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  • Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages
  • Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages
  • Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages
  • Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages
  • Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages
Grade U

Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlakes Car Showrooms and Garages

33-35 Library St and 2 Arcade Street, Wigan

Listed Date: 00/00/0000
Part of Group:
At Risk: No


The full Timberlake story can be viewed here: High Riders to Rolls Royces


Wallpaper Supplies, formerly Timberlake’s, occupies a large block which includes an original garage and showroom on Arcade Street, a former corn merchant’s warehouse on Arcade Street, College Chambers on the corner of Arcade Street and Library Street, and a large three storey showroom and garage on Library Street.

The large glass-fronted two storey building on Arcade Street is currently part of Wallpaper Supplies (March 2022).  The original wooden window frames remain; rectangular on the ground floor with arched frames on the first floor.  There is a double pitched corrugated roof with an original dentilled ridge running between the roof and front elevation.  The building is steel framed to avoid the need for internal pillars.  Some elements of a lift to move vehicles between the two floors remain intact.

The original cobbled street and pavement are in place.  Evidence of a drive-in entrance remains in the centre of the building.

The Library Street premises have been divided into five separate shop units on the ground floor with Wallpaper Supplies occupying one of them and all of the first floor which has seven large windows with five dormer windows to the roof space.  The construction is similar to Arcade Street and was originally a large two storey glass fronted car showroom with a workshop and garage on a third floor.  Some elements of a lift to move vehicles between the floors remain in place.

This is also a steel framed building without any central pillars allowing for the free movement of vehicles on all floors.

The corn merchant’s warehouse on Arcade Street was integrated into the Timberlake’s complex probably around 1930.  The warehouse doors remain in place.  The ground floor has been knocked through to the garage with heavy steel girders installed to facilitate this.

College Chambers was integrated into Timberlake’s around the same time.  It was originally built as shops and offices in 1901.  It has retained many internal and external original features.  The ground floor has been converted into three retail units.  The windows on the ground floor are separated by cast iron pillars badged as being made in “Douglas Forges Engineers Wigan”.

Building History

The garage and showrooms were built in Arcade Street before 1910.  The architects were Ormrod and Pomeroy, a Bolton based company, which would become Ormrod Pomeroy and Foy.  They designed a number of public and industrial buildings, many in the Art Deco style.  The building was built to back onto, and link up with, Timberlake’s bicycle shop and workshop in Victoria Buildings King Street.  It was an early example of a steel framed building.  This allowed for floor to ceiling windows at the front and removed the need for supporting pillars on either floor.  A lift was installed to move vehicles between the ground and first floors.

At some stage the Corn Merchants Warehouse next door was acquired and integrated into the garage facility.  A second vehicle entrance was constructed.  The garage was also accessible from College Avenue.

College Chambers was built in 1901 as shops with offices above.  This became part of the Timberlake’s complex housing their offices and staff canteen.

The large three-story showroom and garage was built on Library Street around 1930.  Another steel framed building allowing for floor to ceiling windows on the ground and first floors.  A fully functioning workshop, paint shop and service area were housed on the second floor.  A large vehicle lift, accessible from College Avenue, carried cars and vans between the floors.

All of the buildings that formed the complex could be accessed from each other internally and occupied the whole block between Arcade Street and College Avenue.

In the 1960s a small petrol station was constructed on the corner of the building where College Avenue meets Library Street.  In 1968 Timberlakes moved to premises on Wallgate.  The complex was empty for five years before becoming Wallpaper Supplies, a DIY store, in 1973.  Retail units were subsequently created along the Library Street frontage.

Social History

The Timberlake family originally manufactured bicycles in Maidenhead Berkshire.  HH Timberlake moved to Wigan around 1890 and started making and selling bicycles at 28 King Street, Victoria Buildings.

As the company grew they added motorcycle and cars sales to their business.  The garage on Arcade Street was built as a car sales and rental showroom.  Cars and charabancs could be hired from here in the 1910s and 1920s.  HH Timberlake had one son who was also HH.  Business flourished.  During WW1 the company made shell casings to support the war effort.

Timberlakes also became involved in vehicle manufacturing.  They worked with the short-lived Westwood Motors and were also directors of Pagefield Vehicles manufactured by Walker Brothers.  They would also become MD and Chair of Vulcan Motors in Southport where HH junior lived.  HH senior was also one time Chair of Lea Francis.

As growth continued new Art Deco showrooms were built at 18 to 22 Library Street, followed by another showroom across the road at number 15.  In the late 1920s a large three-storey showrooms and garage was added on a vacant plot of land across the street from the Mining and Technical College.

The Timberlakes became important figures in the town and were major contributors to the development of the Library Street area.  During WW2 the company switched to producing shell casings once again at their Library Street premises.

Before the war ends HH senior died aged 73 in 1944 leaving the company to be run by his widow Florence, HH junior as the MD and his grandson Keith as the sales manager.  HH junior and Florence move to Llandudno where Florence died in 1954 aged 88.  The family sold the business to Hattons of Southport in 1959 who retained the Timberlake name.  HH junior and Keith moved to Devon.  Keith died aged 49 in 1968.  He was survived by his father who also died in Devon in 1987 aged 94.

The Timberlake complex was sold to the Cohen brothers in 1973.  They owned a chain of DIY stores.  They sold the business to one of their managers, Max Bracek, in 1984.  It was passed on to his son Chris who owns the business as of 2022.