Hello and welcome to the Wigan History Podcast.
I’m Tom and I should start this by saying, I’m not, by any means, a historian.
In fact, at school, despite the best efforts of some fantastic teaching, mostly through episodes of Blackadder, I didn’t enjoy History lessons.
Now, however, in my slightly more mature years I find myself fascinated by the history that surrounds every single one of us.
This may be because learning about the past is difficult to do during a period of your life that you spend thinking solely about the future. Perhaps, I found it difficult to relate to the history of Henry VIII, which quite frankly didn’t at the time resonate with me.
Now, however, I’m fascinated by the idea that the space in which I’m sitting right now and the surrounding area around me, was completely different 100-years to 1000-years in the past.
This place in that time has a story of it’s own and most of which is lost to history, except for tiny peaks which we get through historical research.
Wigan is my home.
It’s not my birth home, as you may have figured out from my accent, but it’s now my adopted home.
A lack of historical knowledge can sometimes result in a skewed perspective on the place.
For example, Wigan’s viewed by it’s most recent incarnation, as a coal mining town, shadows of which we still see today in our streets and local landmarks.
However, Wigan’s history is much richer than just it’s mines and mills. Much like those mines, there is more to Wigan’s history than what’s on the surface.
Over the course of this series of podcasts, I hope to take you on a journey from the first settlements in the area, to its Roman occupation, it’s mysterious medieval period, through to it’s unusually important role in the Civil War, right through to the infamous Wigan Pier, where we will perhaps discover the truth of its name.
I felt the best way to do this would be through storytelling. I won’t be citing references here. Not because I don’t value those that have helped me source this information, but because I believe that it will break up the narrative too much to be interesting.
Like many of you, I too will be learning as we go. My one hope is that, if you are a local of Wigan, the next time you go outside, your perspective of Wigan history will be a little different.
Fortunately, I will not be doing this alone, in preparation I reached out to the Museum of Wigan Life and the Wigan Archaeological Society both of which have kindly offered me access to their in-depth pools of knowledge and widom, plus will be kindly fact-checking all of my research.
If you have any comments, queries or questions then you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you’ll join me, if you are a local Wigan resident yourself, or merely someone with a keen interest in the area. If you are, then please don’t forget to subscribe to this on your podcast app of choice, so you will be notified everytime a new episode is released.
Just search for “Wigan History Podcast” and hit subscribe.
It’s going to be exciting and I hope it will be fun, so tune in the next and first installment of our Wigan History story will be the prehistoric era of Wigan.
I hope you’ll join me then.