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HOWE BRIDGE HERITAGE TRAIL 2022

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

APRIL 18TH IS NATIONAL HERITAGE DAY and this is the Day / Date that we will launch the Howe Bridge Heritage Trail, the format of the launch has not yet been decided but details will be published when the format has been sorted.


Park up on the Howe Bridge Leisure Centre car park, this is Site No1, behind the centre are sites number 2 Atherton Cricket Club & site number 3 that is Atherton Town Football Club, from there go back to Leigh Road and immediately on your left is site No 4, Howe Bridge Bridge then go down Leigh Road until you arrive at Hansom Drive, cross over the road and walk up the drive to Pennington Football Club, from there back to Leigh Road and turn left towards the village, after Hansom Drive is the site of the former bus company { Lancashire United Transport } from there continue up Leigh Road until you come to Colliers Corner, spend a bit of time here, its beautiful, from the corner turn into the car park of the Gardeners Public House and you will find the Gardeners Bowling club & Green, across the road from the pub is the site of the former Howe Bridge Mines Rescue Station, very historical and famous, from the rescue station, go back to Leigh Road and turn left, the next site is Old Manor Park, a community garden, Carry on up Leigh Road and you will come to Howe Bridge Village Centre, stroll through and take in the history and heritage of this iconic village, including the Dutch design Promenade and houses, the houses were built to accommodate the mining employees of the Fletcher Burrows, the large building in the centre of the terraced row was the former “ public baths “ which were built for the residents to use when they finished working for the day, the miners families also used the baths. at the end of the village is the site of the former Briarcroft Hall, then immediately after Briarcroft is the site of our local Scout headquarters, after the headquarters, walk past Atherton Cemetery and enter the Cemetery through the main gates, turn left and left again and you will arrive at the Cemetery Memorial Garden, leave the Cemetery and cross the road to the Atherton Cenotaph, from there you will see the new “ Welcome to Atherton Sign “ walk down Leigh Road and you come to St Michael`s Primary School, after the school is the Howe Bridge Working Men`s Club, then lower down the road is the site of the former Howe Bridge Railway Station, immediately after this site is “ Phil`s Walk “ then St Michael & All Angels Church, stroll through the church gardens and onto the last site, Howe Bridge Shield at the entrance to the Howe Bridge Leisure Centre and car park.

SITE No 1 HOWE BRIDGE LEISURE CENTRE

SITE No 2 ATHERTON CRICKET CLUB

SITE No 3 ATHERTON TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB

SITE No 4 HOWE BRIDGE BRIDGE

SITE No 5 PENNINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB

SITE No 6 LANCASHIRE UNITED TRANSPORT

SITE No 7 COLLIERS CORNER { JUNCTION OF LOVERS LANE / LEIGH ROAD }

SITE No 8 GARDENERS BOWLING CLUB { BEHIND GARDENERS PUB }

SITE No 9 MINES RESCUE STATION { LOVERS LANE, NOW LOVERS LANE GARAGE }

SITE No 10 OLD MANOR PARK

SITE No 11 HOWE BRIDGE VILLAGE

SITE No 12 BRIARCROFT HALL { NOW APARTMENT BLOCK }

SITE No 13 2ND ATHERTON SCOUTS & 3RD ATHERTON GUIDES HEADQUARTERS

SITE No 14 ATHERTON CEMETERY MEMORIAL GARDEN

SITE No 15 ATHERTON CENOTAPH

SITE No 16 ATHERTON WELCOME SIGN

SITE No 17 ST MICHAEL`S PRIMARY SCHOOL

SITE No 18 HOWE BRIDGE STATION { DEMOLISHED IN THE 1970s }

SITE No 19 PHIL`S WALK { LEIGH ROAD TO LEISURE CENTRE, CRICKET CLUB / ATHERTON TOWN FC

SITE No 20 ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS CHURCH

SITE No 21 HOWE BRIDGE SHIELD




MAP OF HOWE BRIDGE FROM ORDINANCE SURVEY MAP OF 1908


The Howe Bridge Heritage Trail was created to show and showcase the expansive, amazing and diverse history of our beautiful village, as you will see from the many different sites and information regarding our history and heritage on the Q R Coded Plaques at the sites, Howe Bridge really is a UNIQUE and SPECIAL village.

Each site will describe the special features and facts about that particular site and will then give instructions on how to follow the trail from site to site, each with its own place in our history and hearts.


FOLLOW THE TRAIL AND ENJOY LEARNING ABOUT BEAUTIFUL HOWE BRIDGE.


