Tribute to mining legacy revealed in Burntwood
A poignant monument to mining has been unveiled near the site of a former pit after more than a decade of planning and hard work.
The bronze statue depicting a miner and pit pony has been revealed at Sankey's Corner in Burntwood.
The pony has been nicknamed Scamp after the scheme that brought it into being, the Sankey's Corner Arts Miner Project.
People of the town were consulted about what the sculpture should look like and where it should stand, and turned out in their hundreds for the unveiling.
Burntwood Town Council and Burntwood Chase Heritage were behind the memorial.
Ron Bradbury, chairman of both groups, said it had provided the town with 'a heart' and commemorated not only the miners but 100 years of history in Burntwood.
"People forget that Chasetown and Chase Terrace did not exist until the pits," he said.
Fundraising is still ongoing to pay for the £50,000 tribute created by local artist Peter Walker, who grew up in the town. He also sculpted the statue of Erasmus Darwin in Lichfield's Beacon Park.
The names of miners who worked in the local pits are recorded on plaques around the plinth.
Mr Bradbury said: "It was wonderful to see the monument finally unveiled. It has attracted a lot of attention since the official ceremony. Even yesterday there was a crowd of more than 20 around it.
"It has given the town a heart. Before now there was no real focus to the High Street.
Sankey's Corner, in the middle of Chasetown and Chase Terrace, seemed the right place for it."
The ceremony on Saturday was followed by music from Rugeley Power Station Band and a pig roast.
A video played in the library showing the stages of the sculpture's progress and a book about the background of the project was on sale.
Ponies were used in mines from the mid-18th century until the 20th century.
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