Pooles set for Wallgate return

Pooles ' serving the highest quality pies for 165 years
Pooles ' serving the highest quality pies for 165 years

WIGAN’S famous pie shop will soon be coming back to the town, following its demise twelve years ago.

Poole’s Pies is to re-open its tea room in Wallgate early next year, after talks with an independent retailer, who has agreed to run it.

The popular dining haunt closed in 2000 after former Poole’s retail company M and A Bakeries crashed with substantial debts.

As a result, the chain’s 12 shops were sold off individually and more than 100 jobs were lost. But new managing director Neil Court-Johnson hopes to revive the once-bustling cafe. He said: “People had fond memories of going there.

“I have had lots of lovely and messages from people who have said they met their partner there, or used to go there before football started.

“I believe history is a good indicator of the future and we want people to enjoy Poole’s pies as they always have done.

“People used to walk into the old tea room and were greeted by women with aprons and hats who served customers at their little booths.

“Customers would buy a pie and a cream cake with a pot of tea and that was their treat.

“It is not a commercial priority for us.

“We just want to turn the clock back and get the Wallgate site back as it was, as this was where it all started,

“The site has been acquired by a Wigan retailer who will sell our products for us.

“We will continue to make the pies from our factory and deliver them to the tea room.

“If it is a success, we will look at increasing the number of tea rooms in Wigan.”

The Poole’s Pie tea room is expected to be completed and fully open by next spring.

Owners M and A Bakeries – founded by partners Anne Allen and Martin Davey – bought the famous Poole’s name and retailing rights from Dave Whelan’s Whelco Holdings in June 1998, leasing most of their 12 local shop premises, most formerly Rathbones shops.

Poole’s Pies were originally purchased by Dave Whelan in the early 1990s and his later acquisition of Newtown’s Rathbones Bakery gave the product more than a dozen new outlets when the former Rathbones shops were re-named Poole’s.

Mr Court-Johnson bought into the company as chief executive in May this year, with Mr Whelan still prevalent in the company, acting as a mentor.