Past Events

We are extremely grateful to Maxine Peake and all that attended our special evening with her. We are delighted to announce that the event raised around £4000!​​

2018:

In April 2019, a large audience at the Swinley Club came to hear Lisa Nandy MP introduce the journalist Paul Mason.  Paul is from Leigh and spoke about his grandfather and father who were both miners.  The work they did was brutal but they instilled in him the view that their labour and sacrifice laid the foundations of society.  He hoped that when people see the statue which will be placed in the town centre they will not only reflect on the past but help to build a worthwhile future for generations to come, based on education and opportunity.  He urged people to write down and pass on their mining memories. 

 

Ken Scally provided the music, and the event raised a substantial sum towards the goal of having the statue in place during 2019.

We are very grateful to The Greater Manchester Police Band Who gave a concert at St John Rigby College with all proceeds going to WHAMM on the 8th of March.

We drew a large crowd for our latest event at the Cricket Club (see poster).  Everyone enjoyed a great social evening, and the proceeds were shared between WHAMM and the Cherries Community Garden.

We had a great fundraising evening at the Swinley on Friday with our friends from Wigan Ukulele Club who gave their time freely to entertain over 100 people.

St Michael’s church, Swinley, hosted their patronal festival on the theme of Wigan’s amazing mining history.  On Friday 21 September, four groups of pupils from local schools came to see the exhibition and to learn about Wigan’s coalmining history.  They heard from Eric Foster, who was involved in the disaster at Golborne colliery, when 3 men died.  They were delighted to see a pony who came to the church, who was the same size as the faithful pit ponies who worked alongside the men in the mines.  On Saturday the church was open all day and many people came to see the amazing collection of artefacts, pictures and documents. 

 

The highlight of the weekend was on Sunday afternoon.  At 2pm, the Wigan rugby legend, Billy Boston, was presented with a bust of himself, by the sculptor Steve Winterburn, who sculpted Billy’s full size statue in Believe Square, and who is creating the WHAMM monument. Rita Culshaw, one of the last remaining pit brow lasses, spoke about the “three happiest years of her life” working on pit brows and Alan Davies, author and ex-miner, spoke about the remarkable history of mining in the area, which included many world firsts. Ken Scally and Michael Winstanley entertained a packed church with music. 

 

Stan Higginson and the members of the church are to be congratulated on organising such a successful weekend in conjunction with WHAMM trustees, serving delicious refreshments, and adding greatly to people’s knowledge of our proud history.

 

The photos show Lisa Nandy MP stroking Tia Maria, the rescue pony, Eric Foster telling pupils about his mining experiences, and a four and a half feet high replica mining lamp on the display centrepiece.

Sunday 12 August – money raised at the mini-golf in Haigh Woodland Park was donated to WHAMM, for which we are very grateful.

Marie Sherrington-Wood from the Wigan Constituency Labour Party came to our evening with Sid Calderbank and Friends.  She was so impressed with the evening and with WHAMM that she asked if she could give money to the cause from a walk she was planning. And what a walk!  With her friend Carmel (and her husband David as back-up) she covered 110 kilometres of the route to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain in all weathers and conditions.  We think that should be celebrated by donating to WHAMM.  You can go to our Just Giving page or click Donate on the website.   Please mention Marie’s name if you do decide to give.  You can think of her 5 day walk from the luxury of a comfy chair!

In February, supporters of WHAMM, members of Wigan Local History and Heritage Group and other interested people were taken on a guided tour of the site of one of the worst disasters in British mining history.  The  photo shows local historian, author and ex-miner Alan Davies telling the chilling and tragic story of what happened on 21 December 1910.  A total of 344 men and boys lost their lives when an underground explosion occurred at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit, known as the Pretoria Pit, in Over Hulton, Westhoughton.

2017:

Marie Sherrington-Wood from the Wigan Constituency Labour Party came to our evening with Sid Calderbank and Friends.  She was so impressed with the evening and with WHAMM that she asked if she could give money to the cause from a walk she was planning. And what a walk!  With her friend Carmel (and her husband David as back-up) she covered 110 kilometres of the route to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain in all weathers and conditions.  We think that should be celebrated by donating to WHAMM.  You can go to our Just Giving page or click Donate on the website.   Please mention Marie’s name if you do decide to give.  You can think of her 5 day walk from the luxury of a comfy chair!

On 6th of June 2017, we held a quiz night at the Victoria pub, where the hosts, Sean and Andrea, kindly laid on a barrel of our very own WHAMM beer and donated the £180 profits to the cause.  They also generously provide a free buffet. The very enjoyable evening included a raffle and raised over £300. The picture shows the chair of WHAMM, Sheila Ramsdale, with Sean.  Sheila said, “We have an ambitious target we need to raise for the statue, but we are arranging several events which we know will bring people together to enjoy themselves in a very worthwhile cause”.

On Saturday 19th August 2017, Alan Davies, ex curator of the Lancashire Mining Museum, led a walk round the Haigh Estate pointing out its mining history.

The 7th Wigan Diggers Festival took place on Saturday 9th September in Gerrard Winstanley Gardens, the Wiend. It celebrates the life and ideas of Wigan born and bred Gerrard Winstanley and the 17th century Diggers (True Levellers) Movement.  WHAMM had a stand there all day and, despite the weather we talked to a lot of people and raised some money towards the cause.

On Sunday 8th October, there was a 10 mile sponsored walk from Astley Colliery Museum to Wigan Town Hall.  This was organised by Councillor George Davies, to commemorate mining in Wigan, and to raise money for the mining statue.  The participants enjoyed it, and it raised a tidy sum towards our target.

On Saturday 14th October, the Village on the Green at Aspull was crowded with people supporting WHAMM and having a good night out.  The Manchester Police Band gave their time free and entertained everyone with great tunes and vocals.  There was a raffle, an auction and a ‘Guess the weight of the cake’ competition, and a good supper.

Members of WHAMM paid a visit to the Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green on 1 November.  They were shown round the site and learnt about the development plans.  What makes the museum so important is that it is home to the last remaining headgear and winding engine in the entire Lancashire coalfield.

 

They were joined by Steve Winterburn, the sculptor of the WHAMM statue, and his daughter Roxy, who is a sculptor in her own right.  They had travelled from their studio in Hull to meet us again, to see the museum, and to meet a special guest. 

 

Rita Culshaw is one of the last of the Wigan pit brow lasses.  She has wonderful tales to tell about her work, and brought with her the scarf she wore on her head, and her clogs.

On Monday 4th December Wigan Local History and Heritage Group, the parent group of WHAMM, held their Christmas get-together at the Victoria Inn in Aspull.  We had a great quiz and much laughter, and a lovely buffet supper and a raffle. 
We presented the great hosts Sean and Andrea White with two framed mining drawings by local artist Bill Mather, and they in turn gave us a very generous cheque towards our mining monument. They are great supporters of this cause!

© 2019 Wigan Heritage and Mining Monument