Colliers clog fight
The Wigan collier is often a rough diamond today. He was rougher 20 yrs ago.
One of my earliest recollections [writes a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian] is seeing a collierís clog fight at Hindley. I know that such fights were common within the memory of men still young.
The fight took place in the cobbled back yard of a little public house on the main road between Wigan and Westhoughton.
It was between two habitues of the inn, and only regular customers were allowed to witness it.
I was a child when I saw it, and my father must have thought I was too young to know what was going on when he planted me in front of his legs in the first rank of the ring of spectators.
The combatants were bared to their waists, their trousers held up with their braces tied like a belt.
Though they used their fists whenever they could get the blow in, their chief aim was to use their ironed clogs. The spectators cheered their favourites with a mighty din.
I do not remember the end, only that each were covered in blood and that the cobbles were red with it.
The landlady of the inn was an amiable widow, who, for all her kindness, and without any male help, was noted for keeping perfect dicipline among her savage customers.
She was probably at the front door looking out for the policeman while the fight was going on.
Copyright 2002 / To date