HMS CABBALA / SCOTIA NORTH / LOWTON CIVIC HALLS / THE ROSE CENTRE
However in 1942 before the first Risley worker could be housed , the plans were changed and it was decided that it would become a land - based ship to be known as “HMS Cabbala .” T his would be a Royal Navy sign als training centre. The trainees came from all across the country to be trained in top secret methods of sending and receiving codes , esp ecially the use of Morse Code.
There were about 600 sailors and 60 WRENS on board the ship until 1946. There is a mem orial plaque to HMS Cabbala in the entrance hall erected in 1983.
After it was vacated by the Navy it was renovated and got ready for the next chapter in its life, as a hostel for displaced people from Eastern Europe , most of whom found work in the local coal mines. By 1948 most of these people had bought their own homes or moved into council houses and the site once again needed a new use. It was taken over by the Ministry of Works who converted it into a housing village for American service personnel an d their families from the base at Burtonwood The village Scotia North with its ideal facilities had an American forces shop (PX) and a bank added. The Americans remained here until 1960 and the then Golborne Urban District Council took the site over .
As an economy measure Wigan intended to close most of its public halls in 2011. Lowton Civic Halls are now being r un by a commercial organisation Rose Leisure Limited who have re - named it “The Rose Centre.” However the locals still refer to it as the Civic Hall
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