New plan to save vandalised map

Former Swinley Residents' Association member John Belshaw from Whelley with one of the broken Wigan maps

Former Swinley Residents' Association member John Belshaw from Whelley with one of the broken Wigan maps

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A COMMUNITY champion is appealing for help in repairing a vandalised public map.

The Evening Post recently reported that Wigan Central councillor George Davies was helping to move five ordnance survey maps of Wigan from behind Tesco, to a more prominent place in the town centre.

But John Belshaw - a member of the now disbanded Swinley Residents’ Association and Friends of Douglas Valley, which installed the maps - is asking for councillors’ support to refurbish one damaged final map of the town as it is now so that the set can be completed.

He is also asking for input into where the set, which also comprises maps dating from 1827, 1850, 1880, 1920 and 1950, will be relocated.

He said: “I have the final map in the sequence as I had to take it down due to vandalism,

“I am trying to raise funds to replace it - having been quoted £180, and am hoping the councillors can help.

“The fifth map, dating 1950, also needs repairing.

“Also, as we installed the maps in the first place more than two years ago, I would like to have a say on where the maps will go.

“I agree with them being moved to a more prominent place, as I was never really that happy with them being in an alleyway, but I think before any decisions are made, I should be consulted.

“I would like the maps to be in the town centre, maybe in the Millgate area.”

Coun Davies said he would work with John to repair the final map, adding: “I want to use some Brighter Borough money to get the map repaired so we can put that one up as well. I am 100 per cent behind John.

“I also plan to create a sign to go above the maps to explain what they are and how they show the changing shape of Wigan.”

The maps have now been taken down and will go into storage until a location has been decided.