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Yesterday's fire at Leigh Fishermen's Co-op

September 4, 2019 8:36 PM
By Leigh Lib Dem Councillor Peter Wexham

Letter to the Editor of The Leigh Times

"re Bell wharf

Dear Mike.

The building on Victoria Wharf next to Bell Wharf was the Foreshore Office upstairs and down below was a store for the Council.

About 15 years ago we managed to get a PESCA grant from fisheries with EU money to fit out the down stairs with insulation and fridges & an ice machine for the local fishermen to use as a Co-op and fish have been sold from there ever since.

In the 50s & 60s one of the Walker Brothers (not the POP group) used it for sail making.

It was always known as Turnage`s sail loft where the family had it for many years making & repairing sails for the Bawleys & Barges that were working in and out of Leigh.

This old timber-framed building has been part of local history going back to the early nineteen hundreds, where it was originally part of another building as it those days they just built and changed things to suit whatever the need was.

We have had a bad few years lately, especially with the Emery`s fisherman's cottage on Leigh Hill having the southern end collapsing when the developers building the flats by the railway caused the land to move breaking the sewer & water pipe under the ground and causing a slip. Happily that is being renovated. Then another listed building The Bell Hotel suddenly fell down and now this disaster in the Old Town.

As to the Fishermen's Co-op building, we will have to see what the insurance situation is and then do all we can to get it re-built.

There has been plenty of trouble around the Bell Wharf area again this Summer with crowds of trouble makers getting on and in the way of the cockle boats when they are landing or moored up alongside the Wharf.

This has been reported by us to the Police but they are spread so thinly across the Town & Essex and they cannot be everywhere.



Read Jack Monroe on the Leigh Fishermen's Co-op