Wigan Hall

Betts wigan

For sixty years the Wigan Hall was the centre of Mortlake's community life. The Hall stood at the south end of Alder Road on North Worple Way. It began life as the Mortlake Conservative Club in 1890. However, the Club suffered financial difficulties and in 1895 it went into voluntary liquidation. Sir Frederick Wigan paid its debts and the Club then passed into a Wigan family trust and it continued as a Working Men's Institute. The Trust purchased the freehold of the Club and surrounding land in 1899. Following Sir Frederick's death in 1907, the Institute was given to the parish to be held in trust for the use of members of the Church of England. It was known as the Frederick Wigan Institute. A Parochial Lay Mission moved from West Road into the hall in 1910.

During the 1920s many renovations were made to the building, and both the Girl Guides and Sea Scouts erected buildings on the land adjacent to the main building. A paid manager and secretary were appointed to run the Hall's bookings in 1924 and five years later the Institute's name was changed to the Wigan Hall.

An air raid shelter was constructed in 1939 at the rear of the hall and the premises were requisitioned for use as a food office for the district. This lasted until July 1954 by which time the building was in a very poor state of repair. However local volunteers renovated the Hall, and it opened in October 1954. Further improvements were made, and the Hall was used as a day nursery; whist drives, concerts, wedding receptions, dances and lectures were also held there. It was a very popular social centre for local people. But in 1966 the Parochial Church Council declared that the Hall should only be used for parochial functions, and it therefore became financially unviable.

Wigan Save The Wigan Hall was closed in April 1969 and put up for sale. There was much local opposition to the closure of the Hall, but the fight to save it was lost and the building was demolished in October. New houses, numbers 38 to 58a Alder Road were built in its stead.

Here is a sequence of Wigan Hall pictures.