Son pays tribute to couple who ran popular Wigan pub

The son of a couple who ran a popular Wigan pub has paid tribute to his mum and dad who died just two weeks apart.
Dorothy and Joseph Witherington died last month in Albir, SpainDorothy and Joseph Witherington died last month in Albir, Spain
Dorothy and Joseph Witherington died last month in Albir, Spain

Joseph Kenneth Witherington, aged 91 and known as “Ken”, died in Albir, Spain, at his home on April 9.

Dorothy Witherington, aged 89, died at the same Spanish home on April 23.

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Together they were well known for running the famous Red Lion on Haigh Road, Aspull, which was one of the busiest pub restaurants in the North West, from 1970 until they left in 1983.

Born and married in Wigan, the couple ran several businesses in the town until retiring in 1983, when they spent 37 years living in Albir.

Wiganers will know the pair for their time at Witherington’s hardware store in Poolstock, while Dorothy had a ladies fashion shop “Ella Holland” in Up Holland, and Joseph ran a pig poultry farm at his parents in Westwood.

Next year would have been the pair’s 70th anniversary after they married at St Joseph’s RC Church on August 4, 1951.

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The couple were grandparents to two children and great grandparents to three, while they had two children, Andrea and David Witherington.

David, 65, who flew out to Spain after discovering his parents were unwell and remains there now, has paid tribute to a mum and dad “who were so good to him” and his daughter and


He said: “They were both born, lived, married and ran businesses in Wigan until retiring in 1983 and moving to Spain, where they lived happily until recent years when disability affected them both.

“Dementia overwhelmed my mother and my father couldn’t cope.

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“I am their only surviving offspring after my sister Andrea passed away in February 2012.”

Joseph was cremated with no ceremony at Villajoyosa crematorium on Saturday, April 11.

Dorothy was cremated on Friday, April 24. at the same crematorium in Villajoyosa near Benidorm.

David said: “It’s very sad what’s happened and everyone loved them.

“They were so popular and had a massive circle of friends.

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“ They would have dinner parties with at least 20 people in them.”

He added: “RIP mum and dad, you were so good to me and my daughter Amy and my three grandsons Harry, Tommy and Archy.

“You lived full lives and thankfully passed peacefully and are now reunited with Andrea finally. See you again.”

David is now arranging a private memorial service at St Joseph’s in Adlington where his sister is buried.

He said his mum and dad have two plots for their ashes as soon as he can get back from Spain and when all lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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