so why would it

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And the general population sit there happily munching on a pannini and slurping a latte and dont give a flying fook .

The Casino was great I loved it but some thirty odd years on Casino Cafe and blue plaque,s ........Really ?

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I used to get the bus, for some reason, although I had a car and a scooter. Get off at Wigan bus Station, pass the Market Hall, on the right, then through an arcade of shops, turn left, then right onto Station Rd, then there was the ABC cinema on the left, Lite Bites Café on the right, the alley to back door to Mr Ms and of course the Casino. 2 car parks then down the hill to the corner were there was a pub, Wigan Baths on your right and Wigan Police Station across the road, ( which I attended with my arm up my back 3 times).

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I'm not sure if you walked to the toilets from the Cafe, but seriously the best murals are along the walls en route

If your ever in Wigan again they have a display in the History Shop on Library Street, you could also read the old issues of the local papers to get some of the true facts on the drug issue

There is an Art Shop on Hallgate near where Russ's old record shop was and it is worth a visit as they display and sell Dave Barrows Casino and Soul paintings

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I'm not sure if you walked to the toilets from the Cafe, but seriously the best murals are along the walls en route

If your ever in Wigan again they have a display in the History Shop on Library Street, you could also read the old issues of the local papers to get some of the true facts on the drug issue

There is an Art Shop on Hallgate near where Russ's old record shop was and it is worth a visit as they display and sell Dave Barrows Casino and Soul paintings

Thanks for the tips - not sure which murals you mean - I saw the big black and white photos on one side and the records on the other

 

So where in relation to what is there now would the front of the Casino have been? The back of Debenhams and the lower entrance to the car park?

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We are attending the Blackpool weekender this coming weekend, on our way back on sunday afternoon hopefully will call into Wigan to have a look around and a drink. I have not been to Wigan for over a decade, used to work in the area with my previous employer, always liked to town and its people, as well as my many visits to the casino.

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I used to get the bus, for some reason, although I had a car and a scooter. Get off at Wigan bus Station, pass the Market Hall, on the right, then through an arcade of shops, turn left, then right onto Station Rd, then there was the ABC cinema on the left, Lite Bites Café on the right, the alley to back door to Mr Ms and of course the Casino. 2 car parks then down the hill to the corner were there was a pub, Wigan Baths on your right and Wigan Police Station across the road, ( which I attended with my arm up my back 3 times).

That`s the last time I saw it!..........not been there since late 70`s.

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Thanks for the tips - not sure which murals you mean - I saw the big black and white photos on one side and the records on the other

 

So where in relation to what is there now would the front of the Casino have been? The back of Debenhams and the lower entrance to the car park?

Although I am local to Wigan and was going the Beachcomber in 1970 long before the Nighters started I would struggle to pinpoint the exact location of the Casino to the Grand Arcade

The Murals are huge and if you visit the upstairs toilets near the cafe you can't miss them

There is a large sculpture featuring some dancers on a roundabout as you approach the Town Centre from the Motorway

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The general guesstimate is that the door of the Casino was in the back end of Debenhams but it's difficult to pinpoint exactly.

 

I used to work at the college and remember seeing an old aerial photo of Wigan taken during the 70's which had the Casino on. It would be interesting to try to overlay that now onto a google maps aerial at the same scale.

 

Might see if I can track some ex-collegues down to see if they know where it is.

Edited by Blunny

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The general guesstimate is that the door of the Casino was in the back end of Debenhams but it's difficult to pinpoint exactly.

 

I used to work at the college and remember seeing an old aerial photo of Wigan taken during the 70's which had the Casino on. It would be interesting to try to overlay that now onto a google maps aerial at the same scale.

 

Might see if I can track some ex-collegues down to see if they know where it is.

Blunny check the aerial shot off the Town Centre at the bottom of the page where you can clearly see the Casino site on Station Road

 

http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/communicate/mb_message.php?opt=f2&opt2=&msd=270467&offset=0&subject=Woolies%20c.%201826

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Thanks all, really interesting 

 

Isn't that block of flats to the left behind the Casino (bottom one of the three photos above) still there? In that case wouldn't the Casino have been further to the left than Debenhams?

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Blunny check the aerial shot off the Town Centre at the bottom of the page where you can clearly see the Casino site on Station Road

 

http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/communicate/mb_message.php?opt=f2&opt2=&msd=270467&offset=0&subject=Woolies%20c.%201826

 

Yeh, you can clearly see it there. It's a bit awkward lining it all up as it's a slanted panoramic view. However, just found this old map view......

 

post-14597-0-19645100-1415112581_thumb.g

 

Now its from 1938, but you can clearly see Station Road, the "Cinema". The "Hall" just below it is what would become the Casino. The river Dougie is to the right of the old Station. If I line all them up as near as damn it with the google map at close to the same size then the the Casino door was where the EE Mobile shop is now. Give or take, lol.

