Derek Winstanley



Athough he has lived in Illinois, USA, for 40 years, he returns to Wigan nearly every year and has written extensively on local history. We are pleased to provide access to his materials on the local history of Wigan and Winstanley.

Raised in Highfield, Derek went to Wigan Grammar School and Hertford College, Oxford University, where he was awarded BA and MA in Geography and DPhil in Climatology. As a scientist, Derek has conducted research and published articles on climate variability and change, Desert Locusts, bird populations, acid rain, atmospheric chemistry and water resources. He has worked in the White House under three Presidents and visited about 90 countries.


Gerrard Winstanley 17th Century Radical - The Diggers

Zoom presentation given to our Society on 9th November 2020

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Early Railways - West of Wigan 1770-1870

Presentation given to our Society on 14th Sept 2020

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Founded on Coal

A History of a Coal Mining community, the Parish of St. Matthew Highfield and Winstanley.- (87 pages)

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Gerrard Winstanley

A brief history of Gerrard, the founder of the True Levellers movement, more commonly know as The Diggers

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The Rise and Fall of Pony Dick

A paper discussing the naming and history relating to the Pony Dick.

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Walking Horse

Brief paper detailing the building of a steam locomotive by Robert Daglish for John Clarke to move coal from his Winstanley, Pemberton and Orrell colleries.

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Walking Horse  - Presentation

The Walking Horse & Early Railways in Winstanley, Orrell and Pemberton in the 1770s -1870s

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Welsh Winstanleys

An account of the branch of the Winstanley's in Wales

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When the King lost his Crown

Some Wiganers that played interesting and prominent roles in the English Civil War 

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Wigan & Slavery

A brief paper on slavery and  any association with Wigan

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Wigan Families 1580 - 1500

Explanation and list of family names in this period.

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Wigan Pier

Presentation on the history of transport around the Wigan area and the importance of Wigan Pier.

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Founded on Coal

A History of a Coal Mining community

The Parish of St. Matthew, Highfield and Winstanley

by Ray & Derek Winstanley. Published in 1981.

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The Origins & History of Wigan Pier

A very illuminating and interesting Zoom presentation by Derek Winstanley to members and guests of the Society on 8th March

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