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SWINTON SEES DR WHO STYLE MINING SCUPTURES DEDICATED TO SALFORD PIT HERITAGE
 

Star date: 14th September 2017

MINING EQUIPMENT SCULPTURES TRANSFORMED FROM 'SCRAPYARD' TO DR WHO

Yesterday, former Agecroft Colliery miners gathered to dedicate old mining equipment 'sculptures' on the corner of Queensway and Bolton Road in Swinton to the memory of those who worked in Salford's ten pits.

The rusting machinery had been located on the site for a number of years but Friends of Agecroft Colliery arranged for it to be sandblasted and painted white, and it now looks like something from a Dr Who set. Three new benches have been installed and the site was formally opened by Ceremonial Mayor, Peter Connor.

Full details here...


Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton
Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton Mining Equipment Dedication in Swinton
click image to enlarge

Many would have driven or walked past rusting machinery on the corner of Queensway and Bolton Road in Swinton wondering what it was... "It looked like a scrapyard" says Alex Channon, Chairman of Friends of Agecroft Colliery.

After creating the mining bench outside Salford Civic Centre, the Friends, all ex-Agecroft Colliery workers, decided to do something about the Queensway site, and the results were officially unveiled yesterday.

Three new benches have been installed and the old rusting mining equipment has been painted futuristic white which makes the site iconically stand out...

"People have been very complimentary about it, many saying it looks like something out of Dr Who" Alex explains "Before, people didn't have a clue what it was, but now it looks nice and should stay in that condition for quite some time, as we've sandblasted it and given it two coats of industrial paint."

The equipment was originally brought to Queensway from Scotland a few years ago as part of a heritage project by Swinton Angling Group, as the old lodge for Newtown Colliery is located nearby. It consists of an old coal tub, a hydraulic roof support, also known as a 'walking chuck', and a disc wheel.

Together, and with their new makeover, they now look like stand-out smart sculptures. But, as speakers at yesterday's dedication insisted, the mining memory of the area will never be forgotten...

Tony Haslam, Safety Engineer at Agecroft Colliery from 1978 until it closed in 1990, and now Treasurer of Friends of Agecroft Colliery, read out the names of ten Salford pits in the Swinton, Pendlebury, Irlam and Eccles area**, most of which had two or three generations of families working in them... 

"On average a colliery would employ about one thousand people, so this area had ten thousand men, women, boys and girls who worked in these mines" he said "There's one hell of a heritage."

Former Salford NUM secretary, Jim Lord, acknowledged the help from Salford Council in the transformation of the site and the work of the late Brian Stott, former Agecroft Deputy, who was a major force behind the heritage work of the Friends of Agecroft Colliery and this latest project.

The site was officially opened by the Ceremonial Mayoress and Mayor, Peter Connor, who said that members of his family worked in the pits, including his older brother... "It seems to me that people forget about those who have done so much for this city, and the miners were a real core of activity" he said "...'We shall remember them'..."


*See also previous Salford Star article on the Civic Centre miners' bench memorial click here

 
** The ten Salford pits were...

Wet Earth Colliery 180 years of mining 1748-1928
Pendleton Colliery 111 years 1828-1939
Sandhole colliery 97 years 1865-1962
Clifton Hall Colliery 91 years 1838-1929
Wheatsheaf Colliery 115 years 1846-1961
Sandhole Colliery 97 years 1865-1962
Mosley Common Colliery 108 years 1860-1968
Ellesmere Colliery 55 years 1866-1921
Newtown Colliery 86 years 1875-1961
Agecroft Colliery 118 years 1844-1932/1960-1990

alex channon wrote
at 2:59:06 AM on Friday, September 15, 2017
Many thanks to T Hall for pointing out all those other pits. Our memorial at Queensway is intended to remember all mines and miners who worked at pits at in Swinton, Pendlebury and importantly surrounding areas as it says on the plaque. The ten pits mentioned on the day were the ones chosen by our Treasurer. On reflection more former collieries could have been mentioned on the day. I have to be honest and say I haven't heard of all those other pits.

T Hall wrote
at 12:55:11 PM on Thursday, September 14, 2017
If Sandhole, Mosley Common and Ellesmere, all in Walkden, are to be classed as Salford pits. Then the following should also be included in any list. Linnyshaw [1850-1921], Ashton Field [1852-1920s], Edgefold [1846-1964], Brackley [1878-1964], Wharton Hall [1873-1968], all in Walkden/Little Hulton. Also a number of other pits functioning mainly before 1900, such as Madams Wood in Little Hulton and Magnalls in Walkden. There were also many other smaller pits, around Walkden. And one should not forget the other Clifton colliery. Botany Bay which operated between around 1760 and 1894.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 7:58:05 AM on Thursday, September 14, 2017
As an ex coal miner from Doncaster I praise this tribute. Many of us lost family and friends but I remember how proud we all were of their sacrifice. Please do not forget the important part their dug coals made to the war effort, we would not have a peace and freedom UK without their hard work. With respect I thank those who did this tribute. Great.

white wrote
at 7:58:01 AM on Thursday, September 14, 2017
There is another, little known colliery; Clifton Moss Colliery, 1840-1922, which was appropriately enough sited at the end of Moss Colliery Road, Clifton. There is nothing of it left of it now, the site is covered by a wood. I have a couple of poor quality photos taken in 1968, when there were still a few remnants of it left.

alex channon wrote
at 7:57:49 AM on Thursday, September 14, 2017
Excellent article Stephen. Our mining heritage is important and proud to do our bit to keep it alive.

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