Sites of historically important buildings in Wrexham marked with new plaques

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

HISTORY enthusiasts have put up plaques to mark the stories of several important buildings.

In 2012 a plaque was displayed in the graveyard of Bryn Seion chapel to mark the work the Broughton District History Group had done to clean and save the neglected space, following which more plaques have been put up to record the history of other sites.

After the completion of four more plaques by Stephen Price Memorials, The Broughton District History Group have had them installed at the sites of Broughton’s Iron Age Fort, Brynteg Village Church, formerly The Rockwood Mission, Westminster Colliery and The Palace Cinema.

The fort, which would have been built on the high ground close to Gwalia Road in Pentre Broughton more than 2000 years ago, was excavated and researched in the 1970s. No artefacts were found but detailed plans of this important site are now recorded.

Speaking of Brynteg Village Church, Broughton District History Group chairman Jim Nuttall said: “This small church at the junction of Long Lane and Derby Road in Brynteg started in 1949 in an old army wooden hut.

“It was the mission of four local men to bring the word of God to local people.

“One of its greatest strengths was its strong family values and the support it gave to people who even to this day remember the trips and activities they organised.

“For many years it was very well supported but in recent times the congregation had declined. Last year the church had a facelift and the new Pastor, Ken Lillie is very positive about the future.”

Susan Davies, the daughter of the founder Len Brown, was happy to sponsor the plaque in the memory of her father and the other leaders.

On Westminster Colliery, Mr Nuttall added: “For well over 100 years coal was mined in the Moss Valley and today no one would believe this spot employed hundreds of people.

“David Williams, a local builder, unveiled the plaque with his friend Eddie Challoner who ran buses in this area.

“David’s great grandfather worked in this mine as a pit head winder, a vital job to get men to the shaft bottom and the coal out.

“Other relatives worked in pits in the area and also ran The Bridge Inn just down the road from the pit. This inn and many houses were demolished in a council slum clearance programme started at the end of the 30’s.”

The Palace Cinema was built on High Street, Pentre Broughton, with money from local businessmen in 1936 and continued for nearly 30 years.

Pantomimes were performed there for a number of years and the building is remembered with affection by many people.

The seating capacity of 450 was regularly exceed for popular shows.

Bronwen Jones joined with Hywel Cunnah to see the new plaque opposite the site in situ. Bronwen’s father, Robert Griffiths and Hywell’s Grandfather were two of the original investors.

Mr Nuttall added: “The group will be continuing to look for more sites so that the rich history of this area can be remembered for many years to come.”

To find out more about Broughton District History Group – which meets monthly at Broughton Memorial Hall in Quarry Road, Brynteg – visit www.broughton-history.co.uk

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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