Village installs permanent reminder of its mining heritage

Coun Tom Dunn, Coun Liz Dunn, Jeannie Kielty of the Banks Group and Coun Kevin Hindmarsh.
Coun Tom Dunn, Coun Liz Dunn, Jeannie Kielty of the Banks Group and Coun Kevin Hindmarsh.

A permanent reminder of the region’s mining heritage has been installed at a village thanks to a four-figure grant.

Lynemouth Parish Council applied to the Banks Group’s Community Fund after being offered a pit wheel from the former Daw Mill colliery in Warwickshire, which closed in 2013.

And after securing £4,165 to help bring it north, the 6.6metre diameter wheel has been installed in the centre of the village by local contractor W L Straughan & Son Ltd.

As part of the celebrations, an art competition was set up for children from the local William Leech Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy, with the entries being put on display at a special event in the Lynemouth Institute.

The parish council is now developing plans to improve the area around the pit wheel, with a view to establishing it as the village’s centrepiece.

Liz Dunn, chairman of Lynemouth Parish Council, says: “Mining was the driving force behind the creation and evolution of our community, and we’ve long wanted to have something permanent in place to celebrate our mining heritage, so when the opportunity came up to bring the Daw Mill wheel to Northumberland, we did everything we could to make it happen.

“We didn’t have the resources needed to either transport or install the wheel, but when the Banks Group stepped in, we moved to get things done as quickly as we could.

“We want to make the wheel a real focal point for our community.”

“The crocus bulb planting that we have done with the Rotary Club is just the first of many ideas that we hope will put this part of Lynemouth at the centre of community life.

“Many of the schoolchildren who took part in our art competition had grandparents and other family members who worked in the local mines, and the drawings they submitted of how they saw our community’s mining heritage were extremely impressive.”

Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at the Banks Group, said: “Being part of Northumberland’s continuing mining heritage ourselves, this is a project that was close to our heart and the pit wheel provides a fitting tribute to the generations of local miners and their families who help to make the North East an industrial powerhouse.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.

Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.