Wigan Grammar School
New Book for Christmas 2016

Six Steps from Wigan Pier
and a bag of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls

What does Gandalf have in common with George Formby, Oliver Cromwell and a girl who sang for Hitler with military secrets hidden in her knickers? The answer is Wigan. When my son Richard mentioned the theory that each one of us is no more than six ‘steps’ from any other person on the face of the planet I realised that I’d stumbled upon a wonderful framework for one of my favourite activities: telling tales.

You may remember that John S Taylor was Guest Speaker at this year’s WGSOB Annual Dinner. Having been a pupil or a master at WGS for a total of nine years in the 1950s and 60s.

John has now published his new book Six Steps from Wigan Pier which includes three chapters featuring such personalities as Paddy Gore, Dicky Nutt, Pop Skirrow, George Merriman, Madame Teapot, Brian Holt, Ralph ‘Dicky’ Downing, Derek ‘Cakey’ Eccles, ‘Hoss’ Jones, Tommy Walker, ‘Jem’ Hall, Jack Sharratt and ‘Noddy’ Lee. Other members of his cast include Ian McKellen, George Formby, the Mad Clapper, Jack Cockrell, Basil Horsman, ‘Hoppy’ Hopwood Sayer, Frank Platt and his daughter Avril Fishwick, to whose memory the book is dedicated.

A possible Christmas stocking-filler, Six Steps from Wigan Pier is a book of stories all connected in some way with Wigan. Some of the tales start and finish within a cock-stride of the Pier. Others take us to Gallipoli, India, the Deep South of the United States and the humid jungles of Spanish America during two bloody civil wars.


Six Steps from Wigan Pier is now obtainable from bookshops and on Amazon.co.uk, price 14.99.  There is more information on his website (/www.johnsharrocktaylor.webs.com/) including an extract from the book.