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The Freinds

The ‘Friends’ began life as the ‘Mesnes Park User Group’, formed in late 1998 after public concern about the condition of the ornamental lake. Our first Chairperson was local resident Norma Swarbrick, and we quickly acquired a constitution and mission statement, - “To preserve and improve Mesnes Park”. The draining and re-lining of the lake, with its own Action Plan, followed, and since that time, we have been continuously involved, year in, year out, as a campaigning, ‘hands on’ Community Group, working closely with the Council and the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT)

A few of our major highlights have been:

1998: The ‘Friends of Mesnes Park’ (FoMP) formed after a public meeting in Wigan Town Hall.

2000: FoMP produces a major historical exhibition for display in the Pavilion Café. A revised version is later installed in the renovated Shelter.

2003: Sir Ian McKellen opens the Rose Garden, restored with a FoMP grant and help from the Trefoil Guild.

2004: The Mayor of Wigan, Cllr. Mrs. Joan Hurst, plants a ‘Holocaust Memorial Tree’, in memory of those murdered in Nazi Concentration Camps.

2005: FoMP donates a restored plaque and re-gilded plinth to the Boer War Memorial, and together with the Friends of the Boer War Memorial and the Duke of Lancaster’s Yeomanry, stage a period costume ceremonial, attended by the Mayor, Cllr. Mrs. Eunice Smethurst.

2011: The Mayor, Cllr. Joy Birch, plants a ‘Workers’ Memorial Tree’, to commemorate all those killed in the workplace, or who died as a result of their work.

2013: Frank and Barbara Pagett donate a restored plaque in a special commemorative ceremony at the ‘Reginald Pagett Rose Garden’.

29th. September 2013: The Friends stage special ‘History Walks’ at the Grand Opening of the Heritage Lottery Funded Restoration, in which we have played a major role.