Town to mark its mining heritage

Francis Jackson with the section of pit wheel at Alexander House, Askern
Francis Jackson with the section of pit wheel at Alexander House, Askern

One of Doncaster's former mining towns is set to put its proud coal heritage on high-profile display in the town.

Officials are planning to place half of the former winding wheel from Askern Colliery in a new location - in a corner of a park overlooking the main road through the village.

The colliery was closed in 1991, 80 years after its shaft's were first sunk.

Sections of its winding wheel were subsequently sited at both Askern Town Council's base at Alexander House on High Street and at Askern Miners Welfare, at Manor Way.

Now plans have been drawn up to move the wheel to a high profile location next to Askern Lake, near the junction of the main road through the town, the A19, and Station Road.

Permission has now been granted by Doncaster Council for the wheel to be re-sited, on a new plinth. It will also be repainted and tidied up.

Chairman of Askern Town Council, Coun Francis Jackson, said: "Unless you go into the miners welfare, you would not know the section of the wheel was there.

"It has always been one of our passions in Askern that we have a proud mining heritage, but there has not been much telling people passing through about that history, which made such an important contribution to Britain's industrial past."

The work has been backed by businesses,including Anesco, the firm which sited solar panels on the site of the former mine. The community has pledged money after a fundraising campaign, and Askern Town Council will also provide funds.

The town already has a memorial to the colliery in front of Alexander House carrying the names of men who died in service at the former pit, along with two former colliery coal tubs.