Leigh-lovers hit back at harsh critic’s review

MANY of us adore Leigh’s old town, its cockle sheds, history and beautiful beaches overlooking the estuary – but one angry resident has insisted the town isn’t all it’s cracked out to be.

Loyal Leigh-lovers have now banded together to defend the very place they call home, after it received a rather not-so-kind review on satirical website I Live Here, which ranks the worst places to live in the UK.

Among the damning critic’s claims were how commonplace fights are in Leigh and how there was a “weird kind of snobbery” among residents who apparently see themselves as better than others in the area.

In fact, they even went as far to describe the town as a “bucket of p***”.

Leigh has avoided being named in the top 50 worst places – along with it being named as the second happiest place to live in Britain in 2017 – it hasn’t made it through completely unscathed.

Carole Mulroney, Liberal Democrats councillor for Leigh Ward, says the comments are merely “words on paper” and fail to reflect the many wonderful things the town really does have to offer.

She explained: “As a resident, councillor and someone who has an ancestry here in Leigh, I know it is very much a tight-knit community. You know when anything goes wrong people will pull together.

“For example all those who have helped in the pandemic like the churches and Salvation Army. You wouldn’t get this same response if we didn’t have that.

“I love looking at the water from the top of Church Hill. We have fantastic places like the Leigh Library Gardens, a lot of people love watching the boats, the library is 180 years old, and we have some really old pubs too like the Crooked Billet and the Peterboat.

“There’s a history of fishing and boat building too – Leigh even provisioned and sent ships to help fight the Spanish Armada in 1588.

“It is a place I’m really passionate about, I’ve lived here a while and my ancestors go back something like 400 years.

“And yes, we do have our problems – but this is the same as anywhere else.”

Lisa Marks, who lives in Leigh, has applauded the town for having “something for everyone.”

The 52-year-old, said: “What I really like is that there’s so many creative people.

“You have lots of artists, photographers, writers, it’s just so vibrant. It is one of the best places to live in the county, without a doubt.”

Even the roads in Leigh took a hammering during the harsh review, with the narrow streets and lack of parking apparently leading to a “haven of aggression on the roads, with BMWs and 4x4s all vying for supremacy”.

The critic said: “The main pastime at night is looking for people who aren’t from Leigh, in order to look down their powdered noses at them. Fights are common place and the over-bearing atmosphere is one of joyless faux-snobbery.

“After 1am, local cab drivers prefer to avoid Leigh, due to the possibility of violence or being verbally abused for not being from Leigh.

“It is truly a horror, and, as someone from one of the ‘lesser’ areas you would not get me to live there for anything.”

“So Leigh then: It thinks it’s a glass of champagne, when really it’s a bucket of p***.”

Shocked, fisherman Paul Gilson – who is also chairman of Leigh Town Council – said: “I can’t believe this. We have people waning to come and live here, so how can it be so bad?

“There’s the cliffs at Marine Parade, a buzzing high street with lots of indepedent traders which is bucking the trend – I count myself lucky to live here.”

Echo | News