 

It also looks like the floorway of the arcade follows the exact line of the old Station Road too.

Edited by Blunny

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When the plaque was erected it was placed outside the Pandora shop which is near a phone shop although some complained it was in the wrong location

 

That's right. Think the complaints came from the general belief that it was located somewhere in Debenhams. The EE shop is the next to last shop on the left just before Debenhams.

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Having used Station road thousands of times not only going to the Casino but in later years having moved across town I always used the steps at the side of the cinema to walk up Station road to get into town.

I would say Debenham's is situated were the cinema and the car park opposite the Casino was, and the Blue plaque is stuck on the cafe next door to the were the Casino was! :shhh: 

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Never been back down Station Rd since the day.

Been to Wigan the town dozens of times too, Footie/Rugby etc.

Memories locked in my head forever and don't need to go back there, the wall we sat on right across the road many a time and would often come out for cool air & listen to muffled sound & chatting with likeminded people in the wee small hours, all still there in my head.

Although do admit to peaking on Google street maps.

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Just googled and found this site - some aerial photo's here if that helps

I've never visited station road, or the famous venue so beyond finding this site I can't help

 

http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/album/showalbum.php?opt=5&offset=0&gallery=Station+Road%2C+Wigan

 

EDIT - seems a few of us are doing the same (lol)

 

Oh yeah forgot there used to be a railway station before the flats were built there….

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The flats are set further back than where Central railway station was situated, across the other side of the River Douglas if you look at the old map already uploaded!

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Visited Wigan the other week when I was at SSW4, parked up in the town centre and walked up to Wall Gate Station to get my bearings, then headed up the street to Station Road ..past the Raven Pub...and into the shopping centre. To be honest they made a good job of the cafe, First time I'd been back in 30 years. Been there done that now and glad I went.

Rob

post-1887-0-81834100-1415125744_thumb.jp

post-1887-0-07564500-1415125792_thumb.jp

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I used to get the bus, for some reason, although I had a car and a scooter. Get off at Wigan bus Station, pass the Market Hall, on the right, then through an arcade of shops, turn left, then right onto Station Rd, then there was the ABC cinema on the left, Lite Bites Café on the right, the alley to back door to Mr Ms and of course the Casino. 2 car parks then down the hill to the corner were there was a pub, Wigan Baths on your right and Wigan Police Station across the road, ( which I attended with my arm up my back 3 times).

wigan baths a must if you did Friday and Saturday niters

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I remember going back to Wigan in to1988 drop off some documents for a mortgage application. I walked down Station Road from the town centre and sat on the wall opposite where the Casino used to be. It was a great moment for me having not been since the late 70's to reminisce about the number of times I sat on the wall late on Saturday night, from 1973 to 1978, going to the Beachcomber (A scary place!) and then into the Casino, then back to the Beachcomber on Sunday morning before heading home. 

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I remember going back to Wigan in to1988 drop off some documents for a mortgage application. I walked down Station Road from the town centre and sat on the wall opposite where the Casino used to be. It was a great moment for me having not been since the late 70's to reminisce about the number of times I sat on the wall late on Saturday night, from 1973 to 1978, going to the Beachcomber (A scary place!) and then into the Casino, then back to the Beachcomber on Sunday morning before heading home. 

 

I did that too , I hadn't been back since the Last night in 81, and in 1988 I was passing Wigan and went and sat on the wall , felt gutted ..

post-26439-0-86434400-1415128673_thumb.j

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Having used Station road thousands of times not only going to the Casino but in later years having moved across town I always used the steps at the side of the cinema to walk up Station road to get into town.

I would say Debenham's is situated were the cinema and the car park opposite the Casino was, and the Blue plaque is stuck on the cafe next door to the were the Casino was! :shhh:

 

Just for the record.

 

When I first had the idea for the plaque, I thought it should have been behind Debenhams. When I started to look more closely (overlaying old maps, etc) I found that the parade in the arcade more or less matched the old Station Rd layout, the big clue is the civic centre behind the shopping centre (back of M's).

As we were never going to get the plaque bang on, we decided to put it a few extra yards up Station Rd. The reason was so that if people wanted to have a photo taken, they wouldn't be stood in front of a shop. The plaque is actually next to a fire corridor so it gives open access and full visibility for cctv - and what's a few metres between friends.

To find the spot on, actual doorway, you would need a theodolite, acess to all the old land registry maps and a degree in land surveying. Anybody who says it is in the wrong place is either guessing, trying to cause trouble or has the genetic make-up of an Atlantic salmon spawned in Wigan canal.

