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  • Writer's pictureterrydaly1


The Bridgers encompass ALL of the other groups within the village of HOWE BRIDGE, Including, Village Residents, Atherton Environment Projects, Gardeners Bowling Club, St Michaels Church, St Michaels School, Atherton Cricket Club, Atherton Town FC, Howe Bridge Leisure Centre,

We are a very active and diverse community group that work on Environmental, Pastoral, social and Educational issues.

The Bridgers Community Group was formed in the Autumn of 1998, and at the beginning we had difficulty in persuading residents of Howe Bridge to join the group, so, we decided,

1/ To write a monthly newsletter { we called it the “ Bridger “ } { PRINTED BY MURBROS, HOWE BRIDGE } that would be delivered to every household within the village boundaries, this would have information about the group, our aim, objectives and plans for the future. This would be started immediately so that local residents would know what we were planning.

2. To start on a MAJOR project that would capture the imagination of the residents of the village, this would be started immediately as well,

Following discussions about what, where, when and how, we decided to approach Wigan Council and ask their permission to develop a piece of land at the junction of Leigh Road & Lovers Lane, this lane had once been the site of the Railway Hotel Public House / Car Park, but the pub had shut down in 1967 and the site had been derelict since then.

In the second edition of our newsletter, we gave out details of our plans for the derelict site, and, when discussing a name for the site we decided to commemorate the mining history of the village and so we called it Colliers Corner.

The response at first was very disappointing but, when we started working on the site and people realised that we were serious about developing the site they started to join in.

Since then we have gone from strength to strength, and this shows in the quality of Colliers Corner today { see attached photos }

We decided to showcase our efforts and entered into the RHS North West In Bloom competition. We have had phenomenal success winning the GOLD AWARDfor many years in the main competition and then LEVEL FIVE { Top award } in the “ Its Your Neighbourhood “ category, the reason we changed categories was a drop in volunteers, this trend has now been reversed and we have a terrific team again.

We have also been used as the flagship for the Wigan In Bloom RHS National Competition, A GOLD AWARD has been won on almost every occasion.

In 2014 we represented the North West in the National Britain In Bloom Competition in the Large Village Category, we were awarded a SILVER GILT AWARD, A fantastic achievement for our small village.

We also won a National award for a QR Coded Heritage trail that encompasses the whole village and has over 25 sites, at these site are QR Coded plaques that show the history of that particular area and a link to other sites within the village, most of these have now got Audio descriptions as well as video facilities.

we have also been awarded A GREEN FLAG AWARD for the past EIGHT years and in 2017 we were awarded an INTERNATIONAL STANDARD GREEN FLAG, we are the ONLY Community group to be awarded this standard of award.

The corner is maintained by members of the Gardeners Bowling Club and members of the Bridgers / Atherton Environment Projects.

This is an email from Mike Lawrie { Glendale Gardening Services } who was judging the corner on behalf of the “ Tidy Britain Team “ following his visit to Howe Bridge to judge Colliers Corner for a Green Flag Award

Hi Terry

Great to meet you and your members today. I was very impressed with my visit today, I was showing some photos of your site to my staff, (Professional Groundsman and members of the IOG) they could not believe all the work was done by unpaid labour. Well Done!!!

kind regards


We have used the corner for plant sales and as a place where people can spend a bit of time to relax and watch the world go by, the plant sales are to raise money to pay for ALL the plants we use in the village on our various sites.

We also have a Commemorative Shield at the entrance to the Leisure Centre, this is to highlight the “ Battle of Howe Bridge “ which was a battle between local miners and miners from surrounding areas, our local miners refused to take strike action against their employers and the “ visiting miners “ tried to persuade them to join them in their fight for better wages and conditions, but, the wages and conditions that the other miners wanted were not as good as those the local miners enjoyed so the conflict took place, the army and police joined in and sent the visiting miners on their way.

In 2016, members of the Bridgers Community Group were invited to help to create and run a DEMENTIA CARE programme, the programme was launched and named the GOOD DEEDS TRUST GUARDIAN ANGELS. { Dementia Buddy }

The object of the scheme is to help to get people home safely when they become lost, distressed, disorientated when out in their community, the scheme is for people who are affected by Dementia and other conditions that make them vulnerable. see

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