Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30am Monday 11th May 2009

Tudor House, Hindley

Present - Tom Price (Vice Chair) & Peter Taylor (Wigan Civic Trust); Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists); Dave Wilson, (Bickershaw Conservation Group); Tom Glover (Wigan Archaeological Society); Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage Society); Anthony Bishop (Leigh Ornithological Society); David Lythgoe (Friends of Wigan Heritage); Margery Harrop (Leigh & District Family History Society); Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum); John Hill (Wigan Leisure &Culture Trust); Glenys McClellan (Leigh & District Family History Society); Rachel Orme (Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust; Jason Kennedy & Jenny Tunney ( Wigan Council Planning)

Apologies - John O'Neill (Greenheart Partnership Board); Ray Hutchinson (Wigan Parish Church); Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group); David Smallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society); Joe Taylor (Billinge History / Heritage Society); Simon Martin (Lancs Local History Federation); Jackie Roberts (E.T.N.A); Carol Tyldesley, and Zenno Vattev (Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust);

1.0. Welcome

1.1. Tom Price welcomed everyone to the meeting

2.0. Apologies

2.1. Apologies were noted and recorded. John Hill also passed on a message from Ray Hutchinson regarding his church open day on the 6th June 09. Ray has given permission for groups to put up stalls and promote themselves on the day at Wigan Parish Church.

3.0. Presentation - Learning and Outreach Team (Rachel Orme)

3.1. Rachel informed the group that the Cultural Partnership Heritage Sub Group meeting had been cancelled and would be re-arranged. Geoff Jones suggested that the sub group meeting should take place before the Heritage Network meeting. The group agreed.

Action: Rachel to pass information to Carol Tyldesley.

3.2. Rachel informed the group that the recent History Shop Exhibition consultation report had been written up and that an update letter would be circulated soon.

3.3. Following on from the exhibition and to complement the work already completed, Rachel reported that different exhibition workshops would be held in schools and the community every 4 months from now. She said that the first exhibition would be about Wigan Archaeological Society's 'Romans Project'. Rachel asked members to submit ideas on what they would like to see take place at this and the other exhibitions and what them as an audience would pay to see. She recorded all the suggestions put forward from the group members. Rachel also asked the group if any of them were interested in being guest speakers at some of these future events. Richard Sivill, Anthony Bishop and Geoff Jones volunteered.

3.4. Dave Wilson suggested that one of the exhibitions could be about the Borough's first conservationist Tom Edmondson. He also shared about the upcoming ceremony at Pennington Flash on 9th June in which a new bird hide would be named after Mr Edmondson.

3.5. Tom Price asked Rachel if the Fred Aldcroft plaque would still have a designated area in the refurbished History Shop. Rachel will raise the issue with colleagues at the History Shop and will report back.

3.6. Rachel asked the group if she could meet with them separate from this meeting to hold a focus group in relation to the exhibitions. The group agreed. Tom thanked Rachel for her input.

4.0. Members News

4.1. Friends of Wigan Heritage - David Lythgoe shared that the family history classes were ongoing as was the digitisation process of the 30,000 images at Leigh Town Hall. He said that new archivist Alex Miller was always on hand to help access the photographs.

4.2. Leigh & District Family History Society - Glenys McClennan reported that the group did not arrange trips out any more. She went on to say that the St Thomas' Lower Ground Church headstone inscription project had been completed. Glenys described how every headstone / monument inscription from 1990 had been indexed and would assist the church as a records resource.

4.3. Astley Green Colliery Museum - Geoff Jones updated about the recent family Easter event that was put on jointly with Heritage Services. He said that it was very well received. Geoff also said that school visits were ongoing and reported that a college from Denmark made a recent visit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Continuing on this theme he shared that some of schoolchildren that visit the museum had never seen a piece of coal before. Geoff also reported that a recent theft had taken place at the museum. Finally he informed the group that a lottery application bid in relation to an education provision was ongoing.

4.4. Heritage Services - Rachel Orme informed the group that the 'Curating in the Community' deadline had been extended to the 1st June and that £2k was still left in the pot.

4.5. Leigh Ornithological Society - Anthony Bishop explained that his group had 100 members. He said that the aims and objectives of the group were to look after birds around Leigh and supply boxes and feed at Pennington Flash. Anthony said that the group met regularly at the Derby Rooms at the Turnpike Centre and regularly visited primary schools in Leigh to give talks.

4.6. Leigh Soroptimists - Avis Freeman reported that her group were currently looking to identify new ideas for projects.

4.7. Bickershaw Conservation Group - Dave Wilson shared that the finished product would include a large amount of his group's recommendations and cited this project as an example of good practice in relation to partnership working. He went on to say that there were still some small issues regarding the footpaths and said that the new information centre would include a mining heritage section. Tom Glover informed the group that it was 50 years since the Bickershaw Colliery explosion.

4.8. Rachel said that an HLF bid had been submitted to produce a DVD called 'Loss of Face' which was about the miners strike in the 1980's.

4.9. Wigan Civic Trust - Peter Taylor informed the group that at his groups last meeting, a presentation was made about the people of Standish and about the churches in the area. He said that the next meeting was tonight the 11th May at Drumcroon.

4.10. Atherton History Society - Richard Sivill reported that a successful presentation was made about chocolate at the group's last meeting. He said that the next two presentations about clocks ('Where Time Goes') and World War 1 War Memorials would be made on 12th May and an unconfirmed date in June respectively.

4.11. Wigan Council Planning Department - Jason Kennedy introduced his new colleague Jenny Tunney to the group and explained her role as new Conservation Officer. He shared about the refined BLINT (Buildings of Local Interest) list and how the final report would go before the Council's Cabinet after the Scrutiny Panel. Finally Jason informed the group about the lottery grant submission in the next 7 days in relation to the refurbishment of the Haigh Windmill. He said that once the improvements were made, it would be opened to the public.

4.12. Wigan Archaeological Society - Tom Glover reported about the Dickenson Mill survey in Aspull and to date Manchester University had not found anything on site. Regarding Wigan Hall, Tom said that the diocese had given permission to excavate 3 sites at Frog Lane to find the moat. Finally Tom explained that his group were confident that they would find the ram pump for the Pullham Fountain at Mesnes Park in the coming weeks.

5.0. Minutes from the Last Meeting 30th March 2009

5.1. Minutes were agreed as a correct record

6.0. Matters Arising

6.1. None

7.0. Heritage Network Action Plan Review 2009 /10

7.1. Tom Price informed the group that this issue would be covered at the AGM on the 22nd June.

8.0. Greenheart Regional Park

8.1. Tom stated that this item would also be deferred to the AGM.

9.0 Any Other Business

9.1. John Hill thanked and praised Tom Price for chairing the meeting so well. The group agreed.

10.0 Time Date and venue of next meeting AGM on Monday 22nd June, Tudor House, Hindley. Topics on the agenda include:

· Resignation of old committee and election of new committee
· Amalgamation of Heritage Network and ETNA
· Talk from Mike Mathews Wigan Town Centre Manager
· Update on Heritage Network Action Plan - John O'Neill
· Update on Greenheart Project - John O'Neill