Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30am Monday 14th April 08

Wigan History Shop



Tom Price (Chair, Wigan Civic Trust), Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society), Peter Guy (Gin Pit Village), John Hill (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Rev Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church), Carol Littler (Local History Researcher), Councillor John O'Neil (Wigan Council), Rachel Orme (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Emma Scott (Community Empowerment Programme), Peter Taylor, Zenno Vattev (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust)

Apologies - Joe Taylor (Billinge History & Heritage Society)

1.0. Welcome

1.1. Tom price welcomed everyone to the meeting

2.0. Apologies

2.1. Apologies were noted and recorded

3.0. Minutes from last meeting

3.1. The minutes were agreed as a correct record. Tom reported that because of lack of numbers, the group were unable to have an AGM at the last meeting. He also explained that Nick Clarke from Environmental Services gave a presentation on the new Local Development Framework.

4.0. Matters Arising

4.1. None

5.0. Heritage Lottery Day, 10am, Friday 9th May 08, Robin Park Arena

5.1. Emma explained the day would give people the opportunity to learn more about the HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) and where it fits in Wigan Strategically.

5.2. Zenno said that he would be attending and that the day was open to anyone interested in the subject. He went on to say that the network would now have a role in selecting / deciding which applications should be put forward and be more strategically cost effective

5.3. Emma said that she would find some information about the day and circulate it to the group.

5.4. Councillor O'Neil requested that the Heritage Lottery Fund be put on the agenda at the next meeting

Action: John Hill to put Heritage Lottery Fund on Agenda at next meeting

6.0. Wigan Hall

6.1. Tom Price shared in great detail about the history of Wigan Hall. He explained that preliminary restivity surveys had revealed that Wigan Hall was a prime site and that nothing had been done there since at least 1870. Tom said that digging would start in the very near future and that he was exited about the prospect. He handed out photographs of the Hall to the group.

6.2. Ray explained that a builder had been living in the hall on a temporary basis until he built a house for himself. He said that the arrangement with the diocese was conditional in that he makes sure the condition of the house does not deteriorate.

6.3. Tom Price shared about the coat of arms at the hall and explained that it was similar to that of the Duke of Lancaster.

6.4. Ray said that he would make enquiries about the coat of arms and that he would report back at the next meeting. Ray concluded by saying that it would be good to involve the Deanery High School in the project because the school is adjacent to Wigan Hall.

Action: Ray to report about Wigan Hall coat of arms at next meeting. Ray to speak to Deanery School Governors regarding assisting with dig at Wigan Hall.

7.0. Fred Holcroft Plaque

7.1. Tom Price reported that Fred was a local historian and a member of the Heritage Network. He explained that Fred had recently passed away and that the group wanted to buy a commemorative plaque in remembrance of him. Tom said that it would cost £95 to purchase it and have it engraved.

7.2. Zenno explained that the group could apply to Community Chest funding to buy the plaque. He said that he would advise the group regarding completing the application.

7.3. The group agreed to consider Zenno's offer.

Action: The group agreed to consider Zenno's offer.

7.4. John Hill explained to the group that they should consider completing funding application to pay for running costs such as, venue hire for meetings and stationary provision in the first year. He also said that the group would not be eligible to apply for running cost support in the second year. Again Zenno offered his assistance to the group.

7.5. Again the group agreed to consider Zenno's offer. The group went on to discuss meeting venues and agreed that the best place to meet was the History Shop.

7.6. Rachel said that the group would be able to meet at the History Shop until September 08 and again after the refurbishments are completed in August / September 09. The group were happy with Rachel's proposal and said that they would look for possible venues to meet during the refurbishment period.

Action: All group members to look for venues to cover meetings in the refurbishment period and report back at next meeting.

8.0. Mesnes Park Boer War Memorial Statue

8.1. Tom Price and Carol reported about a recent dig at Mesnes Park. They said that the dig was unfruitful, but Wigan Archaeological Society would carry on in trying to find the statue.

8.2. Zenno said that he would investigate how much it would cost to restore the statue and report back at the next meeting.

Action: Zenno to report back to group at next meeting with restoration costs for statue

8.3. Rachel said that she would like to link the Boer War Memorial Statue into the school curriculum and would invite group members to attend the next memorial meeting. She also said that she would involve the park rangers in the process. Tom Price said that he would contact Rachel regarding date and venue.

Action: Tom Price to contact Rachel regarding attendance at next Boer War Memorial Group meeting

8.4. Tom Glover said that the BBC was interested in running a story about the Boer War Memorial. He continued and stated that his group would like to offer restivity meter training to local schools and anyone else from the heritage sector that are interested.

Action: Wigan Archaeological Society to offer restivity meter training to local schools and anyone interested from the heritage sector

9.0. Future Support of Heritage Network from Community Empowerment Programme

9.1. Emma explained that funding support for her team had ceased in March. She said that her team had been given a 3 month extension and have been commissioned by the Council / LSP to map faith and race groups to meet equality and diversity requirements. Emma said that she would have to step back from supporting the network and concentrate on working with World in Wigan, ETNA and Disability Forum groups.

9.2. John Hill offered to assist the group regarding capacity building issues. The group discussed the matter and John said that he would deliver training on How to Chair Meetings and Minute Taking at the History Shop on Friday 2nd May 10.30am - 12.30pm. Finally John said that he would assist the group with admin issues until they had received the training.

Action: John to deliver training on How to Chair Meetings and Minute Taking at the History Shop on Friday 2nd May 10.30am - 12.30pm. John to assist the group with admin issues until they receive relevant training

10.0. Any Other Business

10.1. Emma handed out a Heritage Network Action Plan and went through it with the group. After discussion, the following actions were agreed to take place at the AGM at the History Shop on Friday 6th June 10.30am

· Change the constitution to reflect membership fee of £6.00
· Extend the networks membership
10.2. Tom Glover shared about the Roman Road dig at St Williams School in Ince. He advised that a bridle had been found, along with a 14th century brick found in the presbytery garden. Tom said that a report of the findings would be forwarded to the Council of British Archaeology.

10.3. Rachel asked that any good news stories should be sent to her for consideration in the Past Forward magazine.

10.4. Tom Price to forward relevant information to Rachel.

Action: Tom Price to forward relevant information to Rachel

11.0. Dates of next meetings at Wigan History Shop

· Chairperson and Minute Taking Training - Friday 2nd May 10.30am
· AGM - Friday 6TH June 10.30am.

John Hill
April 08