Hundreds flock to free concert in Wigan's Mesnes Park

The latest William ‘Billy’ Higham military band concert took place at the weekend.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 4:26 pm
Portsmouth Royal Marines Military Band perform at Mesnes Park
Portsmouth Royal Marines Military Band perform at Mesnes Park

The event in Mesnes Park attracted hundreds of people who enjoyed the sunny weather and music.

The concert was the latest in a series paid for by the former Wigan businessman who left £2million of his £7million fortune to the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust – on condition that the bands he loved to hear as a boy began playing again at the bandstand in his beloved Mesnes Park.

Mr Higham flew Sunderland and Lancaster bombers in WWII before taking on his parents’ successful floristry business in Wigan.

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He grew up near the park and spent his boyhood weekends at the bandstand. He bemoaned the fact bands had been stopped and always said ‘I’m going to put the bands back in Wigan’.

He retired to Cornwall and died childless at the age of 91 in 2008, leaving behind a £7m fortune, which included several paintings by childhood friend and artist James Lawrence.