THE VILLAGE OF HOWE BRIDGE

Is part of the larger town of Atherton and is approximately ½ mile south of Atherton town centre which is also part of the larger borough of Wigan in Greater Manchester.

Both Wigan and Atherton were part of Lancashire until 1974 when all of the administrative boundaries were change under the local government act of 1972 became law


ATHERTON COAT OF ARMS



POWYS FAMILY

Thomas Atherton Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford (2 December 1801 – 15 March 1861), was a British peer and Whig politician.

Lilford was the son of Thomas Powys, 2nd Baron Lilford, and Henrietta Maria Atherton of Atherton Hall.[1] He succeeded his father as third Baron Lilford in 1825. In 1837 he was appointed a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) in the Whig administration of Lord Melbourne, a post he held until the government fell in August 1841. He never returned to office.

Lord Lilford married the Hon. Mary Elizabeth Fox, daughter of Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, and Lady Holland, in 1830, and had ten children.[2] He inherited Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire from his father in 1825. In 1860, he inherited Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire, on the death of his brother-in-law George Anthony Legh Keck. A year after inheriting he died in March 1861, aged 59, and was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, a prominent ornithologist. Lady Lilford died in 1891.














SITE No 1

HOWE BRIDGE LEISURE CENTRE





Howe Bridge Sports Centre, now run by Wigan MBC was opened on 7th March 1977 by the Duchess of Gloucester.


In 2015 there was a major refurbishment

That included new male and female disabled changing rooms; family and group changing facilities; improved shower facilities; vanity facilities including hairdryers and shaving points; new ceilings, lighting and decoration and improved flooring throughout the changing rooms.

As part of the refurbishment in 2015 the BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP designed and created a Garden at the entrance to the sports centre and made, supplied and now maintain several plant boxes at the centre.


PHOTO TAKEN AT THE RE-OPENING CEREMONY 2015




Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon unveiled a plaque to mark the £2.9m redevelopment of the site which has taken place over the past year.

She said: “There has been a real buzz around the project taking shape on site, with the local community showing great support and enthusiasm. The finished product definitely lives up to expectations, with its first class facilities offering such a variety of ways for people of all ages to keep active and healthy.


As well as the climbing, skating and play opportunities in the adventure zone, there is a new, modern 80-station gym, a sauna and steam room, plus an indoor cycling studio, a studio for group exercise and new changing rooms. A 3G FIFA 2 star pitch has also been built on site.



“As part of the Deal, we want people to be proud of living in Wigan Borough, and I think we should all be extremely proud of this leisure facility on our doorstep.”

The opening event included demonstrations in the adventure zone by leading UK rock climber Emma Twyford, top inline skaters, and BMX-ers from Alan’s Bikes. World Champion inline skater Jenna Downing also attended the celebration.

The new facilities have been introduced thanks to a £2.4m investment by Wigan Council, as well as £500,000 funding from the National Lottery’s Sport England Improvement Fund, secured by leisure partner Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.


THE GARDEN AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE LEISURE CENTRE, WAS CREATED AND IS MAINTAINED BY THE BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP WHEN THE CENTRE HAD A THREE MILLION POUND RENOVATION AND IMPROVEMENTS.

THE SCULPTURE IS MADE FROM WILLOW WICKER.

MEMBERS OF THE BRIDGERS HARD AT WORK




FINISHED LEISURE CENTRE GARDEN IN 2017






FACILITIES AT THE LEISURE CENTRE, INCLUDING AN ALL WEATHER PITCH OUTSIDE, AN OLYMPIC SIZED SWIMMING POOL, SKATEBOARD PARK AND CLIMBING WALLS




















MIKE UPTON & HIS TEAM FROM WIGAN PARKS DEPARTMENT AND MEMBERS OF THE BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP WORKING ON THE 2021 RENOVATION OF THE GARDEN AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE HOWE BRIDGE LEISURE CENTRE, A TERRIFIC TEAM











SITE No 2

ATHERTON CRICKET CLUB

HIGHAM PARK, ECKERSLEY FOLD LANE, HOWE BRIDGE,

M46 0RQ

The earliest record of cricket at Atherton was in 1872 when, rather significantly, the club was known, as now, as Atherton Cricket Club, before its name changed to Howe Bridge Cricket Club in the early 1900's. The Club's benefactors at the time were the pit-owning Fletcher family. Following nationalization of the collieries, the club became part of the Atherton Collieries Joint Welfare Association (A.C.J.W.).and took the name Atherton Collieries. The wheel of history, however, turned a full circle in 1965 when "Collieries" was dropped from the title and the club returned to its original name.

