Page 4

THE PYLONS

The removal of the Lowton Pylons

The pictures show the removal of the pylon in Carlton Road on Monday 7th July 2003

Photographs of the pylons Copyright © 2003 Alan Nixon

Compare this 2007 photograph of the King’s Arms to the one in Bert Worsleys books and you will see that there has been much extension to the right and also at the rear it is now known as the Toby Carvery and has an Inkeepers Lodge (Motel)

Now a Travel Lodge 2013 (Ed)

The Jolly Carter closed and is now the Eastern Revive Indian Restaurant (Ed 2013)

The photograph above shows the area of the Co-op, / Community Centre and car park when it was St.Luke's Park

I would like to thank everyone who gave or loaned photographs or written information to the Lowton websites project and also to the members of the Lowton websites project for their permission to reproduce sections of the websites in the production of the book.

I hope that the websites and the book gives pleasure to it’s readers and that it may help future generations to understand the development of this community. Much of the information and the photographs come from my personal archive that I have built up over a period of very many years. There were photographs of many places and buildings in the village that I would like to have included but was unable to find copies or obtain permission to use. If you have anything you think could be included in any future edition please contact me.

My E-mail address is: [email protected]

Finally I would like to thank you the reader you purchased the book which has been priced low to encourage it’s purchase and not to make any profit, the pleasure from seeing the numbers sold makes the work in producing it worthwhile.

A.N. 2007

Aound 1914 there were, no fewer than three family businesses producing sweets in the Lowton. A small factory on Kenyon Lane which was run by the Hurst family became known for their very popular brand “Hurst’s Lung Tips” The building still stands. Just down the road, Willian Hindley’s family business eventually became famous world wide as the Sovereign Confectionery Company, taking over the old Victoria Mill site  around 1920.  Especially popular for its Devon Creams and Creamy Whirls, the “toffee works” as it is known locally rapidly became a massive success, exporting goods all over Europe and employing hundreds of local people – especially women.  The business closed when owner Fred Hindley (William’s son) died at a young age and the building was taken over by Rank Strand theatre lighting and seating then by the Hille seating firm.  The ornate iron gates of the Sovereign Confectionery Company’s hey day remained in place however, standing proud until the building was finally demolished about 17 years ago.  Ranworth Drive and Sovereign Close now stand on the original site.

Photo shows Sovereign Works during Rank Strand Period

SANDY LANE GHOST


The terrible sight of an angry old man, blood running down his front and shaking his fist at the world, is said to be seen running down the lonely lane on dark nights.  Disappearing through a wall of a barn, the figure is thought to be the ghost of Joshua Rigby, a Lowton farmer, who met a violent end on 18th September 1883.  Described by the locals as a “nowty mon”, Joshua was known for his cruelty to his elderly sisters and his considerable wealth.  He was often heard boasting about his money in the local pubs and taunting his nephews about what he would do with it after he died. After being caught beating his sister with a belt, he was persuaded by his nephew John Gibbons to make a will in case he was sent to prison for cruelty.  In June 1883 he signed his will, leaving everything to John. A few weeks later Joshua was discovered in his bedroom with his throat cut and a search revealed the old man’s will and bank book in John Gibbons’ pocket.  He was arrested and an inquest was held at the Jolly Carter Inn.  Two doctors gave evidence that a blow from John Gibbons’ heavy boots could have caused Joshua’s head injuries.  A long grey hair was found in the seam of the accused’s boot  and he was commited to the Crown Court at Liverpool to stand trial for murder.  The trial, however, fell apart and John returned to Lowton after two months in prison looking the picture of health and having gained 30lbs!  A special edition of the Leigh Chronicle detailing the case sold like hot cakes and the gruesome goings-on were the main topic of conversation and speculation for weeks.  For years after that, however, many people continued to report sightings of the old man’s ghost stalking the lanes and fields around the farm – it is often seen by the late night customers of the Jolly Carter Inn.

Sources “Ghosts of Leigh” by Cyril Ward and Memories of Lowton by Richard Ridyard.