War heroes valued at 10p a head

Visitors have donated an average of 10p each
Visitors have donated an average of 10p each

Visitors to an exhibition honouring Chorley’s war heroes have donated an average of just 10p each.

The Chorley Remembers Experience has been a big hit since it opened at Astley Hall in June last year.

Admission is free and there is a donation box for anyone who wishes to contribute to the exhibition.

On Twitter, Chorley Remembers said: “21,500 visitors to #Chorley Remembers exhibition since June 2013 (free entry) yet just £2,227 received in donations!”

The tweet was later deleted.

But Lindsay Hoyle, Chorley’s MP and chairman of Chorley Remembers, is not concerned about the size of the donations.

He said: “We didn’t do it to get people to pay, we did it to enlighten Chorley people on what people did.

“There is a donation box, but we didn’t do the project to get money.

“We have a wonderful project that 21,000 people have engaged with, which is a phenomenal amount.

“The project has been a huge success and we want to talk about the numbers of people who have come through and enjoyed the Chorley Remembers project and that’s what we did it for.”

Chorley Remembers was set up in 2007 by Mr Hoyle and Steve Williams and secured more than £105,000 for a memorial to the Chorley Pals, which was erected on the Flat Iron car park.

They went on to open the Chorley Remembers Experience in the Coach House at Astley Hall, which looks at Chorley’s military history.

It was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and donations to the Chorley Remembers appeal fund, with Chorley Council providing the exhibition space and staff.

It now relies on fund-raising and donations to develop the project.

The exhibition has attracted droves of people, with 17,047 visiting in the 12 months following its opening.

The highest number of visitors was on the Big Drum Day last year, when 700 people went through the doors, and there were more than 400 visitors on the day of Derian House Children’s Hospice’s winter sparkle spectacular earlier this month.

Steve Williams, project manager for Chorley Remembers, was not able to comment.