Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30 a.m. October 22nd 2012 at Tudor House, Hindley

Present - John O'Neill (Greenheart Partnership Board), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Vince French (Atherton), Jackie Roberts (Bridleways), Richard Sivill & Mabel Jones (Atherton Heritage), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Anne Rampling (Wigan MBC) Yvonne Web & Pete Gascoigne (Wigan L& CT), Peter Taylor and George Hollingworth (Wigan Civic Trust), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Clair Riley (Wigan Diggers), Simon Martin (Leigh Model Railways Association), Tony Bishop (Leigh Ornithological Society,

Apologies - Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Allan Roberts (Wigan RSPB), Dave Wilson (Bickershaw Conservation Group), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society/Chowbent Chapel), Huttson Lo (Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust), John Hill (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Tom Price (Wigan Civic Trust), Brain Parr (Discovery Group), Liz Vango-Smith (Lancashire Wildlife Trust), Steve Higham (British Waterways)

The Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

A presentation was made to Richard Savill from the Greenheart Partnership Board


Carole Tyldesley has retired from Wigan Lesure & Culture Trust after a prolonged injury. The Network wish to express it's thanks for her help and advice and hopes she enjoys her retirement.

The Celebration Evening will be held at the Museum of Wigan Life, starting 6.00 on the 1st of November.


Pete Gascoigne introduced Yvonne Web who gave a presentation concerning the New Collections Development Policy, which will go to Council 19th November with written comments to her by 29 October. The Museum of Wigan Life will be applying for the collection to be accredited and part of that process is to explain to our network and the wider public what the collection policy consists of. Yvonne left her contact details and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation will be attached to the minutes when they are circulated.

Mary Pennington asked if the finds that Wigan Archaeology Society has stored are of any interest to the museum. Yvonne said that the borough archaist should be involved

Tony asked about items that the ornithology society have in their possession. She said that the museum would be interested in discussing the matter.

Glenys asked how the public would get to see the various items. Yvonne explained that library space would be unutilized as far as possible, and other venues such as schools, providing security requirements could be met.

George asked about using empty shops fronts and asked where the art that was formerly at Drumcroon House was stored. Peter Gascoigne will inquire.

Minutes of the last meeting: true and accurate

Matters Arising:

There was some further discussion regarding amendments proposed to the Local Development Framework by Central Government concerning land for housing development throughout the borough. Council have indicted to Central Government that they can not consider further areas for development as suggested unless they re-draft the entire Local Development Framework, which will take several years.

Members Reports:

Geoff Jones provided this report regarding Astley Green Colliery:

This week sees the engineering survey carried out of the 100 years old Headgear over No1. Shaft. This is being conducted by outside contractors using a 'cherry picker' and abseiling. The object is twofold. Firstly to provide information as to anything which needs to be done to ensure that the Headgear is safe and has not deteriorated to the point where it can cause problems to our members and the visiting public. Secondly to advise what the full financial and practical extent of work needs to be carried out to restore it to its former glory. The survey has been funded from both English Heritage and local council funding.

Progress in ballasting and levelling the railway extension continues prior to the provision of platforms and two level crossings. Most of the funding for this came from Viridor who have a landfill site on the other side of the canal from us.
We have suffered another break in but fortunately nothing was stolen due to the alarm system ensuring that the culprit beat a hasty retreat. We caught the person on cctv but as he was fully disguised with hat, mask and gloves the police did not wish to pursue the matter so we ended up with a crime number only!

Restoration of the giant Winding Engine is now almost complete to the point where we should be able to operate it on the first Sunday of every month once the final tweaks have been administered.

Visits by schools and other interested parties continue as well as outreach activities when possible.

Tony Bishop reported that Pennington Flash is infested with mink and the ornithology society is in need of help in this matter. They are going around giving presentations to various local groups and are available on request.

Clair Riley, reported on the success of the Wigan Diggers Festival held September 8th and it was decided that E&H Network should explore means of becoming involved in the next Festival, given its exposure and central locality.

Other Business:

John O'Neil thinks we should get a logo designed and various suggestions were made about that.

Date & Times of Next Meetings:

3rd December, 14th January, 25th February, 8th April, 20th May