'Jigger' island named UK Roundabout of the Year

A road traffic island featuring a landmark 40ft statue of a miner has been declared "UK Roundabout of the Year".

The 'Jigger' roundabout which has been named best in the UK
The 'Jigger' roundabout which has been named best in the UK

The roundabout on the A452 at Brownhills is home to "Jigger", a stainless steel statue made in memory of Jack "Jigger" Taylor who died when the roof of the Walsall Wood pit where he worked collapsed in 1951.

The five-tonne statue, which cost £70,000, was commissioned by Walsall Council, created by artist John McKenna and set on the roundabout in 2006.

It was named "Jigger" two years later by his then 13-year-old great-grandson Jak Groves.

Every year the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society produces a calendar featuring a dozen roundabouts that the committee wishes to celebrate - and it sells world-wide.

This year the committee has chosen the Brownhills roundabout to illustrate the cover of Best of British Roundabouts 2022 Calendar, the December page and has declared it "UK Roundabout of the Year".

"It is a terrific roundabout and unique," said UKRAS President Kevin Beresford.

"We had discussions but that one has such a poignant story which swayed the committee.

"The statue is relevant to the industry in the area - in the nineteenth century 80 per cent of the Brownhills population worked in the mining industry, including children as young as 11.

"I have always admired miners - of all jobs it has to be the worst because of the dangers."

The 'Jigger' statue on the Brownhills traffic island that has been declared "UK Roundabout of the Year".

Mr Beresford said that the committee, which meets bi-monthly in a local pub, considers roundabouts from all over the country for inclusion.

"Roundabouts give local councils the opportunity to plant a garden," he said.

"They are much greener than traffic lights, more efficient and are also much safer as everyone is going in the same direction."

UKRAS was formed in 2003 in Redditch when a Mr Beresford, a former printer, and some friends decided to produce a calendar featuring its roundabouts.

The calendar gained national prominence when it was featured by Graham Norton on his television show and surprised the society by selling 20,000 copies.

"We then started travelling around Britain to look at roundabouts elsewhere," said Mr Beresford.

"There is even one in Yorkshire with a windmill on it producing flour.

"We see roundabouts as an oasis, they lift the spirits on long car journeys."

Anyone wishing to purchase the Best of British Roundabouts 2022 can visit roundaboutsofbritain.com, Amazon and eBay where it is available priced £10.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News