Burscough Street In Old Photographs
Alfred Wragg had trained as an apprentice photographer in Bury and then Ormskirk from the 1880s under his father Herbert, as had Alfred’s older sister Caroline and younger brother Herbert Jnr. Caroline set up her own photography studio on Mesnes Street in Wigan in the 1890s and Herbert set his up in Church Street, Leigh. Alfred took over his father’s business at 30 Burscough Street. Alfred’s skill with the photography equipment meant he was not restricted to studio work and during his career he took hundreds of pictures in and around the Ormskirk district, recording a moment in time of a street or building. For this we will be forever grateful.
The first image (Image 1) shows the exterior of Alfred’s studio at 30 Burscough Street around 1905. Looking towards the clock, number 28 and the next building, number 26, is the old Ormskirk Hall, the residence for many decades of doctor’s practices, including that of Dr Marsden who was tragically killed in a flying accident in 1946. Ormskirk Hall was a large Georgian style double fronted three storey town house with a grand portico entrance supported by twin columns (Image 2). No 28 after the demolition of Ormskirk Hall became Soundsgood Records in 1975 when the Wheatsheaf Walk development was completed.
Evans and Ball had begun their wholesale grocery business at No 32, the other side of Wragg’s studio, but between 1895 and 1901 they took over No 22 Burscough Street and their operation thrived, they remained there into the 1960s.
Immediately after Evans & Ball’s warehouse stood the Wheatsheaf Hotel. This was another Georgian building with an entrance to their rear/side yard. A coach and horse had to negotiate a tight turn to pull out of the yard into the narrow street. The Wheatsheaf staircase was apparently one of the finest examples of Georgian wrought iron work in England. The Wheatsheaf was demolished in the mid 1960s to make way for the new development that took it’s name, Wheatsheaf Walk. If you look at the picture of the Wheatsheaf, taken in c. 1962, (Image 3), almost opposite was Swarbricks Pork Butchers.
This short run of shops and businesses in just one of the streets of Ormskirk, contained so much valuable history of the town, we strive at Ormskirk Bygone Times to make that history more easily accessible to people and if you can contribute with local knowledge or photographs you can contact us here.