Past Forward and Publications

Want to know more about the history of where you live?

Past Forward is the 'people's history' magazine for Wigan and Leigh. The magazine is produced by Archives: Wigan and Leigh three times per year (in December, April and August). We publish your stories, letters, photographs, opinions and pleas for help on local and family history matters.

Past Forward sells for £2 at various venues across the Borough. You can download older issues of the magazine without charge below.

Archive editions

Want a taster of Past Forward? We've got dozens of past issues of the magazine for you to read - covering interesting subjects from across the borough.

Past Forward index

A brand new index of Past Forward was created in 2024 by volunteer Marianne Howell – covering the topics, themes, titles, people and places featured in the magazine since its inception. It’s a great starting point for any local history researcher.

Got ideas for Past Forward?

We'd love to hear from you!

If you would like to contribute to the magazine, please send your details to Editorial Team, Archives: Wigan and Leigh, Leigh Town Hall, WN7 1DY or email:


Archives: Wigan and Leigh produce a range of local history publications, covering the Wigan Borough as well as our wonderful collections. All publications are available for sale at the Museum of Wigan Life and Archives: Wigan and Leigh, or by post.

Miss Weeton, Governess and Traveller

Edited by Alan Roby

Miss Nelly Weeton’s letters, journal entries and other autobiographical writings reveal a formidable woman as they vividly transport the reader through Georgian Wigan, Upholland and the north west. You can read more about the publication or order copies online. Price: £15.

A History of Harrison McGregor and Guest

By Tony Ashcroft and Becky Farmer

Explores the history of the famous Albion ironworks in Leigh, engineers and manufacturers of agricultural equipment in the town for over 100 years. Price: £9.

Steady Progress: The Making of Modern Leigh

By Yvonne Eckersley, edited by Dylan Lawson

Examines the history of Leigh as the town grew and changed from the late Victorian period into the twentieth century. Price: £10 - Sold out.

From Wolkowisk to Wallgate and other journeys: A history of the Wigan Jewish Community

By Hilary Thomas. Price: £9.

The Diary of Kasturi Venkataramayya: An Indian in Victorian England

Edited transcript of the diary from the Edward Hall Diary Collection. Price: £7.

Avoiding Archie: The WWI Flying Corps Diary of Captain Walker

Edited transcript of the diary from the Edward Hall Diary Collection. Price: £9 (plus £3 p&p).

© Wigan Council