The Wonder of Wakes Weeks

Ever wondered about the Wakes Weeks and when they are?

Many moons ago, before East of the M60 was as well-known as it is nowadays, we posted a review of Channel Five’s documentary on the Oldham Wakes. It was part of a series called Disappearing Britain, the Oldham Wakes episode was hosted by Sarah Lancashire (or Raquel off Corrie if you watched the soap in the 1990s). The programme had vox-pop interviews with Ms. Lancashire decrying the state of Blackpool.

Nearly fifteen years on, Blackpool has regained its mojo, interrupted by something called COVID-19. Even now, it is the most visited seaside resort in the United Kingdom, though Scarborough has its fans. The genius behind this blog cannot say a bad word about Blackpool, alongside his new-found favourite places darn sarf (Weymouth, Falmouth, Eastbourne, Whitstable and Hastings, we are talking about you there).

With overseas holidays out of the question for many households, Staycations are back in style. Saltburn-by-the-Sea is becoming the must-visit resort on the Yorkshire Coast instead of Whitby; Morecambe’s forthcoming Eden style attraction could give it a fillup. Even with recent store closures, there is still a lot to like about Lord Street, Southport’s answer to Les Champs Elysses.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Southport, Blackpool, and Morecambe were products of the Industrial Revolution and the Railway Age. Entire towns would break up for two weeks and go to these places en masse. Special trains were chartered; no seaside town railway station was without its excursion platforms for these summertime breakaways. These weeks were known as Wakes Weeks.

Some towns have two lots of Wakes Weeks, at either end of what is the height of our summer season. For example, Stalybridge has one in the third week of July, and another in the third week of September. Though the millworkers had their own Wakes Weeks, there was also Pit Weeks for the mineworkers. In Manchester, a two-week Engineering Holiday in July.

With a shift towards the service economy and small businesses providing employment to more of our workforce, the Wakes Weeks weren’t observed the same as they used to be. In 1989, local authorities lost powers to set regional holidays and observe the Wakes Weeks like they used to do.

With staying at home and domestic travel a more viable proposition, the Wakes Weeks could be a useful guide for booking your holiday.

When are the Wakes Weeks?

Each Wakes Holiday period runs from Friday to Friday. At one time, local newspapers used to advertise the Wakes Weeks – early enough in the year to book your holidays.

Please note that pre-1974 county boundaries are observed.

Third Friday in June to the First Saturday in July

Lancashire: Littleborough, Whitworth and Rochdale.

2021 Dates: 18 June to the 03 July 2021.

Third Saturday in June to the First Saturday in July

Lancashire: Chadderton, Failsworth, Hollinwood, Oldham, Royton, Crompton, Shaw, Middleton, and Lees.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Saddleworth villages.

2021 Dates: 19 June to the 03 July 2021.

Fourth Saturday in June to the Second Saturday in July

Lancashire: Atherton, Bolton, Farnworth, Turton, Tyldesley, Walkden, Hindley Green, Kearsley, Little Lever, and Westhoughton.

Staffordshire: Leek.

Cheshire: Macclesfield.

2021 Dates: 26 June to the 10 July 2021.

Fourth Saturday in June to the Third Saturday in July

West Riding of Yorkshire: Silsden.

2021 Dates: 26 June to the 17 July 2021.

Fifth friday in June to the Third Saturday in July (or the First Friday in July to the Third Saturday in July)

West Riding of Yorkshire: Barnoldswick and Earby.

Lancashire: Barrowford, Brierfield, Burnley, Bury, Colne, Nelson, Padiham, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom, Tottington and Whitefield.

2021 Dates: 02 to the 17 July 2021.

First Friday in July to the Fourth Saturday in JulY (or the Second Friday to the Fourth Saturday in July)

West Riding of Yorkshire: Skipton.

Lancashire: Darwen and Heywood.

2021 Dates: 09 to the 24 July 2021.

First Saturday in July to the Fourth Saturday in JulY (or the Second Saturday to the Fourth Saturday in July)

West Riding of Yorkshire: Elland, Halifax, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden.

Lancashire: Wigan.

2021 Dates: 10 to the 24 July 2021.

Second Friday in July to the FIFth Saturday in JulY (or the Third Friday to the Fifth Saturday in July)

Lancashire: Great Harwood, Haslingden, Whalley and Blackburn.

