Lasting legacy for our village

Bickershaw CE Primary School pupils work with artists Kenneth and Jane Blackburn on their local history art project which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Bickershaw CE Primary School pupils work with artists Kenneth and Jane Blackburn on their local history art project which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

A BICKERSHAW community group has been awarded thousands of pounds to share the history of the village.

West Bickershaw Residents’ Association has received £12,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its Telling Tales project, which focuses on the area’s past.

The scheme, which will involve primary school children, community groups and Hindley prison working with arts and heritage officers from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), is an opportunity for young and old to get together to research the history and share memories.

Key topics will include Bickershaw Hall and Major Hart, who was a leading figure in the community and the period of research will cover 1905 to present, which links with the centenary years of the village’s church,

Personal stories will be brought to life by the creation of story panels placed in the local park and members will produce a DVD which will be archived at the Museum of Wigan Life.

Jackie Lowe, member of West Bickershaw Residents’ Association, said: “We are excited about receiving the award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will provide a lasting legacy for Bickershaw.”

Paul Radcliffe, headteacher Bickershaw C of E primary, said: “The project will enable our pupils to connect with their community in a meaningful way by understanding its significance in the lives not only of those who choose to live here, who live and breathe it, but those who have gone before, who established, shaped and helped this place evolve into what it is today.”

The project is also supported by ward councillors Carl Sweeny and Eunice and Martyn Smethurst.

They said: “This will be a very exciting project for the community, and we hope as many people as possible will take part. .”

Helen Seddon, arts development officer, at WLCT, said: “Telling Tales is a valuable tool for the community to explore their identity and sense of belonging. The project will unite all ages, through cultural activities celebrating Bickershaw’s rich heritage. “