Mining Wheel Unveiled As Part Of 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Ashington’s new Mining Wheel Entrance Feature was unveiled by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery today (15 September).

The fully restored mining wheel (constructed by Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd) has been placed on Rotary Parkway, the main route through the town (on the A197), and stands at almost 5m tall. 

The project, developed by Ashington Town Council, celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the town following the sinking of the Bothal Mine Shaft in 1867 which led to the rapid expansion and development of Ashington.

As part of the project extensive shrub and tree planting has also taken place and the feature will be lit in the evening.  A board also provides information on the history of coal mining in the town.

Ian Lavery MP, on unveiling the feature, said ‘The wheel will remind this and future generations of the significance of coal mining to the area. Ashington was known as the largest pit village in the world and the location close to the Miner’s Chapel and the Colliery Heritage Trial will act as a fitting memorial to over 300 men who lost their lives at Ashington Colliery’. 

Ian Lavery was joined at the unveiling by Mr William Mason who, at 100 year old, is believed to be the oldest living miner in the Ashington area.

Councillor Stephen Fenwick, Leader of Ashington Town Council, added ‘The entrance feature will offer residents and visitors alike an excellent opportunity to reflect on the significance of coal mining both culturally and economically to the development of the town. It’s fitting that the Wheel should be unveiled in 2017 as we work to build a brighter future for the town from a proud past’.

The principal contractor for the project was Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd and Mr Frank Curry, Managing Director, said ‘Brambledown were delighted to have been involved in this project and it is obvious that it means so much to the people of Ashington’.

The project has been developed and funded by Ashington Town Council with support from the town’s County Councillors (Cllrs. Brian Gallacher, Lynne Grimshaw, Jim Lang, Ken Parry, Mark Purvis and Tom Wilson).

Ashington Town Council would like to thank the Northumberland National Union of Mineworkers and Northumberland County Council for their support as well as Brambledown Landscape Services, Barry Mead Heritage Consultancy, Azure Charitable Enterprises and AK Lighting & Signs in developing the project.   

In the photograph is Mr Mason, Mr Ian Lavery MP. Cllr. Fenwick, Cllr. Bridges (Civic Head) and Mr Frank Curry.

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