Welcome to Wigan

Wigan is one of the four oldest boroughs in Lancashire, receiving a charter from Henry III in 1246. It is believed to have started life as the Roman garrison town of Coccium. Some of the town’s charters are on display in Wigan History Shop, a former Victorian library designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the celebrated architect of Manchester town hall and the Natural History Museum.

Famous Wigan food products include Heinz baked beans, Pataks Indian foods, Potters herbal remedies, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, and De Roma ice cream.

Mortgage brokers and advisors from Manchester began their careers in Wigan before moving on to offering mortgage advice and brokering services to Prestwich, Wythenshawe, Didsbury and Bury.

Other well known Wigan firms include Girobank, the Tote, JJB Sports, US glass fibre manufacturers PPG, and carpet firm Milliken. Wigan is also the home of the North West Tourist Board and the Tidy Britain Group.

Once the centre of the Lancashire coalfield – in the late 1800s there were 1,000 pit shafts within five miles of the town centre – Wigan no longer has any collieries. The last pit, Bickershaw, closed in 1992.

Wigan was a key battle ground during the Civil War in the 17th century, and Cromwell’s troops passed through the town twice. The town stayed loyal to the king, and was later rewarded with a ceremonial sword. Until local government reorganisation its motto was ‘Ancient and Loyal’.

The Verve, whose split was announced recently became Wigan’s most famous musical export since … George Formby! The band were all from the Wigan area and met while at Winstanley College, a sixth form centre on the outskirts of town.

Other notable Wigan bands include the Railway Children and folk-rockers the Tansads. Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra is known the world over, while Andy Prior – dubbed the new Sinatra – owes his success to his formative years with WYJO. Nearby Leigh – part of the borough of Wigan – is the birthplace of Georgie Fame.

In the 1960s and 70s, Wigan Casino was the spiritual home of ‘Northern Soul’ music, attracting thousands to its famous all-nighters. The casino burnt down in the early 1980s. In the 90s the town gained a reputation as a centre for jazz and now hosts an international jazz festival every summer.

Well-known Wigan-born figures include entertainers George Formby, Roy Kinnear, Ted Ray and Frank Randle; miners’ leader Joe Gormley; and former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Sir James Anderton. Actor Sir Ian McKellen grew up in the town in a house opposite Mesnes Park.

Contemporary Wiganers of note include Kay Burley of Sky News; DJ, journalist and TV film critic Stuart Maconie; former Hollyoaks actress Davinia Murphy (who played Jude Cuningham), and Coronation Street’s Georgia Taylor (Toyah Battersby) and Eva Pope (barmaid Tanya Pooley). Local MP Ian McCartney is currently a high flier in Tony Blair’s New Labour government as Trade Minister.

Wigan

Wigan Rugby League FC are the UK’s top club side. In 1990/91 they won all the major trophies, and hold the record for the number of successive cup and league wins. In soccer, Wigan Athletic have moved into a new 25,000 seat stadium at the town’s Robin Park, which they share with the Wigan Warriors rugby club. It has been paid for by…

Wigan Athletic’s multi-millionaire chairman Dave Whelan, the boss of JJB Sports, whose phenomenally successful chain of sportswear stores is one of the UK’s retailing success stories.

Finding a Mortgage – Use Experts

When I wanted to find a buy to let mortgage I didn’t really have the first clue about where I’d go to find what I wanted. Most of us think the bank is a good first bet, but you’d be wrong about that. According to this document published on the RBS web site there are 4 key stages in getting a mortgage, but what they don’t tell you is that the average amount of time it takes you to get a mortgage through a bank like RBS is 4 – 6 months!

If you find this information ridiculous then you are not the only one. Research shows that many people are now stopping using banks for their mortgage needs and are instead turning to independent (or ‘whole of market’ mortgage brokers). These are mortgage advisors who recommend products from across the range, rather than from just one bank or building society and are therefore often to recommend extremely competitive products to their clients.

In Manchester there are a few of these advisors and they specialist in buy to let, first time buyer, remortgage and poor credit mortgages. You can also take the advice of experts on money forums such as moneysaving expert. Specialists like http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/member.php?u=2524714 are ideal people to ask for mortgage advice.

Visiting a NatWest Mortgage Advisor

NatWest logoWe are first time buyers and wanted to buy our first home together so made an appointment with our bank NatWest to see the mortgage adviser.

We went to see them on a Saturday morning as this was the only convenient time for us as we both had full time jobs and could not afford to take time off work.

When we met with them they checked our income and advised us that we were good for a mortgage and they would only be to glad to arrange this on our behalf.

We left there really excited that our bank was going to lend us the money to buy our first home together.

We then saw the house of our dreams and put in an offer and it was accepted. We then contacted the bank to arrange an appointment so that we could put in our mortgage application. We were told it would be 4 weeks before we could see a mortgage adviser.

This was going to be to long a time to wait as the people we were buying off needed to move fast on a house they were buying.

My Dad knew a mortgage broker who would probably be able to help us get our mortgage arranged so we contacted them. I told him that we had been to see our bank and that they had told us we were good for a mortgage.

The mortgage broker advised that we could still use the NatWest and he could deal with it on our behalf.

We put forward our application and were surprised and shocked when the NatWest advised our broker that they could not proceed with our application after initially saying they would lend us the money.

Our Mortgage broker contacted the NatWest who advised that we had failed the credit score and they were not able to help with the application.

After further consultation with our Broker regarding how we needed to proceed he advised us to get our credit reports which we did.

It appeared that my partner had two defaults registered against his name from a mobile phone company.

We were bitterly disappointed that the NatWest had told us we could borrow the money and then changed their minds. It appears that what in fact the NatWest had done was just work out if our income was enough to allow us to borrow the money and not make proper checks as to whether we were credit worthy.

This left us in a difficult position regarding purchasing our dream property.

Fortunately for us our Mortgage Broker was able to research the whole of the mortgage market on our behalf taking into account our full financial & personal circumstance and was able to find us an alternative mortgage with a building society.

He was able to deal with all the paperwork on our behalf and within 2 weeks had a mortgage offer for us, he also recommended a solicitor to us.

We have now moved into our dream home and would always advise that you seek help from a mortgage broker to arrange your mortgage as they can look at all the deals in the market place and take away all the stress of trying to do it yourself through the bank yourself.