Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30 a.m. 12th January 2014 at Museum of Wigan Life


Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society),Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage),Joe Taylor (Billinge History Society), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Tom Price (Civic Trust, John O’Neil (Greenheart), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society), Alex Miller & Lynda Jackson (Wigan MBC)

Welcome and Apologies:
Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Glenys McClellan & Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Mandy Wellans-Bray (Orrell-Billinge Transition Town Group), Dave Wilson & Tony Bishop, Peter Taylor (Civic Trust), Allan Roberts (RSPCB),

Avis Freeman chaired and welcomed everyone to the meeting

Minutes of the last meeting: True and accurate.

Matters Arising:

Progress is being made with the Waterloo Memorial. A working group of five people have finalised planning application requirements and submitted the necessary documentation for funding to a number relevant organisations.

Joe Taylor lives local to the monument and will take anyone interested to visit if they get in touch beforehand.

John Rowan, the conservation officer, was unable to make this meeting and will be invited to the next one.

Alex Miller, archivist, explained the present lack of adequate storage facilities and the current proposal to merge the Archive Service with Leigh Local Studies. Ideally, they would like to obtain a presence in the shop frontage in front of Leigh Town Hall.
The Archives & Local Studies have been granted £36K from the Wellcome Trust to catalogue the records of the Lancashire & Cheshire Miners Permanent Relief Society, a major collection in the archives relating to mining and miners' welfare and health.
Leigh Local Studies will be launching a public consultation in January on how best to mark the anniversary of the opening of the German PoW camp in Leigh during the First World War.

Lynda Jackson reported that a grant of £37K has been awarded for a pottery project and exhibition for the children from the Youth Zone and a £10K grant awarded for an Egyptian exhibition. On the 27th of January the Holocaust Memorial service will be held at Wigan from 9.30 - 10.30 and at Leigh from 11.30 - 12.30. Elizabeth Roberts will give a talk 7th Feb about Good Friends and Good Neighbours (women/family history) so please book on 01942 828128.

Members Reports: (to be inserted)

L.O.S. report to the meeting:- 
1.there are concerns that the Pennington Flash User Group meeting hadn't taken place for many months and despite contact with Mr G Workman WLCT no progress had been made, with regards to a private meeting to discus habitat works being carried out at this time.
2.For the groups information, the society is in consultation with "Trust in Leigh" on their proposed plans to upgrade nature related footpaths in the Leigh area, the society is to ask for "Trust in Leigh" to be on the agenda at the next Greenheart Forum Meeting, because of conflicting or duplication of interest and work
3.If any of the groups members would like an email copy of the LOS's bi-monthly Newsletter, let David know and arrangements can be made for them to be sent F.O.C. send an email to David requesting one: chairman@leighos.org.uk 
Civic Trust Activity.

In November we had our Annual Dinner at the Owls, Standish. Very well attended and an enjoyable Evening.
December 3rd. we presented our Awards at the New Library,
The 7 Winners were;-
The Refurbished Railway Bridge in Haigh Hall
The New Library
The Restored Mesnes Park
St. Catharines Church Scholes for the rebuilding and Conservation of the Upper Tower and Steeple with the new St Catharines Wheel Cross
Standish Medical Practice for the Design and Quality of the new Building
Wigan Parish Church, the Walmesley Chapel wich includes the 15th.C. Lubeck Altar Pieces, the Crawford Chapel Monuments and the Main Altar Reredos all professionally restored.
Brock Mill Farm. Wingates lane Restoration. Asmall but important Farmhouse saved from dereliction.
All the recipients were grateful and proud to have their efforts in Conservation recognised.

December 8th. was our AGM and afterwards we had an interesting talk entitled "All Over by Christmas" by Mr. Steve Williams of Brindle.
A comprehensive coverage of the first months of WW1 and its effects on the local Populace.

Other Business:

The secretary suggested we consider communicating between meetings via Skype or Google Hangout and requested members so inclined to forward their Skype IDs and/or Gmail addresses.

The Network to write to Council seeking clarification regarding the proposed devolution of power to Greater Manchester.

Next meetings:

John O’Neill will arrange guest speakers for upcoming meetings in 2015, to be held on the following dates, subject to possible rearrangement: 23 February, 13 April, 1 June, 13 July, 24 August, 5 October, 16 November.