2023 30 years in business
In 2023 on Sunday April 9th The Gallery was 30 years old.
We first opened on Good Friday 1993 courtesy of Wigan Leisure Services Dept., Manager Tim Sherrat, following a series of craft fairs run by Karen Buckels in the Stables Art Studio. There were six original artists/businesses who got together to launch the idea.
Odette M. Bell, Sandra Cooper, Philip Davies, Andrew Green, Eileen Johnstone, Graham & Marjorie Jones.
The Gallery was later opened "officially" by the Mayor, Joe Clarke on the 16th June 1993.
Over the years we have had numerous people leaving and others joining us.
In alphabetical order:-
Beryl Appleby, Marion Andrews, Andrea Berry, Liz Bradley, George Clarke, Renee Cryer, Maureen Davies, Gill Ford, Freda Webster Green, Jean Hurst, Ruth Kidd, Dave & Jeannie Lathom, Val MacDonald, Tom Mason, Sara Jane Noonan, Lee Peace (Barbara Lee), Sandy Pimlet, Bill Place, Peter Raymond, Roy Richardson, Brian & Maureen Rollins, Peggy Scott, Edna & Peter Taylor (Peter? in hiding?) Nora Wilson, and Enid Yates. Jeanette and Gill Brown. (November 2019 - July 2021)
Currently members are Philip, Maureen, Michelle, Rachael, Lindsey
Barbara is a regular volunteer without portfolio. We are still waiting to hear from Peter (missing since Covid struck)
Starting purely as a permanent craft fair we have evolved over the years. From demonstrations and selling creations we started giving lessons and eventually providing children's crafts. In 2009 when WLCT took over from the Council Leisure Dept. we moved premises to the courtyard shop and, due to "Council cuts", the gift shop/information centre was closed and we took over their role selling souvenirs and footballs etc. Along with a small sweet shop (all requested by the public at the time) and, with a new Lucky Dip idea, we managed to survive the lean years after "The 2008 Crash".
When the "New", Woodland Park/Kitchen Courtyard ideas were rolled out we moved premises for the second time, moving back upstairs. We cut down on the sweets range and our role as unofficial information centre.
With added technology The Stables Gallery is now able to give discounted (or free) car parking to our customers. Over the years we have added card payments facilities and CCTV security to the Gallery. The Gallery was experiencing visitor numbers of over 22,000 per year before the Kitchen Courtyard changes. This is still rising as the park becomes even more widely known. (last amended 8th April 2023)