Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting & AGM minutes

10.30 a.m. July 30th 2012 at Tudor House, Hindley

Present - John O'Neill (Greenheart Partnership Board), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Dave Wilson (Bickershaw Conservation Group/Wigan Biodiversity Group), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society), Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Vince French (Atherton)

Apologies - David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society/Chowbent Chapel), Huttson Lo (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Jackie Roberts (Bridleways), Jan Johnston (LENDF), John Hill (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Peter Taylor & Tom Price (Wigan Civic Trust), Tony Bishop (Leigh Ornithological Society, Brain Parr (Discovery Group), Allan Roberts (Wigan RSPB), Glenys McClellan Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Liz Vango-Smith (Lancashire Wildlife Trust) Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Steve Higham (British Waterways)

The Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Minutes of the last AGM confirmed as being true and accurate

Annual Report (chair):

The chair expressed thanks on behalf of the network for the support received from the various organizations, societies and regular attendees. Various officers from Wigan Council, Museum of Wigan Life, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit & Lesure and Culture Trust have been very supportive, including Martin Purcell, Jason Kennedy, Carol Tyldesley, Huttson Lo, Alex Miller, and Rachel Bryant, among others.

Peter Goodwin was integral to the production of the heritage DVD and took minutes when the secretary was unavailable.

The highlights of the year included:

GMAU's publication of Roman Wigan with the help of WAS
The dig at Etherstone Hall
The Cultural Olympiad Performance Reward Grants via Cultural Partnership
The successful HLF bids for work on the Kirkless Site & Wigan Parish Church
The Local History Essay Competition
Our first Celebration Evening event
The Heritage DVD launch event at the Town Hall in September
Our site visits
Providing representation on a number of forums such as the Cultural Partnership, the Heritage Sub-Group and the Greenheart Forum and helping to raise the profile for Environment and Heritage across the Borough, including the future Youth Zone and the Local Development Framework.

Disappointments included:

The loss of Hindley Museum
Slow progress on the Boer War memorial in Mesnes Park
Lack of a recognised joint working partnership with relevant Council departments
Failure to get more recognition for Lancashire Day and the National History/Heritage Day/Month

Statement of Accounts (treasurer):

Presented and accepted.

Election of Management Committee:

John O'Neill- chair, Avis Freeman- vice chair, Peter Taylor- treasurer, Joe Taylor- secretary, Jackie Roberts & Richard Savill- members.

Ordinary Meeting:


Amendments have been proposed to the Local Development Framework by Central Government concerning land for housing development throughout the borough. The relevant documentation has been forwarded for members of the Network to consider and circulate.

Minutes of the last meeting: true and accurate

Matters Arising:

Richard explained the concept and implications of QR Code Reading for Peter's benefit as he had missed the last meeting. It may be an idea to organize a full presentation on this topic at some future date.

2012 - 2015 Program:

A workshop - possibly a community visioning exercise
Visit to Dam House and Crooke Village
Annual Celebration Evening at the MOWL from 6.00- 8.00 on the 1st of November
Support Lancashire Day
Support Local History Day/Month May/June
Help preserve and maintain the borough's War Memorials

Action Plan for 2012 - 2015

A number of amendments to the previous three year plan were proposed and discussed. The new program will be brought to the next meeting for further discussion and possible acceptance

Members News and Reports:

Richard Sivill reported that:

A QR trail was launched around Howe Bridge on the 25th July 2012. 27 sites have been installed containing information and the history of the area. The cost of each site is of the order of £35 plus installation, compared to £3000 for a notice board site.
If any group is interested in considering this option, Richard Sivill will offer advice and contacts.

Assistance has been given to Lancashire Wildlife on the heritage of the Kirkless site and a brief history has been written. See the web page for detail of events and activities

A meeting with Redrose Forest to discuss the history of the Lightshaw Meadows area will take place at the Museum of Wigan Life on the 16th August 2012 starting at 5.00 pm, all contributions are welcome.

Avis Freeman reported on the visit by the Duke of Gloucester on the 5th of July to open the marina and the greenheart jubilee way.

Geoff Jones reported on a recent meeting with English Heritage re the headgear at Astley Green Colliery Museum, the winding engine is running, work is needed on the compressor and the railway should be working by the end of the year.

Mary Pennington provided members with a printed update of the dig at the Wigan Rectory by Wigan Archaeology Society

Date & Times of Next Meetings;

For the remainder of this year - 10th September, 22nd October, 3rd December
For 2013 - 14th January, 25th February, 8th April, 20th May