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Thursday, 11 July 2013

I was awake very early this morning. For some reason Macy the cat was very restless and had me up at 0500. After making a cup of tea I took it outside to drink it and watch the sun come over the hill. The first cyclist went past at 0520! Whilst I was having my breakfast Macy was in and out a few times. Something made me look eventually and I saw she was playing with a mouse. As it didn't move I thought it was dead and I shooed Macy out of the way so I could dispose of it. When I got back it had gone. I eventually tracked it down and was quite easily able to catch it. I suppose it being in shock helped. I did a quick check and it looked fine so I took it outside and released it.

Macy doesn't like walking on the damp grass.

Unused swing bridge near our mooring.

The view from the boat in the early morning light.

Later I caught the train into Wigan, £2-30 return, to do a trip to Screwfix etc. On the way back from shopping out of the centre I walked back down the tow path and past the 'Wigan Pier'. As you probably know Wigan Pier was never a pier similar to Southport or Brighton piers. It was a coal staithe where coal wagons were tipped up and emptied into canal craft, so Wigan Pier was never a pier. It got me thinking as to whether 'Wigan Casino' was ever a casino? For those that don't know Wigan Casino was the bastion of Northern Soul music and held all night sessions. A bit of research soon told me that it never had been a casino! Originally it was a dance called the Empress. It opened as the Casino Disco in September 1973. Fans of Northern Soul came from far and wide, by car, bus and train, for the all nighters that finished at 0600. They also had live acts and Jackie Wilson, Edwin Starr and Junior Walker appeared there. Eventually it closed in December 1981 and very soon afterwards burned down in mysterious circumstances. Eventually the site had a shopping arcade built over it, and so I had walked through it. Fans still have reunions as it really was a cult. If you don't know what Northern Soul actually sounds like you should tune in to Paul O'Grady's Radio 2 show at 1700 on Sundays as he always plays a few of them in the show. Therefore it seems that Wigan Casino was never a casino, Wigan Pier was never a pier and this sort of makes you look twice at the Wigan Council's strap line, 'Believe in Wigan'!!!

The two bent up railway lines is apparently Wigan Pier. I am not 100% sure that this is the actual one, or a facsimile.

Back at the boat it was back to Test Match Special, and what a day. Still all to play for.

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