Temperance bars were the places to go

Ee by gum ... I've supped some stuff toneet - who could forget this sophisticated little quip made by our own Frank Randle in those Mancunian films of yesteryear.

And by way of admission, I've supped some stuff myself in my time.

As Randle would have said: "It were reet good."

But there's always been another side to the world of the demon drink.

Signing the pledge to abstain from alcohol was a feature of many lives in the 1800s.

Men whose boozing had brought chaos and heartache to family life sometimes saw the error of their ways ... and became teetotal.

Like the smokers of today, many fell by the wayside and were soon back in the tap room having a pint or 15.

In my view, excessive drinking has been one of the main causes of domestic misery in this world.

When the drink's in, the wit's out, Mrs S always says as she manufactures eye-watering dry martinis with relish.

But on the temperance side, Wigan World fan Neil Cain has sent in this photo of a headstone in Wigan Cemetery at Lower Ince.

The gravestone of Peter Grant reveals that he was late of the Temperance Hotel in Wigan. He died aged 85 in 1837.

On his gravestone the words: "His abstinence pledge did him reclaim. Faithful unto death he did remain."

Well good on him! Can't see many temperance hotels about these days ... well not on King Street anyway.

And sadly, the temperance bars of my childhood which sold all sorts of soft drinks seem to have disappeared altogether.

The one I best recall was on the corner of King Street opposite the main door of the former Town Hall.

It stayed open until the 1960s and in winter, had a welcoming little coal fire.

Another was on Castle Hill Road, Hindley ... a temperance bar that was cool even on the hottest of summer days.