Once a music hall joke and latterly understood to be just a night club by many, Wigan Pier has become something of an urban myth around the UK. People who aren’t in the know, still to this day think it’s a joke that Wigan actually had a pier.
The truth is Wigan did have it’s very own small pier, albeit very different to seaside piers. Wigan Pier was actually a platform or stage that jutted out over the Leeds Liverpool canal, used to tip out the contents of coal wagons into waiting canal barges.
This painting by David Barrow shows Wigan Pier in action as a coal wagon from Winstanley Collieries empties a load of coal into the waiting barge. With Trencherfield Mill pictured in the background this piece of art illustrates the industrial landscape of Wigan at the time.
Signed by David Barrow