New mineshaft created to celebrate area’s heritage

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Staff reporter

A REGION’S mining heritage is being celebrated with the creation of a new mining facility.

Farmer John Pierce has overseen the building of the new mine headframe and mineshaft at Chirk Airfield, where a mine was previously in operation.

The creation of the mine will help pump water back to the nearby Ley Farm, owned by Mr Pierce.

Mr Pierce is keen to celebrate the heritage of mining with the creation of the new facility, said to be the first of its kind built in North Wales for many years and using original items from former collieries.

He said the development is now fully operational.

“This is helping escort the water back to the farm,” he said.

“It is a case of putting things back exactly as they were and celebrating the way things used to be. These things are a very important part of Chirk’s heritage.”

Mr Pierce’s father-in-law worked at the Black Park Colliery in Halton, with Mr Pierce having obtained the basic steel framework for the headframe after the mine permanently closed in 1968.

Having looked after it for many years he is now putting it to good use by creating the mine for the benefit of both the farm and the general public.

“This is for the old miners,” Mr Pierce said. “It is for their wives and children.

“I’m very proud of the work that has been done to help make this possible and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the process. They have done a very good job.

“I hope people want to come and have a look at it, everyone is welcome to come and see it.”

Mr Pierce said the hole for the mine is as deep as 20ft and added work was performed by engineers to help bring the project to life.

It has been supported by organisations including the North Wales Mines Association Trust (NWMAT) and the Glyn Valley Tramway.

A special event is now being planned for Sunday, October 9, to mark the opening of the development.

The NWMAT’s website states the new headframe is the first created in North Wales for many years.

It says the winding wheels come from Ollerton Colliery, with the winch loaned from Shropshire Mines Trust and the cage coming from a Wrexham scrapyard.

See full story in the Leader

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