|The Mesnes event!
Family members of the late Wigan businessman, William Higham, will officially open the newly restored bandstand in Mesnes Park, Wigan on Easter Monday.
Following his death, Mr Higham left £2m to Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust on the condition that interest from the money is used to ensure military bands play at Mesnes Park as they had in his childhood.
On Monday members of his extended family will officially open the newly restored bandstand in which future bands will perform.
Mr Higham’s niece, Jennifer Santus, said: “The whole family is delighted that his wish that military bands play once again in Mesnes Park will come true.”
Greater Manchester Police Military Band will perform from the bandstand when it’s officially opened.
Monday marks the end of Phase One of Mesnes Park’s £6.1m restoration.
Scores of Victorian themed family events, entertainment, games and activities have also been planned for the fun, family day, opening on Monday 9 April to mark this momentous point in the park’s history.
Families are being encouraged to turn up in Victorian dress to honour the park’s original opening in 1878.
Work began on Phase One in 2011 and work to date has included refurbishing and restoring the pavilion, bandstand, lodge building and Dalton Steps. A new children’s play area has also been built.
Wigan Council Chief Executive, Donna Hall, said: “This wonderful restoration scheme is re-invigorating this much loved park.
“It will ensure Mesnes Park can be conserved for future generations to enjoy and is a testament to how a partnership approach can deliver the very best results.”
Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, who manage the park on behalf of the Council, said: “In Victorian times Mesnes Park was a ‘green lung’ for residents to escape from the stresses of daily life and it remains as important today for the very same reason.
“Monday marks the half-way point of the scheme and we’d be delighted if people came down for a few hours to see the work so far.”
Phase Two of the park’s regeneration will include the restoration of the historic entrance lodge, refurbishment of the bowling pavilion and footpaths, improved park lighting and park furniture has already begun and is planned to be completed by 2013.
Mesnes Park’s restoration has been made possible following a £6.1m investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
Mesnes Park Easter Extravaganza – takes place on Monday 9 April between 11am and 3pm. Visitors will be able to experience Victorian games, make bunting, play croquet, enjoy an Easter egg trail, teddy bear picnic and Victorian Fair.
For more information ring 01942 245 369 or visit www.wlct.org