Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting held

held on Monday 17 July 2006 at the Wigan History Shop


Joe Taylor (Billinge History & Heritage Society, Barbara Rhodes (Aspull & Haigh Historical Society), Stephen Hodges (Groundwork), John Wogan (Goose Green), Fred Holcroft (Winstanley), Philip Butler (History Shop), Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society), Norma Ackers (Abram), John Hesketh (WLCT), Peter Guy & Irene Nicholson (Gin Pit Village), Andrew Heathman (Community Empowerment Programme).

Welcome: Barbara Rhodes and Stephen Hodges

Apologies: Geoff and Marion Brown

Minutes of the last meeting:

The minuets of the last meeting were accepted as true and accurate with the following amendment: Tom Glover explained that on page 2 of the minutes under ‘reports from members’, the process should read “Wigan Council has to use Manchester University but it would be better for them to refer to the Wigan Archaeological Society first for preliminary investigations. This could speed up the process”

Matter Arising:

1. Mapping exercise - from the previous meeting and the example of the Billinge/Orrell Ward exercise, Philip Butler reported that there would be a “Vision for Heritage” agreed by October 2006 and there will be further consultation with local groups during November and December.

2. Heritage Vision - Connected to the mapping exercise, there is an event taking place on Thursday 10 August, 5.30pm to 7.15pm, at Robin Park Arena for all stakeholders to receive a presentation on Wigan L&CT Heritage Vision and to agree detailed work to develop the action plan. All members of the Heritage Network are invited to attend. The action plan will be based on the agreed purposes, the set of objectives and where & how the vision will be implemented .

Aims and Objectives:

Following discussion, these were agreed as set out in the previous minutes with the amendment to omit point 2 of the objectives and to include this paragraph in a separate heading ‘Future Action Plan’.

The Aims and Objectives now read

Wigan Borough Heritage Network


To provide a forum where persons and community based organisations, concerned with archaeology, history and heritage matters throughout the Wigan Borough, are able meet on a regular basis, to exchange news, views and aspirations

To promote interest in and maintain appreciation of the archaeology, history and heritage of the entire Wigan Borough, its culture, buildings and natural environment, by whatever means are within the capabilities of the Wigan Borough Heritage Network


To support, promote and resource members and member organisations in achieving the aims of the Wigan Borough Heritage Network

To work in partnership with relevant Wigan Council Departments and Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust in matters concerning archaeology, heritage and history

To provide community representation on the LSP and relevant thematic partnerships

Future Action Plan

To identify and map all points of heritage significance throughout the Wigan Borough and to devise strategies to preserve them for future generations

Partnerships & representation

John Hesketh reported that at present, there isn’t a “heritage sector” representative on the Culture Partnership and suggested this new network could fill this vacancy.

Andrew Heathman agreed, stating that one of the roles of the CEP is to try to encourage representation from all the community-based networks on the LSP’s (Local Strategic Partnership’s) structures.

Joe Taylor research the role such a representative would have to play in detail and report back at the next meeting.

Reports From Members:

Tom Glover – reported that there is a week of events culminating in an open day at the Arts Theatre of Rose Bridge School. 40 Children aged 10-12 yrs from across the borough, including Kingsdown School, Pemberton, are involved in creating a model of the bathhouse found at the Galleries and mosaics.

Philip Butler – reported that many of the summer schemes are devoting time to heritage themes.

Barbara Rhodes – reported that the Aspull & Haigh Historical society meet monthly and have guest speakers and it was noted that there are a many local history groups active in the Borough

Stephen Hodges – reported that although Groundwork is involved in youthworks (After-school and holiday clubs), environmental services, project development and fundraising, there isn’t a heritage project included at present but it is an idea for future activities.

Joe Taylor – reported that The Billinge History/Heritage Society is to produce a DVD about local dialect, in conjunction with Don Lewis, author of ‘The Billingers’ and ‘The Road From Wigan Pier’ in August.

Peter Guy – reported that there is potential for more work to be done to link up the Tyldesley, Howe Bridge and Astley areas to the Heritage Network and to form of a Heritage Trail.

It was agreed that there is still some more work to be done to discover what other local heritage and history groups exist within the borough so that they can be included within the network and future consultations. It was suggesed that all partners should consider what other groups and persons could join the Heritage Network and send the details to Joe

Date, Time & Venue for the next meeting

Monday 18 September 2006 11.00AM At The History Shop Library Street Wigan