Geoffrey Shryhane’s Wigan World

Geoff Shryhane
Geoff Shryhane

IT’S a mystery who wrote this great little piece of Lancashire poetry. It’s a gem. Enjoy it.

I Remember

I remember the cheese of my childhood. And the bread we cut with a knife. When children helped with the housework. And men went to work, not the wife.

The cheese never needed a fridge. And the bread was so crusty and hot. The children were seldom unhappy. And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle. With the yummy cream on top. Our dinner came hot from the oven. And not from a fridge in a shop.

The kids were a lot more contented. They didn’t need money for kicks. Just a game with their mates in the road. And sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner. Where a pennoth of sweets was sold. Do you think I’m being nostalgic? Or is it I’m just getting old?

I remember the loo was the lav. And the bogeyman who came in the night. It was not the least bit funny. Going out back with no light.

The clothes were boiled in a copper. With plenty of rich foamy suds. But the ironing seemed never-ending. As mum pressed everyone’s duds (clothes).

I remember a slap on my backside. And the taste of soap if I swore. Anorexia and diets were unheard of. And we hadn’t much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego? Or our initiative destroyed? We ate what was put on the table. And I think life was better enjoyed.

YEARS ago, the phone would ring and a reader with a trembling voice would stutter: “I’ve just seen a ghost. Send a photographer.”

Of course, by the time said man with camera arrived, there was nothing to be seen, other than the reader still trembling and with hair standing on end.

Today I’m asking if locals still see ghosts. Well, if they do, they don’t ring to tell all.

So let’s recall the ghostly goings on of yesteryear starting with the little old man with a pipe who was seen dozens of times near the printing press when the Wigan Post and Chronicle was printed at the now demolished Brock Mill. One of the canteen assistants saw him and I talked to her moments later when she appeared frightened to the point of collapse.

It was always thought there was a ghost in pub at Hindley’s crossroads and even when the decades rolled by, locals refused to sit “in the ghost’s seat”.

Do you have a ghost story? If so tell me about it on g.shryhane@btinternet.com. Or write to me here at the Observer at Martland Mill. WN5 OLX.

A COUPLE of weeks ago, right here in Wigan World, I had a little rant about things that drive me mad.

I asked readers to join in. And they weren’t backward in coming forward.

So here are some of the responses:

I hate how busy it is on Sunday. It used to be respectfully quiet.

I’m mad that the escalators in the Marketgate are still working despite the closure of all the shops.

I’m furious that people are prosecuted for dropping fag ends in the streets.

I’m mad because there are so few policemen seen on the streets these days.

I’m mad when motorists park on and churn up grass verges.

I hate winter. Can Wigan World do anything abut it?

Hate all the empty stalls in the Market Hall. Depressing.

I’m mad at the statue of George Formby in the Royal Arcade. He looks like a midget. Even smaller than Geoffrey Shryhane.

I don’t like the filthy and depressing multi-storey car park in the Galleries. It needs a face-lift.