Joey the swan flowerbed on Church Lane in Wistaston (2)

The Joey the Swan recreation ground in Wistaston is named after an adult male cob swan that lived there in the 1930s.

In the 1930s a pair of swans – a cob and a pen – took up permanent residence on a pond or ‘stew’, opposite the Wistaston Hall.

Eventually the pen died, but the cob remained for many years at the site.

He was given the name ‘Joey’ and became a popular bird which was regularly fed by young Wistonians.

One resident claimed that he could be a vicious creature and still has the scars on his anatomy to prove it!

Each morning the swan would waddle up to the hall, tap on the kitchen window and be fed by the staff and visitors.

One day his ignominious fate was sealed when he was run over by a milk-float; his swanning days were over – it was his swan song.

The area became known as ‘Joey the Swan’, but it does not appear on any maps.

Swan on flowerbed opposite Wistaston Memorial Hall on Church Lane

How unique that a small part of Wistaston is named after a swan and the emblem/logo of the village is still a swan.

But have you ever thought that ‘what if’ the creature had been a Canada goose called Marmaduke or an Eider duck called Albert or a lame badger called Bruce, would the area have been named after him?

It would not have the same ‘ring’ about it – it wouldn’t be a ‘cygnet’ ring – but that was real history!

Joey the Swan features on several logos in Wistaston including Wistaston Church Lane Academy, Wistaston Parish Council, Wistaston Community Council, and Wistaston Jubilee Tennis Club.

Joey the Swan recreation ground was generously donated to the people of Wistaston by the Fathers of the Oblate Mission.

Wistaston Hall - Oblate Retreat Centre - entrance sign and driveway

Wistaston Hall – Oblate Retreat Centre – entrance sign and driveway

A plaque below the large Wistaston sign on Church Lane states: “THIS LAND WAS DONATED TO THE PEOPLE OF WISTASTON BY THE FATHERS OF THE OBLATE MISSION”.

Wistaston Hall is located on Broughton Lane opposite the Joey the Swan recreation ground and was acquired by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1943 and is used as a retreat centre.

Oblate Retreat Centre is located at Wistaston Hall.

The Hall and its gardens provide an ideal venue for retreats, prayer meetings and study groups.

Each year, many hundreds of visitors of all denominations, from the UK and abroad, avail themselves of its facilities.

Some come just for a day or a weekend and others stay for longer periods.

(Words and images by John White and Jonathan White)

Plaque on Church Lane - THIS LAND WAS DONATED TO THE PEOPLE OF WISTASTON BY THE FATHERS OF THE OBLATE MISSION

Plaque on Church Lane

Joey the Swan recreation ground during the annual Wistaston Duck Race

Joey the Swan recreation ground

Wistaston Hall - Oblate Retreat Centre

Wistaston Hall – Oblate Retreat Centre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.

*

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.