Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network

Meeting minutes

10.30 a.m. January 11th 2016 at Museum of Wigan Life


Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), John O’Neil (Greenheart), Derek Wilde (Wigan Family History Society), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Joe Taylor (Billinge History Society), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Tom Price (Civic Trust) Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), Allan Roberts (RSPCB), Peter Fleetwood (Save Wigan), Lynda Jackson (Wigan MBC).

David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society), Alex Miller (Wigan MBC) Cheryl Knott (LWT), Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), Peter Taylor (Civic Trust), Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Mandy Wellans-Bray (Orrell-Billinge Transition Town Group), Alex Miller (Wigan MBC).

Minutes of the last meeting: True and accurate.

Matters Arising: None

Members News and Reports:

Peter Fleetwood was welcomed to the meeting. He then spoke at length regarding ‘Save Wigan’, the work it is doing now and the work it hopes to do in future, in conjunction with other related organisations. The organisation’s website is www.wiganbuildings.co.uk

John O’Neil reported on the presentation event 30th November. The Waterloo Memorial restoration project is well under-way. With luck, the ribbon cutting will occur 18th June, the 200th anniversary of the battle.

Ken Barston successfully applied for £800 from the Community Investment Fund for planters to compliment the community garden. These will be made in conjunction with local schools.

Mary Pennington disseminated the Archaeology Society newsletter for December.Work at Kirkless has now concluded.

Derek Wilde reported that the society’s is continuing its work recording graves, giving talks at various venues on Family History and that the help desk at the Museum of‘Wigan Life is now open once a week.

Allan Roberts informed the meeting that the RSPCB now has a volunteer to set up stalls at community events and help spread the message. The society is expanding its remit to cover nature in general.

Peter Goodwin is working on a video for Wigan Youth Service an environmental video on re-cycling for Liverpool.

Tom Price found the presentation given by the planning department regarding Housing Allocation Plan to be somewhat disappointing. Very little relevant information was given out. The Civic Trust have been invited to tour Wigan Hall in the near future.

Neil Forshaw will organise George Formby’s birthday anniversary 26th May.

Lynda Jackson: BBC2 are compiling a three part documentary on Ancient Egypt, the second of which was filmed at the Museum of Wigan Life and will be shown next Monday between 8.00 - 9.00 p.m. The Museum is hosting a number of events in the near future - 26, 27 & 30 January, 16 & 18 May. Free introductory visits to the Museum are available for schools. Items of our Industrial Heritage are currently on display.

Joe Taylor: Greenslate Community Farm are hosting this years Transition Town Re-economy event; details - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-road-from-wigan-pier-how-can-we-shape-our-northern-local-economies-tickets-19207996635

Avis Freeman produced a birthday cake and a card signed by members for John O'Neil's 80th birthday. We all appreciate the contribution John has made over the years to both heritage and the environment.

Alex Miller emailed: We have been notified by the HLF that we will have a decision on the First Round bid for the Archives Project at their meeting on 11 March 2016. If this is a positive result we will then enter the development stage of the project leading to the full Second Round application.

Glenys McClellan emailed: Our monthly meetings resume on the 19th January at 7.30 p.m. with the AGM followed by a talk by Edward Forsythe entitled Crime, Murders & Punishment. Our Help Desk continues each Monday afternoon from 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. at the Archives/Leigh Local Studies Department on the second floor of Leigh Town Hall. There is a lift.

Geoff Jones emailed: As you would expect the current weather conditions have slowed progress down a lot with reduced visitor numbers and the ability to work outside. However brickwork renovation has been completed on No 1 Shaft Collar as well as the access steps to the Engine House. Work has now started on No2 Shaft Collar. There have been several operations of the Winding Engine lately but the Gremlins have stepped in on a few occasions. The 103 Years old Engine gives us no trouble but the younger ancillary equipment does. Work on the railway continues and strengthening of the canal banks  recently has led to an ‘inconvenience’ cheque and 40 tons load of railway ballast stone being delivered free of charge. An Author’s Day next year ha s been proposed , and maybe something around Halloween too with outside organisation. There are enough ghoulish members to support the latter! . Now that building work has been completed on the new houses we are slowly getting our site back to normal from the contractor, although use of his heavy equipment will be missed.  After all 40 tons of stone takes a lot of shovelling.. No doubt when finished we will have some members as fit as butcher’s  dogs .A locomotive has been moved to the workshop and is currently having a replacement engine fitted,  all done with frozen fingers. This is one of the locomotives we will use when the railway is operational.

Date next meeting: 22nd February 2016