Saturday 2nd July

Adlington to Wigan (photo 35 of 76)

Red Rock Bridge (Bridge 63)



I grew up at Red Rock. Used to be fascinated with the narrow boats on the canal.(Not many in them days.) Didn't think I would be living on one. Did you know in the late 50s just across from the bridge and across from the Crawford arms there used to be a shop and transport caf'e? also across from the Crawford arms there was a row of houses. The Crawford arms was my mum and dads local. Mum sometimes helped out at the pub. Spent many a time sitting by Red Rock Bridge or on the gantry on the canal side eating crisp and drinking a bottle of pop. Used to walk many a times along the towpath from Red Rock to Haigh Hall.
Met my first boy friend along there !!! Mam used to tell us about the button pit murder at a mine near Red Rock. This was an unsolved murder of a watch man. The body was never found only blood and a button. Hence button pit.

The Crawford arms is now being renovated (I hope as a pub)
I'm sure this would be a prime location, not only for passing traffic but for walkers and the growing popularity of narrow boat cruising.

Comment by Sheila Halliwell - 3rd February 2014

The pit was Bawk house pit. A man was hanged for the murder but it is questioned if he was the only one guilty.

Comment by Frank Atherton - 4th August 2014

My ggg grandfather was a miner and lived in the cottages at Red Rock in the 1840s and 1850s. Old maps of the area show a hive of mining activity, with mine shafts, rail sidings, etc. Quite different now! One ancestor lived in the Crawford Arms in the 1860s. A lovely area and always a pleasure to visit.

Comment by Mike Ainscough - 28th October 2017

Thanks Frank for the true story of Bawk house put (Button pit) That's terrible if that man wasn't guilty and got hanged for the murder.
The old station house at Red rock after the the railway was closed was turned into , I'm not sure it turned into the Labour club or the working men's club. Mum and Dad went their nearly every Saturday night. The ladies took turns in cooking. My man's speciality was meat and potatoes pie with pickled red cabbage. Yum, Yum. My sister's and I used to go to the Christmas parties there. After it closed it was left abandoned for a long time until someone bought it and turned it into a private house. It had a few owners during the years one being Kerrey Catona. (Hope I've spelt it right)

Comment by Sheila Halliwell - 24th September 2019

The husband of my gt gt gt grandmother was the man who was hanged for this murder. I'm not sure if he was actually my gt gt gt grandfather as he isn't named on their son's birth certificate.

Comment by Richard Abraham - 8th January 2021

I have only just found this article, when trying to research what has happened to the Crawford Arms, known more recently as "Bridge 63". It appears it has not been open for years.
My great grandmother's sister, Ellen, or Helen Gibson (nee Gregory), ran the pub in the early 1900s, while my great grandmother Margaret Watmough (nee Gregory) ran the canalside shop on the other side of the road immediately opposite. I visited the area in 2013. and the pub was "being restored", while the shop had been gone for years, replaced by a bungalow.
I was fascinated by the story of the murder, and did a bit of research. This article is quite informative, and confirms that there was some doubt over who (or how many) did the deed.

Comment by Jenny Williamson - 4th April 2021

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