Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 7th September 2007 at the Wigan History Shop


Cllr John O'Neil (Wigan MBC), Max Finney (Friends of Wigan Heritage/Over 50s forum), Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), Tom Price (Civic Trust), Tom Glover & Brain Parr (Wigan Archaeological Society), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Michael Walker, Philip Butler & Zenno Vattev (L&CT), Carol Littler (Local History Researcher) Tony Hilton (NW Catholic History Society, Friends of Wigan Boer War Memorial), Peter Goodwin (Mirablis Media), Max Finney (Over 50s Forum Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society), Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church) & Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village)

Welcome to Brain Parr from Wigan Archaeological Society

Apologies: Jason Kennedy (Conservation Officer)

Minutes of Last Meeting: True and accurate.

Matters Arising:

The 'Tribes of Leigh' project is now called 'Feeling at Home' and is progressing well.

The next All Network meeting will be at Ince Community Centre 20th September starting at 5.00.

The old grammar school plaque that used to be on the wall outside the History Shop is being repaired in Preston

Tom Price has tried to reach Fred Holcroft's wife repeatedly without success so it was decided go ahead with Tom's words for a memorial plaque. Joe will pass them on to the engraver.

Progress with meetings around the Townships:

Borough Wide Community Network have been holding meetings around the Borough with an Heritage them to help identify what Heritage means to residents and to identify people who might help with the updating of the BLINT list. So far, seven of the ten Townships have been covered but two of those will have to be done again due to lack of response at the initial meetings. All the Townships will be covered by the end of the year and then Emma will submit a full report.

Progress with the DVD and Education:

Zenno gave an update on progress with the funding application. What started out as a comparatively simple project has gown due to the input from schools. John Hesketh, Peter Goodwin Zenno and Joe will meet to sort out the alternatives on September 19. Max Finney will also attend.
Curating in the Community:
Heritage Network has opened a bank account so that member organisations that don't have constitutions and bank accounts can use Heritage Network as an agent for funding applications. Tom Price will pass on the bankbook to Peter Taylor so that he can add his signature.
Several projects were discussed as candidates for the funding L&CT has made available to Heritage Network member organisations.

Tony Hilton and Carole Littler proposed that the Boar War memorial be restored as a tribute to the work Fred Holcroft did for Wigan Borough. Max thinks the original is either in the duck pond or has been taken to a tip. It is unlikely therefore that the original can be renovated so a new casting would have to be done.

Tom Glover and Brain Parr spoke about their project to for an archaeological dig to establish the whereabouts of the Roman Road though Ince. Brain and Joe had taken the GPS co-ordinates of nine locations where the Roman Road is estimated to be from available evidence. Wigan's Planning Department GIS section will be approached to incorporate these GPS co-ordinates into a digital map.

Joe Taylor suggested that Heritage Network could write to all the schools in Wigan telling them about the Heritage DVD now under production, inviting their participation and include a Wigan Accent and a Cultural Vibrancy DVD.

Max Finney spoke about the project that the over 50's have been working on for some time now as is need of further funds.
Tom Price spoke about the cast iron bridge in Haigh Hall that needs repair. It is quite an involved project. Civil engineers would have to be considered to oversee the whole job because of its immensity and public location. When the civic trust considered the project a few years ago, they found that it was too big an undertaking for amateurs. This is a very necessary repair to the bridge and should have been done long ago. Tom also spoke about the old wooden winding gear from Gauntley Colliery that needs restoration and a permanent home.
Ray Hutchinson spoke about his vision of developing an interactive type guide service for the visitors who come to see our historic churches, possibly in partnership with the Wigan Pier Theatre Group.

Joe Taylor spoke about Heritage Network undertaking to update the BLINT list for Orrell Billinge Winstanley Township, using GPS, as a pilot project, to establish a social enterprise that could update the BLINT list with GPS for the entire Borough.

Any Other Business:

Glenys McClellan reported that Family History Workshops are held ever Monday afternoon at Leigh Library.

Tom Glover reported that the re-construction of a Roman Bathhouse in the Grand Arcade complex leaves a lot to be desired as far as authenticity is concerned and suggested we take steps to ensure that the Planning Department is made aware of the expertise possessed by Heritage Network so that early consultation on heritage related projects can be facilitated.

Brain Parr spoke about the possibility of procuring some cobles stones so that at some time in the future a replica of the Roman Road might be constructed.

Max Finney was concerned that the one-stop shop, proposed for the site of the Town Hall, might necessitate the demolition of the Town Hall façade but as this is a listed building, it is most unlikely that that could happen.

Next Meeting: Monday 15th October 11 am Wigan History Shop.