A Conversation for Wigan, Greater Manchester, UK
Pemps and some errata
Marcus Halberstam (Keeper of the True Path of the Vinyl LP) Started conversation Jan 24, 2001
I think I'll take Zarniwoop's advice and start a new thread for this Pemps business.
Ouch. All this talk of perhaps Wigan's weirdest nightclub has brought back a dim half-buried recollection. Sorry to have missed out this important psychogeographical hotspot - but I'm afraid this article could never be more than an outside observer's view, since neither PJ nor myself is a Wiganer born and bred.
I guess subconsciously I thought we had dealt with Pemps, and the various other dodgy clubs, pubs etc. with the terse but accurate warning "Other pubs in Wigan are dangerous and should be avoided". (This was watered down in true Guide style in the edited entry - my sense of Ford Prefectness is overwhelming).
Or perhaps I was just trying to repress any recollection of my own never to be repeated experience of Pemps. It wasn't my idea, and I would never have got in if it wasn't for the intercession of the seasoned Pemps-goers who took me along.
Despite my then hippyish appearance and somewhat outlandish garb, then, I was given the nod by Barbara, who surveyed the group of us from on high. Her regular perch is the front seat of a large 4x4 vehicle parked outside the club.
The beer was shoddy and came in overpriced lukewarm cans. The clientelle was of very mixed age, and by and large scary. The dress code was skimpy, with area of clothing worn often being inverse to age of wearer. I thankfully have no recollection of the music, if such there was. I escaped alive, but scarred .
If you want to start getting completist about the pub 'n' club scene, then the recent outbeak of theme bars on King Street is worth a mention. At the last count there was an Australian bar, a South African bar, and some kind of American place.
Tudor news - the Tudor remains much the same only bigger. Or at least it will be. In a recent conversation the landlord expressed an uncharacteristic degree of optimism that a long-planned expansion into the terraced house next door may soon actually come about. It will be business as usual throughout the building work, though.
Pea-wet - is not in fact mushy peas, but the mush left when all the peas have been scooped out. Ordered together with "scraps" (the little bits of crisp, deep fried potato left when all the decent chips have been been had), these pea-wet is an essential,highly economical part of the snack diet of Wigan's tearaway youth.
Chips in Wigan are usually eaten with "curry sauce", a concoction with no known connection to anything known as curry outside Wigan. Vegetarians may brave "sweet and sour sauce" in some establishments, but it is probably unwise.
Train times - Bitter experience shows the train journey between London and Wigan is currently between 3 1/2 and 5 hours. All hail Branson!
The A49 is anything but lightly vehicled, especially since the access road to the Tesco that they built on Central Park has b*ggered up the traffic flow down that end of town.
This is already much too long, so I'll stop.
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