Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 15th October 2007 at the Children's Library


Cllr John O'Neil (Wigan MBC), Jason Kennedy (Conservation Officer) Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), Tom Price & Brain Parr (Civic Trust), Carol Littler (Local History Researcher) Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society), Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village), Philip Butler (L&CT)


Max Finney (Friends of Wigan Heritage/Over 50s forum), Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society), Glenys McClellan & Margery Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Tony Hilton (NW Catholic History Society, Friends of Wigan Boer War Memorial), Peter Goodwin (Mirablis Media), Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Barbara Rhodes (Aspull & Heigh Historical Society), Michael Walker & Zenno Vattev (L&CT)

Minutes of Last Meeting:

True and accurate.

Matters Arising:

John O'Neill indicated that L&CT were happy for Wigan Archaeology Society to do a resistivity survey in Mesnes Park to try to locate the missing Boar War memorial, which was removed 12 September 1968 and had brought along a map that might well prove be useful in locating the memorial.

John also spoke about establishing closer links with Wigan Archaeology Society and the planning department and suggested they arrange to meet with Martin Kimber. Jason Kennedy agreed to help arrange this meeting.

There was some discussion about the extreme disappointment felt at the inadequate Roman Bath House provided by the developers of the Grand Arcade. After months of consultation, what had been agreed had not happened and all parties had been totally let down. Heritage is an extremely valuable commodity that could easily bring visitors to the Borough (one only needs to think of Chester and Bath) if it was preserved and presented with intelligence and foresight.

Report on the Heritage Subgroup:

Philip Butler reported back from the recent Heritage Sub-group meeting (5th Oct 2007 at the History Shop). The theme had been 'Heritage and Young People' and the Trust introduced two speakers, Rachel Orme, the newly appointed Heritage Learning & outreach manager, and Andrea Smith, the Youth Development Officer.

The group stimulated much interesting and useful discussions about the role of Heritage to teach and guide our young people and some very positive ideas for getting them involved.

The next sub-group meeting will be on 10th January 2008 and the theme will probably be either Heritage and Health or Heritage and Regeneration.

Curating in the Community:

Philip Butler updated the group as to this community initiative. We were very encouraged with the applications for the scheme. Six were received and the Heritage Service felt that four of these fitted the guidelines and could be supported. The new Learning and Outreach Manager for the Trust, Rachel Orme, will be following these four projects up with the sponsoring group and setting up a contract with each. Work is to start immediately. More encouraging still it has been agreed to hold future rounds of this initiative, so a second round of applications for support will be encouraged in the New Year.

Progress with the Heritage DVD:

Emma reported that she, Zenno, John Hesketh, Peter Goodwin and Joe had meet 19 September to develop the funding application. She distributed and paper outlining the purpose of the project, the intended audience, the Aims and Objectives and budget estimation. Please call Emma with comments and inquires 01942 686238.

BLINT list update:

Jason reported that he will be conducting a presentation about this project at Haigh Hall 19th October, starting at 10.00 am. The aim is the update the BLINT list for the Borough and then make it a Supplementary Planning Document, following the criteria outlined in the Local Development Framework.

This project is of major significance as far as the Heritage of the Borough is concerned. It has the potential of involving large sections of the community and igniting a much wider interest in Heritage matters. Heritage Network, in conjunction with Borough Wide Community Network and the Community Empowerment Program have been holding Heritage themed meetings around the Townships for the last 12 months, to promote interest in local Heritage and to identify people who might help with the updating of the BLINT list when the time comes. The project will probably be launched in January 2008. Intense advertising, via the Council's publications, will be used and the opportunity to propose buildings and structures online will be offered. When nominations are finalised, a panel will select buildings and structures against the criteria and the owners of those selected will be notified.

At a previous Heritage Network meeting, Peter Guy had been suggested the BLINT list should be recorded by GPS and uploaded to Council's GIS department. Since that time, a business plan for Heritage Network to update the list with GPS for one township, as a pilot project, has been developed and Joe will give a presentation about this proposal, on behalf of Heritage Network, at the event at Haigh Hall on the 19th

Heritage Network Representation at Other Forums:

There will be opportunities for Heritage Network members to nominate for representation on other forums, such as the Thematic Partnerships, at the Borough Wide Community Network AGM 29th November.

Tom Price represented us at the Encompass meeting October 8th and it was agreed that he would continue to do so.

Joe Taylor cannot attend the Cultural Partnership meeting 16th October, due to a Collage commitment. Brain Parr will attend on our behalf.

Places Available for Capacity Building:

Emma explained the large range of options for training and capacity building available to Network members. Anyone interested should get in touch with her. For example, there are places available for a convention in Kendal on the 9th of November.

Dates and Venues for Next Year:

We had set the schedule of meeting until December this year. It was agreed that we would continue to meet every six weeks, alternating between Mondays and Fridays at venues yet to be finalised.

The next meeting will be therefore be on Friday 30th November at a venue yet to be decided


Tom Price bought along a map dated 1881 with and detailed plan of Haigh Hall, including the cast iron bridge. He also had a newspaper article about the wooden pit-head winding gear that had originally come from Bispham Colliery in Billinge.