Wheel-y good idea to keep Wrexham heritage alive

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A TOWERING monument to Ruabon’s rich mining history could soon appear in a key roadside location.

At its meeting on Monday, Wrexham’s planning committee will consider an application by Ruabon Community Council to site half a colliery wheel on the roundabout at the junction of the A539 and the B5605, just south of the village.

Planning chief Lawrence Isted is recommending members give the go-ahead to the ambitious scheme.

Standing just under 11ft and around 16ft long, it would be located close to the Wynnstay Colliery, which closed down over a century ago. A number of the massive wheels, which lowered miners down to the coal face, taken from various local collieries, have been kept by Wrexham museum service at the former Bersham pit.

They were originally built in two halves and Ruabon community was able to choose the one it wanted from a number available.

The plan is to mount the half-wheel on a plinth built from Ruabon red brick on the busy roundabout where it can be seen by the hundreds of motorists who pass by each day.

In a prime position at the entrance to the Dee Valley and the World Heritage Site, it is also expected to attract tourists to the area.

In a report Mr Isted recommends the planning committee to grant the application.
Ruabon Community Council clerk, Robert Bennett, said: “The cost of the scheme is surprisingly small – about £2,000 for the building of the plinth.

“The half-wheel itself would be on permanent loan from Wrexham museum service and all we would have to do is maintain it.

“There would also be a plaque giving a description of the wheel but for safety reasons this would be placed on the pavement at the side of the roundabout.”

Cllr Barry Price, who is a community council member, said: “Similar wheels have been placed in a number of places around the area, such as the one at Chirk and Bersham.

“I was inspired by the one at the bottom of Gutter Hill in Johnstown, which has been painted bright blue.

“I think the one we plan would reflect Ruabon’s rich coal mining history.

“It would also be the very first icon the public would be able to see as they head into the World Heritage Site and also show Ruabon as a welcoming village.”

See full story in the Leader

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