The club's first ground was off Lovers Lane on land known as "The Old Chain", and the first century for the club was scored by former president , Tom Boardman, against Whittlebrook in 1926. Following the end of the First World War in 1919, an old army hut was acquired and converted into a pavilion , used until the present pavilion was opened.

Two of the famous sons of the cricket club are Colin Hilton & Karl Brown, Both of them were County players and Karl has played for England through the junior teams, both of them were members of Lancashire First Team.

The contribution of the president of the club { JOHN CHARLSON } was recognised recently and he was given a special Long Service award from the Lancashire Cricket Association for completing FIFTY YEARS service to Atherton CC and the County Association.






























































































































SITE No 1

HOWE BRIDGE LEISURE CENTRE





Howe Bridge Sports Centre, now run by Wigan MBC was opened on 7th March 1977 by the Duchess of Gloucester.


In 2015 there was a major refurbishment

That included new male and female disabled changing rooms; family and group changing facilities; improved shower facilities; vanity facilities including hairdryers and shaving points; new ceilings, lighting and decoration and improved flooring throughout the changing rooms.

As part of the refurbishment in 2015 the BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP designed and created a Garden at the entrance to the sports centre and made, supplied and now maintain several plant boxes at the centre.


PHOTO TAKEN AT THE RE-OPENING CEREMONY 2015




Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon unveiled a plaque to mark the £2.9m redevelopment of the site which has taken place over the past year.

She said: “There has been a real buzz around the project taking shape on site, with the local community showing great support and enthusiasm. The finished product definitely lives up to expectations, with its first class facilities offering such a variety of ways for people of all ages to keep active and healthy.


As well as the climbing, skating and play opportunities in the adventure zone, there is a new, modern 80-station gym, a sauna and steam room, plus an indoor cycling studio, a studio for group exercise and new changing rooms. A 3G FIFA 2 star pitch has also been built on site.



“As part of the Deal, we want people to be proud of living in Wigan Borough, and I think we should all be extremely proud of this leisure facility on our doorstep.”

The opening event included demonstrations in the adventure zone by leading UK rock climber Emma Twyford, top inline skaters, and BMX-ers from Alan’s Bikes. World Champion inline skater Jenna Downing also attended the celebration.

The new facilities have been introduced thanks to a £2.4m investment by Wigan Council, as well as £500,000 funding from the National Lottery’s Sport England Improvement Fund, secured by leisure partner Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.


THE GARDEN AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE LEISURE CENTRE, WAS CREATED AND IS MAINTAINED BY THE BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP WHEN THE CENTRE HAD A THREE MILLION POUND RENOVATION AND IMPROVEMENTS.

THE SCULPTURE IS MADE FROM WILLOW WICKER.

MEMBERS OF THE BRIDGERS HARD AT WORK




FINISHED LEISURE CENTRE GARDEN IN 2017






FACILITIES AT THE LEISURE CENTRE, INCLUDING AN ALL WEATHER PITCH OUTSIDE, AN OLYMPIC SIZED SWIMMING POOL, SKATEBOARD PARK AND CLIMBING WALLS




















MIKE UPTON & HIS TEAM FROM WIGAN PARKS DEPARTMENT AND MEMBERS OF THE BRIDGERS COMMUNITY GROUP WORKING ON THE 2021 RENOVATION OF THE GARDEN AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE HOWE BRIDGE LEISURE CENTRE, A TERRIFIC TEAM











SITE No 2

ATHERTON CRICKET CLUB

HIGHAM PARK, ECKERSLEY FOLD LANE, HOWE BRIDGE,

M46 0RQ

The earliest record of cricket at Atherton was in 1872 when, rather significantly, the club was known, as now, as Atherton Cricket Club, before its name changed to Howe Bridge Cricket Club in the early 1900's. The Club's benefactors at the time were the pit-owning Fletcher family. Following nationalization of the collieries, the club became part of the Atherton Collieries Joint Welfare Association (A.C.J.W.).and took the name Atherton Collieries. The wheel of history, however, turned a full circle in 1965 when "Collieries" was dropped from the title and the club returned to its original name.

The club's first ground was off Lovers Lane on land known as "The Old Chain", and the first century for the club was scored by former president , Tom Boardman, against Whittlebrook in 1926. Following the end of the First World War in 1919, an old army hut was acquired and converted into a pavilion , used until the present pavilion was opened.

Two of the famous sons of the cricket club are Colin Hilton & Karl Brown, Both of them were County players and Karl has played for England through the junior teams, both of them were members of Lancashire First Team.

The contribution of the president of the club { JOHN CHARLSON } was recognised recently and he was given a special Long Service award from the Lancashire Cricket Association for completing FIFTY YEARS service to Atherton CC and the County Association.

























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