Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30 a.m. May 20th 2013 at Tudor House, Hindley

Present - John O'Neill (Greenheart Partnership Board), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Jackie Roberts (Bridleways), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Allan Roberts (Wigan RSPB).

Apologies - Joe Taylor (Billinge History Society), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society).
The Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting


- What's On - WLCT events listing newsletter is out now for May to July
- Lancashire History Quarterly features Astley Green Colliery Museum.
- Publicity from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust entitled 'Historic Archive goes Live!' promoting their website at www.wlct.org/heritage
- Installment of Tony Hilton as a Papal Knight happened in April and John O'Neill attended. The Network had sent Tony a congratulations card.
- Wigan Townscape Heritage - Wigan Council Heritage Lottery-funded project for Wallgate is almost completed. The frontage of Poole's café is to be restored. Poole's Pies was founded in 1847 by Margaret Poole. All the original furnishings are still intact within café.
- Sunday Telegraph article entitled mapping legacy of the Great War about national plans for remembering World War 1. Heritage Lottery have put aside £15million for WW1 related projects.
- Historic Maps Project has been an initiative between Councillor George David and John O'Neill. First map of Wigan by cartographer John Mather identified as 1827. Project plans to display large reproductions of this and other historic maps on the wall of the approach to Grand Arcade from Millgate from end of summer.
- Jubilee Legacy Walks are initiative from partnership of Greenheart, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and Wigan Council. 15 walks to download from Greenheart website www.visitgreenheart.com
- Wigan Archaeology Society have published their April and May newsletters which are also viewable on their website. They are currently surveying the Kirkless site.
- John O'Neill has met with Linda Jackson who came from Leeds Armoury Museum and is now in charge of the Museum of Wigan Life. She plans to come to our AGM on 1st July. Richard Bealing who was previously in charge of libraries is now in overall charge of 'Culture' across the Borough.
- John O'Neill announced to the meeting that he will not be standing for Chair of the Environment and Heritage Network at the forthcoming AGM on 1st July. John is stepping back from a number of his many commitments. The Network will need to elect a new Chair at the AGM. People in the meeting expressed their gratitude for John's contribution and stated that he would be hard to replace.
- The Network Celebration evening on 24th October will feature awards for community efforts in environment and heritage as well as the annual essay competition in conjunction with Past Forward.
- Past Forward magazine is now being edited by Alex Miller as Yvonne Webb has taken voluntary redundancy from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. The magazine is changing - it will be less pages with a price increase for a trial three editions before its continuation will be reviewed in about a year's time. Many back editions are downloadable from the WLCT website.

Minutes of last meeting - the Chair went through last meeting's minutes. There were no corrections.

Matters arising - none

Members Reports

- There was a book signing related to George Formby at the Grand Arcade. The George Formby Society had given assistance to the authors.
- Neil Forshaw has been involved in the publication of a booklet about the history of Newton-le-Willows horse races which started in 1700s. They were the predecessor of Haydock races and they moved to Haydock c.1898/99 because the Newton races were on common land and they couldn't charge spectators whereas Haydock race course is private land.
- Avis Freeman complimented the display of daffodils on Leigh Bypass near Morrisons which is linked to Borough in Bloom. She informed people that Lowton St. Lukes church newsletter have printed the names from their cenotaph to see if families are still in the area.
- Richard Sivill reported that Howe Bridge have recently had a Pit Wheel and Coal Tub installed at Collier's Corner which is the corner of Lovers Lane and Leigh Road.

Interpreting Our Environment and Heritage Story

John O'Neill talked about his meeting with Richard Sivill and Peter Goodwin on 19th March where they discussed the idea of bringing together information about the heritage and environment of individual local areas - People, Places and Things in Your Area. Standish had produced something along these lines previously - '50 things you didn't know about Standish'. John suggested that branch libraries might consider displaying information about the history of their area as a form of 'mini-archive'. Heritage Lottery Fund have their new scheme 'Sharing Heritage' with grants from £3K- £10K.

John met with Alex Miller and Wigan Council Communications Team to discuss the idea of doing one area as a pilot. They suggested Wigan Flashes. They are keen to promote the area as they hope to establish a visitor centre with money from a housing development nearby. They are looking to involve partners in the promotion of Wigan Flashes.

Ken Barston mentioned that Ashton/Bryn partnership had obtained £10K to do a project with 'Mobile Media Partnership' based at Salford Quays. The project would compile stories, record theme on audio and lend audio machines to people to hear the stories.

John mentioned that The Friends of Low Hall have produced some good publicity material around the history of Low Hall manor house and the flora and fauna of the site.

John also spoke about the idea of doing a follow-up DVD to 'Our Heritage' featuring 10 new stories - possibly ones from the original list of suggestions that didn't make it onto the first DVD. John circulated the original proposal paper from Peter in 2010 to remind people of these ideas. Richard Sivill mentioned cotton mills and in particular Howe Bridge Mill and Ena Mill in Atherton. Richard knows the last two managers of Howe Bridge Mill.

Any Other Business - none.

Next Meeting:
Monday 1st July - 10.30am at Tudor House, Hindley - this is the Network's AGM.