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Heritage Tour: St Helens and Wigan

5th December 2015


Northwich Memorial Court


Pickup Times

9.00am from Northwich
Other pick-up points available - details and booking conditions here.

We start the day at the World of Glass in St Helens. The World of Glass provides a journey of discovery into one of the most common substances on Earth – Glass. Travel from 500BC to the present day and discover the amazing history of glass and how our lives wouldn’t be the same without it. Watch live glass blowing demonstrations, experience the stunning special effects film show, visit the extensive galleries and explore the underground tunnels beneath the Victorian Cone House – home to the world’s first continuous glass production tank. Also visit the canal-side Kaleidoscope Café, Artisan Gift Shop and Level One Art Gallery – a contemporary space where visitors can view and purchase work from local artists.

The North West Museum of Road Transport is run by volunteers who are keen to show the public the rich transport heritage of the north west. A great many of the exhibits are buses, as the museums origins come from when a group of enthusiasts from the St Helens area got together to raise funds to preserve an ex St Helens trolleybus. Other exhibits are fire engines, cars, vans and bicycles. The Museum is housed in the former St Helens Corporation Transport bus depot in Hall Street, in the centre of St Helens

After lunch, and if the weather is fine, we will visit Dream, at Sutton Manor. Dream is the spectacular, internationally significant, landmark sculpture sited on the former Sutton Manor Colliery. The 20 metre-high artwork takes the form of a young girl's head with her eyes closed in a seemingly dream-like state. The piece has a white, almost luminescent finish in marked contrast to the black of the coal that still lies below. Its contours and reflectivity change according to the time of day and the weather. Dream was conceived and designed by the world-renowned, award-winning, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. His other works include The Crown Fountain (2000) in the centre of Chicago and Breathing, the illuminated glass dome of BBC Broadcasting House in London. Commissioned by ex-miners and St.Helens Council, the sculpture reflects the aspirations of the local community, who, far from wanting a mining monument, sought instead a forward-looking piece that would provide a beautiful, inspiring, contemplative space for generations to come

We finish the day at the The Museum of Wigan Life, which houses over 30,000 objects relating to life in Wigan Borough, past and present. The collections include fine art, archaeology, social history, natural history, coins, decorative art and industrial history. The story of local people can be told through everyday objects like Roman pottery or 16th century pewter ware. The museum holds everything from 19th century Blackpool holiday souvenirs to a German helmet from the First World War. Recently put on display are artworks by J L Isherwood, Theodore Major and Harry Walder.

The Face of Wigan, located in the town centre since 2008, is a stainless steel sculpture of a face created by sculptor Rick Kirby.


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