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Historic mining wheel returned for war and pitmen memorial off A34

By Richard Guttridge | Cannock | News | Published: | Last Updated:

An historic mining wheel has been returned to the site of a former colliery more than 25 years after it closed.

Pictured in front of the former Lea Hall Colliery pit wheel is Scott Allport and former miner Brian Lester

The wheel has been moved from Littleton Leisure Park in Huntington, near Cannock, and into position off the A34 to form the centrepiece of a memorial garden honouring local war heroes and former pit workers.

The impressive garden is the result of years of campaigning and hard work by parish councillors to return the wheel to its original home.

WATCH: Wheel moved into place

Footage: Bojay Productions

Huntington Memorial Garden, Littleton Colliery Wheel Move

The pit closed in 1993 when the wheels were moved to the park but parish councillors were determined to bring one of them back to the site to act as a permanent reminder of the past.

Huntington Parish Council put up £115,000 to fund the project after a funding request to Heritage Lottery was turned down and threatened to deliver a fatal blow to the plan.

WATCH: Workers and war heroes honoured at memorial

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Historic mining wheel returned to old colliery

There are two wheels at the leisure park and one has been moved back to the old colliery site.

Around 100 people turned out to see the return of the wheel and broke out into applause as it was lifted into place.

The site where one of the mining wheels came from Lea Hall Colliery, near Rugeley, captured on camera by Mr G T Evans in September, 1965

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A plaque is due to be added to the plinth where the wheel stands featuring the names of local soldiers who fought in both world wars and former miners.

The parish council persevered with the project despite the rejection from Heritage Lottery, with the cash instead coming from the council's reserves pot.

The successful delivery of the project has been particularly poignant for parish council chairman Scott Allport, whose grandfather worked in the pits.

Parish councillor Scott Allport

He said: "There were times over the last few years when we thought the project wouldn't happen but we all pulled together and worked hard.

"It's nice to see it there in place where it should be and for my family who have always lived here. When my nieces and nephews get older they will be able to say uncle Scott played his part in moving the wheel.

"We applied for Heritage Lottery funding. Unfortunately they decided against giving any money which was disappointing. But we looked at our own finances and decided we could finance it ourselves.

"When the wheel was moved I went into the local pub and everyone was over the moon with it."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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