2021 Dates: 16 to the 31 July 2021.

Second Saturday in July to the Fifth Saturday in JulY (or the Third Saturday to the Fifth Saturday in July)

Cheshire: Stalybridge.

Lancashire: Accrington, Bamber Bridge, Preston, Calder Vale, Chorley, Church, Oswaldtwistle, Lostock Hall, Mossley, Clitheroe, Leyland, Kirkham and Leyland.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Huddersfield.

2021 Dates: 17 to the 31 July 2021.

Third Friday in July to the First Saturday in August

Lancashire: Rawtenstall, Waterfoot and Bacup.

2021 Dates: 23 July to the 07 August 2021.

Third Saturday in July to the First Saturday in August

Derbyshire: Glossop, New Mills and Whaley Bridge.

2021 Dates: 24 July to the 31 July 2021.

Fifth Saturday in July to the Second Saturday in August

Cheshire: Congleton.

Lancashire: Swinton and Pendlebury.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Shipley.

2021 Dates: 31 July to the 14 August 2021.

First Saturday in August to the Third Saturday in August

West Riding of Yorkshire: Bradford.

2021 Dates: 07 to the 21 August 2021.

Second Saturday in August to the Fourth Saturday in August

Cheshire: Dukinfield and Hyde.

Lancashire: Ashton-under-Lyne and Droylsden.

2021 Dates: 14 to the 28 August 2021.

Fourth Saturday in August to the First Saturday in September

Staffordshire: Leek.

2021 Dates: 28 August to the 04 September 2021.

First Saturday in September to the Second Saturday in September

Lancashire: Bolton, Rochdale, Royton, Oldham, Chadderton, Crompton, Shaw, Turton, Whitworth, Whitefield, Wigan, Walkden, Hollinwood, Little Lever, Horwich, Kearsley, Westhoughton, Lees, Littleborough, Little Hulton, Radcliffe, Failsworth and Farnworth.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Saddleworth villages.

2021 Dates: 04 to the 11 September 2021.

Second Saturday in September to the Third Saturday in September

Lancashire: Atherton, Bamber Bridge, Barrowford, Brierfield, Burnley, Calder Vale, Colne, Hindley Green, Lostock Hall, Leigh, Leyland, Padiham, Tyldesley, Chorley, Darwen and Preston.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Halifax, Barnoldswick, Earby and Todmorden.

2021 Dates: 11 to the 18 September 2021.

Third Saturday in September to the Fourth Saturday in September

Lancashire: Accrington, Bacup, Blackburn, Church, Bury, Oswaldtwistle, Rawtenstall, Waterfoot, Whalley, Heywood, Haslingden, Clitheroe, Great Harwood, and Tottington.

West Riding of Yorkshire: Skipton and Silsden.

Cheshire: Stalybridge.

Derbyshire: Glossop.

2021 Dates: 18 to the 25 September 2021.

Fourth Saturday in September to the Fifth Saturday in September (or the First Saturday in October)

Lancashire: Swinton and Pendlebury.

2021 Dates: 25 September to the 02 October 2021.

FIFTh Saturday in September to the First Saturday in October (or the First Saturday to the Second Saturday in October)

Cheshire: Macclesfield.

2021 Dates: 02 to the 09 October 2021.

Third or Fourth Saturday in October to the Fourth Tuesday in October

Cheshire: Congleton.

2021 Dates: 23 to the 26 October 2021.

And Finally…

When you go on holiday, do you book your days off on any of the Wakes Weeks, even in 2021? Do you have any fond memories of the Wakes Weeks from your working lives? Feel free to comment and share your memories.

S.V., 02 May 2021.

2 thoughts on “The Wonder of Wakes Weeks

  1. Talking about wonders, you might not believe this little wonder, but from May 30th High Peak are running a Sunday service from Manchester Airport to Alton Towers! Nope, I’m not joking, what it is in reality is a 199 morning journey to Buxton continuing via Hartington to Alton Towers as X99, and a late afternoon through bus returning the same way. So, residents of Stockport will have a through bus to Alton Towers, with a journey time of 2 hours. This set up will run right through the Summer every Sunday until late August. Times are on the High Peak website under the 199 service change.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, almost forgot, South Pennine are making changes to the 351 Holmfirth Glossop bus in mid May. It’ll run on Saturdays instead of Fridays to a totally new timetable. 3 journeys each way with an earlier start and later afternoon finish, thus giving day trippers a chance to have plenty of time to wander and wonder when wandering around the Longendale valley.

    Like

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