Lightshaw Meadows was once home to hive of coal mining activity. Coal was dug from below ground at Lightshaw Meadows on an intensive scale between the 19th and mid-20th centuries, leaving large voids underground. This ground has since collapsed and become flooded, creating the landscape we see today at Lightshaw Meadows.
Coal mining at Lightshaw Meadows and the surrounding area helped to bring the industrialisation to Wigan and Leigh. The area began to appeal to other industries such as the cotton industry, which were attracted by the availability of cheap coal. It was the need to transport coal and other goods which developed transport in the area, such as the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the local railways.
The thriving industry in the area brought great wealth for many businessmen, but this was not always passed on to their employees. Wages and working conditions were poor and many people continued to live in poverty. Despite this hardship, the sense of community spirit was strong, with many opportunities for communities to socialise.
We didn’t have much money but I do think it was a great time to grow up.” Jacqui