Campaign to save town’s most famous landmark

The building that was formerly 'The Way We Were' museum
The building that was formerly 'The Way We Were' museum

RESIDENTS have launched a campaign to “save” Wigan most famous feature.

Hundreds of locals have signed up to crusade to restore Wigan Pier to its 1990s glory when it was one of the North West’s top tourist attractions.

Their leader Barry Titler says the area around the famous coal tippler itself, the former nightclub and The Way We Were Museum has become more of an eyesore than an asset and more needs to be done to preserve this priceless piece of borough heritage.

He said: “This is the biggest landmark in Wigan and it has just been left to rot.

“The whole area around the Pier and the canal used to be a massive tourist attraction in the 1980s and 1990s which now just appears to be a forgotten part of the town.

“Famously, George Formby sang about this Pier, George Orwell wrote about it and it’s one of the main reasons why Wigan is so popular and well-known.

“But over the past few years it has just been abandoned and become an absolute eyesore, it’s just looks so run down and miserable which is such a shame.

“We want to bring our history back and revive the area. I would love to see some cleaning-up of the canal path, some gardening and a lick of paint to the old warehouse and the grim statue which stands next to the old tippler.

“The old museum used to be thriving full of visitors and school children learning about their hometown’s industry past.

“But now it just looks like a forgotten abandoned building. We would also like to see a replica of the tippler, the main reason for Wigan Pier, to be brought back.

“Nowadays not many people can say that they have actually seen Wigan Pier.

“There are many Wiganers who I know are passionate about this campaign. And I genuinely believe the restoration could bring back a lot of interest and money into the town.

“It could really become the heart of the borough once again. We need to rebuild Wigan’s history.”

Barry set up a Facebook page called Save Wigan Pier which attracted more than 600 followers within just a couple of days.

But the council has reassured residents saying plans are already under way to restore the area.

Steve Normington, director for economy at Wigan Council, said: “While Wigan Council does not own the pier and the surrounding area we are working hard with the owners – Canals and Rivers Trust – to restore this area of historical importance.

“Plans to transform the area are well under way with the demolition of Wigan Pier nightclub imminent.

“This area will be replaced with community gardens, while the wider area, which is the subject of the group’s campaign will also be improved as part of the Wigan Pier masterplan.”