Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network Meeting
10.30 a.m. Monday 13th February 2012 at Tudor House, Hindley

Present -John O'Neill (Greenheart Partnership Board), Peter Goodwin (Tradition Films), Tom Price (Wigan Civic Trust), Avis Freeman (Leigh Soroptimists), Jackie Roberts (Bridleways), Jan Johnston (LENDF), Neil Forshaw (George Formby Society), Dave Wilson & Tony Bishop (Bickershaw Conservation Group/Wigan Biodiversity Group), Joe Taylor (Billinge History/Heritage Society) Ken Barston (Stubshaw Cross Residents Group), Geoff Jones (Astley Green Colliery Museum), Glenys McClellan (Leigh Family History Society), Marge Harrop (Leigh Family History Society), Vince French (Atherton)

Apologies- John Hill (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust), Mary Pennington (Wigan Archaeology Society), David Shallcross (Leigh Ornithological Society/Chowbent Chapel), Richard Sivill (Atherton Heritage), Brain Parr (Discovery Group), Allan Roberts (Wigan RSPB)

The Chair John O'Neill welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Announcements

Martin Purcell is unable to attend the meeting to report on Greenheart issues

Richard Sivill will bring an artefact for discussion next meeting to begin a series for members

BETA will hold an event in the Grand Arcade 26th May featuring Wigan and the English Civil War

Reference was made to Wigan Parish Church's successful HLF bid

Arts & Heritage Guide for January to June is now available

An article in the Sunday Times by Stephen Armstrong to referred to the publication of his book 'The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited'

An article about the George Formby Society's rugby league photograph appeared in the Wigan Observer 17th Jan 2012

Wigan Life Centre and the new Library are now open

There are some certificates to be collected for those who could not make the celebration evening last November

A HLF showcase event to be held at the Turnpike Centre Leigh.15th Feb 2012

Minutes of the last meeting:

True and accurate

Matters Arising:

Kirkless (off top lock) one of the biggest Irion & Steel works in Europe was closed in the 1920's. The limestone deposits have helped the development of the local flora and fauna. HLF have granted £50,000 to improve the site. Mark Champion, who will attend the next meeting, will head the project. It is hoped that a 'friends' group can be set up - maybe the archeological society could get involved to show the exact extent of the original structure, which is obscure now.

The Olympic Torch will be in Wigan on the 31st of May, scheduled to arrive in Lowton at 3.15 then pass though Abram, Wigan, Scholes, Ince and Hindley and leaves around 5.30. The community Olympiad bids will be agreed on the 29th February 2012.

The GM Big Dig at Etherstone Hall (Leigh Sports Village) will start in March and be directed by Salford University. They want people to get involved and ten local school classes have already signed up to participate.

The Wigan Townscape Heritage Initiative is almost finished. Work on the station has started, trees will be planted and money has been allocated to improve listed buildings.

The Cultural Partnership is to continue with terms to be agreed at the AGM in September.

Glenys McClellan went to the first of three sessions on progress with the Red Rose Forest project at Lightshaw Meadows and reported that: trees have been planted; pathways and drainage have been improved and the next tree planting will occur next winter. The cattle are doing a good job of keeping the vegetation under control. Tony Bishop of Leigh Ornithological Society has walked round the area and was very impressed.

Members Reports:

Geoff reported that grant funding to undertake necessary repairs and maintenance are looking possible.

Tony raised concerns about a possible development in Bolton by Peel Holdings

The next meeting of the Leigh Family History Society will be their 30th anniversary

Free parking has been arranged for our visit to Pennington Flash, 14th May

Avis reported that a place has been found for the boundary stone that was found

AOB

Jason Kennedy has arranged a meeting 6th March 2012 to discuss the borough's war memorials, Avis will attend and report back next meeting

Urban Design Awards 2011 have been presented and the restored Haigh Windmill was the overall winner.

Next Meeting:

March 26th at Tudor House. Mark Champion (LWT) to give a presentation on the Krikless site and to discuss heritage interpretation there.