Sculptures to honour region’s proud past

These are the first images of a memorial set to be created in Staffordshire to honour the men who once worked in the biggest colliery in Europe.

Miners 5 PM 10

Four miners will be represented in the tableau at Rugeley, which boasted the rich seams of Lea Hall and Brereton collieries.

A location for the £70,000 memorial has now been put out for public consultation at the request of Cannock Chase District Council which is providing most of the money.

The Globe island on the A460 is the preferred choice of the organising committee and wooden cutouts of the proposed statues were put there yesterday. However, Stag’s Leap island, Brereton Hill island, Brook Square and the Colliers’ island have also been put forward as possible sites.

Rugeley is the only town in Cannock Chase not to have a commemorative statue to its mining past. The sculpture will show four pitmen, each facing one of four converging roads. However the statues will no longer stand on a shared circular plinth as the combined 18 ton weight risked damaging power cables below any roundabout it is put on. Instead they will stand as separate pieces, representing different aspects of the local industry.

So far more than 400 people have taken part in the consultation, which closes on October 20.