Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30 a.m. 23 February at 2015 Museum of Wigan Life


Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Derek Wilde (Wigan Family History Society), Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Joe Taylor (Billinge History Society), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Tom Price (Civic Trust, John O’Neil (Greenheart), Lynda Jackson (Wigan MBC
Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), 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), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society), Alex Miller (Wigan MBC)

Avis Freeman chaired and welcomed new member Dereck Wilde to the meeting

Minutes of the last meeting: True and accurate.

Matters Arising:

David Shallcross took advantage of the secretary’s offer to teach members how to communicate via Skype or Google Hangout. The offer remains open to all memebers.

The leader of council replied to the network’s query regarding devolution to Greater Manchester.

John Rowan, the conservation officer, was unable to make the meeting. John O’Neil outlined what the conservation office would have reported:

There are plans to close Wallgate Station and integrate train services with. Wigan North West. The station building will be retained as a historic building.
The owners of the privately owned historic buildings on Wallgate are not obliged to update unless the building become a danger to the public. They are being encouraged to upgrade via access to grants. Pools Pie Shop is being upgraded and there are hopes that the Victoria Hotel will be re-painted.

It is difficult for officers to get good news publicised but voluntary groups are able to forward positive press releases. Avis passed around a number of articles published recently concerning environment and heritage matters.

The boundary stone dumped at Platt Bridge has been restored to its rightful spot in Leigh.

A visitors centre is envisioned for Greenheart and a competition is underway for the best design.

Mary distributed archaeology newsletters and Glenys distributed the 2015 programme for Leigh FHS.

Members News:

Given verbally. Members to email in reports to be included in the minutes.

Astley Green Colliery Museum:
Perhaps the most interesting activity to take place at the museum was the use of a Quadcopter to film the Headgear (Mine Tower). For those people not in the know, a Quadcopter  looks a bit like a model helicopter bur instead of 2 rotors, it has 4 vertical mounted propellers and a camera slung beneath it. The operator could get it up to 400 feet and circle the structure easily. If you want to see the results go into Youtube, put in Astley Green Mining Museum and somewhere, amongst the rest, is the film it produced. It only lasts for a few minutes but was just the job on a misty morning. Paul Prescot, who owns the Quadcopter, says he will return in the summer to do an aerial view of the entire site, all free of charge. How rare is that!
An HLF grant put together by us and a local school, entitled Digging for Victory, has had to be put on hold as the teacher I was dealing with , due to budget cuts, has unfortunately lost her job.
Railway progress continues and there is now a project to join the end of the line to gain access to the garage. The garage has a pit which would come in very useful for servicing locomotives and rolling stock.
We are about to put together a calendar to show when we intend to run the Winding Engine. We have to treat the old girl with respect, she is after all 103 years old , but strangely enough when we come to put her into motion, it’s always something else, more modern, which goes wrong. We call it the Astley Disease. You always have to fix something before you can use it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a compressor or a hammer!

Chinese New Year was a great event and lots of people in the museum. Thanks to Confucius Classroom at the College.
Easter Activities planned for Tuesday and Thursday of Easter holidays. Please book on 01942 828128.
Gallipoli talk at the museum on 30th April about the local VC winners. Please book on number above.

Date next meeting: 13th April 2015