Why are pies associated so much with Wigan?

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10ClarionSt | 14:35 Fri 03rd Feb 2006 | People & Places
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Does anyone know? Do you know Dot?


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An ex-colleague once told me that people from other parts of the North West call them the pie-eaters because miners from Wigan were the first to break the general strike in the 1920�s and go back to work �eating humble pie�. Having said that, she was a Salford Reds supporter with an intense dislike of Wigan.
I think it is a little more prosaic than that Glossopswift.
Have you ever been to Wigan? It simply comes from the fact that there are loads and loads of pie shops - and i mean loads. Wigan is one of the few places that isnt awash with Greggs or Hampsons (although it does have some). It has lots of really really good small independent bakers.
I suppose it goes back to the time when there was lots of coal mining and heavy industry. Lancashire towns always had loads of pie shops -it just seems Wigan has held on to theirs.
I think Hollands once had a factory in Wigan but i think they are all made in Bolton now.
Wiganners do love their pies (and i like em too) !

I have to agree with gary baldy being a boltonion and frequenter of wigan they are truly 'pie eaters'. I had a friend from wigan who without fail had to have one every day. In Bolton we joke that a wigan kebab is 6 meat pies on a skewer!!

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Thanks guys. I must say I have heard that one from Glossopswift before. I wondered if anyone else had.

I think Hollands' factory is in Blackburn.

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Or a Wigan wedding cake, 3 meat pies on top of each other.
10 clarion st. Hollands factory is indeed in Blackburn and I have enjoyed their pies for close to 50 years, but like most cheaply produced food you don't want to know what goes in it.

They are however bloody tasty
Hollands - owned by Northern Foods. Yummm. Must be good though cos they turnover �1.5 billion a year. Bet they really look after the original recipes.........
Hollands pie factory near me and all, Near Accrington :-)
Baxenden if I remember rightly - I recall gazing on the place in mild reverence as I drove past once.


I believe you are right with the idea that the name comes from the strike breakers of Wigan returning to work and eating humble pie.

Anyway, whatever the origin of the term, Poole's pies are the best and I was upset to find their shop in Wallgate closed and boarded up last time I was in town.

100% correct ACW :-)
I have just done a menatl count of the pie shops in Wigan town centre, I need to know where they are as I do get a lunch break, but I usually go into Marks for a salad, I can count 7 in the town centre not including the indoor market. That's not alot really, but anyway, I know it offends Wiganers to be called a pie eater and it is because of the historical issue not that they eat alot of pies. As a Yorkshire lass who grew up in Ormskirk, I reckon Ormskirk has more pie shops than Wigan.
I just went on
I put in bakers and ormsquirk in to it an got 8 results.
I then put in bakers and wigan and got.........?
Forty blinking seven!
Dont try and give Ormsquirk a higher pie status than it deserves!

The reason that Pooles Pies was closed down (along with every other small outlet they had) is because of Dave Wheelan.

He purchased the Pooles Pies company, and it's factory on Eccersley Mill industrial estate behind the Wigan Pier, and teminated the sale of the pies to the high-street.

Pooles pies can now only be found in a very few places. One of which I know is a cert ... the JJB Stadium. Every pie sold at the stadium is a Pooles Pie.

So the next time your in town, get yourself to the Rugby match. Even if Wigan lose, you can be safe in the knowledge that a Pooles Pie awatis you!

P.S. Another two bakeries that are family bakers and have been producing tip-top nosh for donkeys years are Twists' Bakery (Located across from the TeleWest building) and Edwards' Bakery located in Platt Bridge. Edwards has two shops in Wigan and one in Platt Bridge, and sells to many small shops. One of Edwards' shops can be found in the indoor market, and the other at the rear entrance of BHS (directly across from the Market Tavern). So go on, have a pie and a pint .... the Wigan way!

I love meat & potato pies (now known as Potato & Meat due to pollitical correctness!)
Edwards have being making pies since 1892 and are the oldest piemakers in Wigan.
Twiss a relative newcomer closed recently.
pooles are history in wigan the future is GALLOWAYS proper wigan frim established in pem in 1971 i has shops all over wigan must be good if wiganers like um!
I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I was googling Pooles Pies for work! Found this link anywho: /aid/3516/Wigan_pie_firm_invests__pound;12m_in _production_site.html
Pies in Wigan, Google it and not many bakeries in Wigan itself, Hollands has never been in Wigan or Bolton and has always been based in Baxenden and owned by Ranjit Boparan, so it is not even English owned.

The Pie Eater comes from the Black Scabs who let down their fellow miners during the strikes. Remmber PADDY McGuinness in Wigan would not let anything from wigan pass his lips?. Rory mcgrath won the Wigan Pie eating contest!!!.
Wigan Scabs in the miners strike is how Wigan got the Pie Eater name they ate humble pie and let down all their fellow miners and went back to work, 'no one from Lancs/Yorks should ever let anything from Wigan pass their lips especially a Pie'.or they would be shunned and called a scab!. Hollands have never had a bakery in Wigan or Bolton, and have always been in Baxeden near Haslingden which is now owned by Ranjit Boperan (Northern Foods) (foreign owned!!).

The only good thing about the place was Wigan Casino which many thousands of us miss more than anything in the world, Keep the Faith
My grand father always disputed the strike breakers theory.He was born in1898 in the nearby town of Atherton and always insisted that he and his friends used to refer to Wiganers as pie eaters when he was at school.This would have been between around 1903 and 1915,well before the strike occured.

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