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Why Pyke's Weint?

Published: 30th May 2009 10:50

Pyke's WeintPyke's Weint, off Neston High Street

Can any of our site visitors help with this one?:

You write about Pyke's Weint in the news letter. I would like to know the meaning and origin of the word Weint and its relationship to Pyke's in Pyke's Weint. I have tried various reference books, all to no avail in the quest to find an answer. Your assistance or your readers, would be appreciated.

Les Walker, Neston.

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Rob Ward
At 23:15 on 30th May 2009, Rob Ward commented:
The article below has just appeared in Neston Civic Society's Newsletter. It's a place to find out about Neston and the area! Membership is £5 per household a year -contact is Janet Griffiths (janet.griffiths@nestoncivicsociety.org.uk or phone 0151 336 5478)
What’s a weint?
In Neston we have Poplar Weint, a narrow path between Liverpool Road and Leighton Road, and Penningtons Weint, a passage from High Street to the Chester Road car park, between Goulbourne’s greengrocer and Phillip Bates Financial Services. In Parkgate we have Mealors Weint, a short road off the Parade.
None of my dictionaries defines weint. An internet search (confused by the large number of songs in German about weeping!) shows that other places in the North West have a weint.

In Cumbria, Ulverston propose to upgrade The Weint, a small yard linking Buxton Place Car Park to Ulverston town centre – which sounds very like our Penningtons Weint. Great Urswick, also in Cumbria, has a long footpath called Weint Lane, which becomes a walled lane.

In Liverpool, East of Georges Dock Basin, Prison Weint is an ancient passage off Water Street, and was formerly called Stringers-alley. Liverpool also has Ogden Weint, which is described as having been opened out so it was no longer an alley, but an open space. Gatacre has Grange Weint.

In Wigan, The Weind used to be spelt Weint, and in 1825 three residents were listed.

Rixton, Warrington, also has The Weint.

Nearer home we have a Wiend in Rock Ferry, and another in Bebington. Is that the same word?

I suppose weint is a synonym for alley, and perhaps some members of the Civic Society know the history of the word.

Meanwhile it would be good to preserve the word. Maybe other alleys could be named. For example, a little alley leads from West Drive to a footpath along the old colliery railway branch line, and then to Old Quay Lane. A tiny alley joins Manorial Road South with Manorial Road North, and from there a little alley leads to the southern end of The Parade. As far as I know, none of these has a name. Neston is full of such alleys/ weints, and it would be good to have a map that showed them.

In January 2009 Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council voted to improve Pennington’s Weint and Pyke’s Weint. Staff in Neston Town Hall didn’t know where Pyke’s Weint was, but helpfully got me a map. This shows in handwriting Pyke’s Weint running from High Street between Galen Pharmacy and the closed camera shop, which is used for vehicles part of the way, and then becomes a footpath to the Chester Road car park. So far, it has no sign, but I’ve suggested to the council that the improvements should include a sign.

In Neston 1840 – 1940 (published by Burton and South Wirral Local History Society 1996) p 142 says that the Wirral hundred court, sometimes called the Wirral Wapentake was held at Neston (then the largest township in Wirral) in a building at the northern corner of Pykes Weint from 1829 to 1853.

Page 181 of Neston 1840 – 1940 says that in1902 a woman and her two daughters were convicted of keeping a brothel in Pyke's Weint. These three were commemorated in a Neston rhyme: "Talk about Pyke's Weint, We have the best of any, We have got the best three girls, Et, Kit and Nelly."

After I wrote this, I found that Clive Edwards wrote an article on Pennington’s Weint for the Neston Civic Society Newsletter no. 54, Autumn/ Winter 1997. His ancestors were Penningtons and he paid for the street name. He comments that the word weint appears around Newcastle-on-Tyne, and that it is a Scandinavian word.
At 18:21 on 1st June 2009, zizithus commented:
Weint (alternative Waint) is defined in the 'Chambers Scots Dialect Dictionary' complied by Alexander Warrick, M A and originally published in 1911.

There are a number of definitions including 'a moment', 'a transient sight', or 'the bend of a fishing line when not cast in one stretch'.

With regard to the usage as in 'Pyke Weint', the definition of 'Weint' is either 'a narrow passage' or 'an alley'.

Phil McGinty, Neston

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