Armoury & Military Band Building
Wigan Road, Ashton
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
The Old Band House is situated at the site of one of the oldest buildings in Ashton-in-Makerfield.
Originally built in 1850, the building itself served as the band house and armoury for the Ashton-in-Makerfield and Garswood troop of the Lancashire Hussar Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry who were formed in 1848 as the successor to the Loyal Ashton Yeomanry Cavalry. During the first World War, the building was used as a recruitment office and in the first week of 1915 alone, more than 160 men had enlisted to fight which (combined with the number of recruits from Hindley) led to the creation of a permanent troop establishment within Wigan.
After Britain got out of war time, the building was no longer needed for this purpose and transitioned into what was known throughout the 1920’s as Central Dining Rooms before being taken over by a Mr Dickinson in 1929 when the premises became known Dickinson’s, known locally as Dickies, which comprised of a sweet shop in the front and a cafe in the back. For years, the local ‘rockers’ would frequently visit here and the ‘mods’ would visit Rickards just a short distance away on Gerard Street until the late 1960’s.
Since then, the building has undergone multiple face lifts and been used for a wide range of purposes including being used by the local Oxfam branch throughout the 1970’s and 80’s before spending a number of years as a hair and beauty salon at the turn of the century.