Friday 2nd March : As usual on the last minute the editor and his helper Bertie Blair arrived at the Leigh Sports Village to be at the launch of a new website championing the creative talent pool that is Wigan armed with a college pop-up banner and pens to give away.
Anywhere were there is a champagne reception coupled with various pies has to be worth attending. The event which is to promote the use of local creatives by commerce within the Wigan postcode area was opened by Dave Guest off the BBC - it's right what 'they' say about TV putting weight on you - he's a lot slimmer than appears on screen. He was followed by Andy Burnham MP who was as confident as you'd expect and very supportive in promoting the initiative.
Next up was an old 'mate' of the editor. Casting his mind back to 1975 and Wigan Technical College graphic design courses in Library Street the editor recalled a guy in year three who was a roadie for a local group called 'Kettle' and getting into bother with Walt Disney. A larger than life character Winston Higham now the Chief Executive of JJB Fitness was full of stories of Wigan girls and his adventures within the business had the room in fits of laughter. He had to disappear soon after as a certain Mr Whelan was expecting him back behind his desk.
Already featured in the pages of this blog was the next guest speaker. Brian Cannon in body if not mind mused about the desire to succeed and the belief designers must have to reach the top.
Then another television personality and someone the editor has seen in the Fat Olive talked about team work. Phil Clarke the Sky Sports rugby frontman leant his support.
Although the idea of Creative Wigan has been the child of many eminent voices it wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the next speaker and friend of FD Graphics Will Bentley. His company BD2 who have welcomed FD Graphic students into their agency have created the website and continue to host.
The final speaker was the deputy leader of Wigan Council Dave Molyneux who is a keen advocate of the Council’s buy local initiative.
Speeches over, time for pie and networking. A brief hello to Danny Parker of Parker Sandford, a catch up with former student Matt Owen from Nectar Creative and an unexpected chat - via Bertie with Ian Greenhalgh from Greenhalgh Kerr who discussed where qualified students who haven't secured employment meet. The Wigan & Leigh pens seemed very popular, especially with a local theatre company.
The site has gone from strength to strength and is supporting the Wigan Expo to be held at the DW Stadium in early October - bob on to have a look www.creativewigan.com and click the register link to join up and support the initiative.