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  • Park Lane Friendly Co-operative
  • Park Lane Friendly Co-operative
  • Park Lane Friendly Co-operative
Grade U

Park Lane Friendly Co-operative

Jcn Gerard St & Warrington Rd, Ashton

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


The Ashton in Makerfield UDC's Buildings, Highways & Streets Committee approved plans submitted by the Park Lane Co-operative Society for “lock-up shops and show-rooms” at the corner of Gerard St and Warrington Rd on 6 February 1908. At the same time the Committee “resolved unanimously that the Co-operative Society be requested to enter into an agreement with the Council with respect to the proposed interference of the public footpath by the construction of cellar lights” (Wigan Archives ref. UD Ash/A/A1/31). Six months later it also approved the Society's plans for “alterations to premises” at 69 Gerard St (UD Ash/A/A1/32).

Designed and constructed by the firm Heaton, Ralph & Heaton, the building was formally opened with great fanfare on 8 August 1909. According to Seed's Wigan and District Directory for 1925-6 the Gerard St store then included tailoring, drapery, grocery and boot and shoe departments, all of which came under the general superintendence of Society secretary Fred Cobley. Accessed by a separate entrance on Warrington Rd, the upper levels included a hall for official meetings and social gatherings. The hall was also licensed under the relevant legislation for use as a cinema, with capacity for up to 500 spectators.

Since the store's closure the ground floor has been divided into a number of separate retail units and offices. The upper floors have variously housed Ministry of Labour offices, a gym, offices and apartments. Apart from the change of occupancy, the view at street level today is remarkably similar to that seen in photographs taken in the 1920s and 30s.

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Text and images by the Makerfield Rambler