 

As to people ignoring the plaque, who gives a shit? It is not for us or them, it is for somebody else. I remember living in London, just up the road from a plaque for George Orwell (one of my heroes), when someone pointed it out to me I was chuffed. Hundreds of people walked past it everyday - but some looked :)

 

Drew

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The front entrance to the Casino was just pass the escalators on the right hand side walking into the Grand arcade.The entrance to Mr M,s was 30 metres to your right just before you enter the Grand Arcade. when I worked on the door there I actually used to sleep in the club 3 nights a week.  Hope this helps. 

                      kind Regards Mick L

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there was an all nighter on a few years ago in wigan, we popped into the shopping centre, to have something to eat, looking around this cafe, pictures on the wall of the casino, i happened to notice myself top left corner, had a smile on my face still doing the rounds. cheers Billy.

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I think the pub down the road from the Casino was named the Horseshoe, I'd been to another 'nighter the night before, Wakefield I think, and we went back to Wigan for a Motown All-dayer on the holiday after, it was crap, all the DJ's ran out of ideas and it was dying on it's ass by 5:30, so we went outside to play football on the car park, ended up in the pub with 2 or 3 DJ's got pissed, and went home. There was another pub opposite the arcade, but it was a bit parochial and in the early days the Wigan public weren't keen on 'strangers'.

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The front entrance to the Casino was just pass the escalators on the right hand side walking into the Grand arcade.The entrance to Mr M,s was 30 metres to your right just before you enter the Grand Arcade. when I worked on the door there I actually used to sleep in the club 3 nights a week.  Hope this helps. 

                      kind Regards Mick L

before the arcade was built weren't the fire exit doors to mr ms on the winde mick. i vaguely remember you pointing it out to me one night

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The front entrance to the Casino was just pass the escalators on the right hand side walking into the Grand arcade.The entrance to Mr M,s was 30 metres to your right just before you enter the Grand Arcade. when I worked on the door there I actually used to sleep in the club 3 nights a week.  Hope this helps. 

                      kind Regards Mick L

Mick,

How far was the Brick House from the Casino site?

I wasn't really interested in the Casino when I was attending Tonys Empress, Bradford Queens Hall etc but I am now curious to know that when attending your superb after parties how close I was to the Casino

Cheers

Ali

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I used to get the bus, for some reason, although I had a car and a scooter. Get off at Wigan bus Station, pass the Market Hall, on the right, then through an arcade of shops, turn left, then right onto Station Rd, then there was the ABC cinema on the left, Lite Bites Café on the right, the alley to back door to Mr Ms and of course the Casino. 2 car parks then down the hill to the corner were there was a pub, Wigan Baths on your right and Wigan Police Station across the road, ( which I attended with my arm up my back 3 times).

 

Rough baths Dave.? Oh you meant the Police station. :lol: On my first visit,in the morning it was "come on, off to the baths". :huh: ,,,got no trunks with me....dont think it stopped some though. :lol:

Edited by KevH

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before the arcade was built weren't the fire exit doors to mr ms on the winde mick. i vaguely remember you pointing it out to me one night

The winde is a little ally of the pedestrian area if wallgate next to Starbucks I think, as you walk down there is a pub on the right next to an art gallery it then bends slightly left to an open area with steps which lead I think to "station road" so you could be right... Phil

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A few minutes on google image search , found these to bring back some memories  :)

 

attachicon.gifvglrtfsq.jpg

 

attachicon.gif060po6bb.jpg

 

attachicon.gifipyqi00h.jpg

 

The top photo brings back memories of being chased up the hill after coming out of the train station.  Once you'd got to the top of the hill and were heading down, you knew you had almost reached sanctuary when you could see the picture house.  Just get round that corner and a couple of dozen lads waiting outside the Casino would come to the rescue.

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HI Allison the Brickhouse was just 30 metres across the little park to the entrance of Mr M,s the back entrance to the Casino. Pretty close Hey. come visit us at Stateside Ashton in Makerfield 27,th Dec Hope your keeping well.

                                                                  God Bless Mick L

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HI Allison the Brickhouse was just 30 metres across the little park to the entrance of Mr M,s the back entrance to the Casino. Pretty close Hey. come visit us at Stateside Ashton in Makerfield 27,th Dec Hope your keeping well.

                                                                  God Bless Mick L

that explains it thought my memory hadnt tricked me

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Memories there Rob ,  I used too frequent Chaplins underneath the Playhouse back in the 80s it was down the alley just before "the iron bridge " ,  were many a fight out of school would be arranged there  :wicked: {the bridge not Chaplins }

Drewtg has his target spot on for the entrance to the Casino , had the conversation on it`s whereabouts many times , some people are so way off . 

 

WiganBrian . 

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HI Allison the Brickhouse was just 30 metres across the little park to the entrance of Mr M,s the back entrance to the Casino. Pretty close Hey. come visit us at Stateside Ashton in Makerfield 27,th Dec Hope your keeping well.

                                                                  God Bless Mick L

Wow! that was close Mick! Cheers for the info :thumbsup:

All is well here thanks, hope you are too

Will try my best to get along to Stubbshaw, it's been on my radar for a while now

Take care Mick & will hopefully see you in December

Regards

Ali

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