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 Wigan Museums and Archives 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 usually sells for £2.00 at various venues across the borough however during the Coronavirus period we have not been able to offer printed copies. Instead, we are pleased to offer the latest two editions as FREE digital versions. As we're not able to print and sell the current edition as we normally would, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to enjoy them.

You can download the latest magazine without charge below.

Past Forward, Issue 84 and 85

Note for subscribers during the coronavirus period:

For any readers of Past Forward who subscribe to the magazine (digitally or in hard copy), we will ensure that in light of offering Past Forward 84 and 85 free for all to access, your subscriptions will be rolled over by two editions in all cases. If at a later date you would like to purchase a hard copy of the edition, we hope to have these available and will be in touch to confirm how you can obtain the hard copy magazine. We apologise that we have not been able to contact you directly to give this information.

If you have any questions about your subscription or subscriber arrangements for the current edition, please contact us at and we will help as best we can.

Archive editions

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

Past Forward index

The Past Forward index covers issues from 1 - 68.

Got ideas for Past Forward?

We'd love to hear from you!

If you would like to contribute to the magazine send details to Editorial Team, Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan or email:


The Archives & Local Studies 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 Wigan & Leigh Archives, or by post. Contact us to request.

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: £20.

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.

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: £7.


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