Another new year: Looking back and looking forward

Geoffrey Shryhane looks back at New Year traditions from yesteryear
Geoffrey Shryhane looks back at New Year traditions from yesteryear

Our top columnist Geoffrey Shryhane contemplates what's ahead in 2019...

I’ll let you into a secret. Because Christmas fell on Tuesday this year it meant that all our deadlines for producing this great old newspaper were altered.

In fact, I’m tapping out these new year stories on the Thursday before Christmas.

But it doesn’t matter.

That said it is a good time for looking back and looking forward.

Of course, it’s easy to look back and the truth is a vast amount of “H 2 O” has gone under the bridge.

Good times and bad – all part of that rich tapestry we call life.

I well recall days long ago when at midnight on New Year’s Eve mill hooters sounded across Wigan to welcome the new year.

As a child I remember the “first footers” who went outside at two minutes to midnight and then knocked to be allowed to enter and so “let in the new year”.

The streamers were still up. There was plenty of ale for the chaps and sherry for the ladies.

The giant hot pot was much enjoyed.

And now we look forward – the year is but a blank sheet of paper just now. Life in 2019 will be the usual mix – and we’ll all hope for good luck and happiness.

So maybe it’s a case of thanking our lucky stars, knowing that folks never miss the water until the well runs dry.

So a Happy New Year to one and all.

For more from Geoffrey Shryhane, see the Wigan Observer out every Tuesday.