Wheel of Light a shining tribute to mining history

Glasshoughton memorial will be a reminder of a proud industrial past

By Tony Gardner

AN ICONIC pit winding wheel that celebrates the long and glorious history of Glasshoughton Colliery has been unveiled.

The Wheel of Light, built on the old Glasshoughton Colliery and Chemical and Coking Works will be a monument to the area's proud industrial past and a symbol of optimism for the future.

It was officially switched on by Mrs Winnie McLoughlin, a former mayor of Castleford and Wakefield and a member of the Glasshoughton Forum.

Striking

The structure – which is illuminated at night – was designed by Derby-based architects Faulks Perry Culley and Rech and built by Architen Landrell of Chepstow.

It will stand by the roundabout outside the Asda store at Glasshoughton.

Stuart McLoughlin, the managing director of developers Waystone, who masterminded the project, said: "I am determined to ensure that no-one forgets Glasshoughton's proud past.

"As a civil engineer, I am acutely aware of Glasshoughton's proud industrial heritage.

"The winding wheel is beautifully designed and very striking. It will be illuminated at night and is very atmospheric.

"The Wheel of Light seemed an appropriate name because of the illumination and because it is a symbol of optimism and hope for the future as well as a reminder of the community's past achievements."

Lost lives

He added: "There is an element of sadness too about the wheel because miners have lost their lives at Glasshoughton over the years."

Surface coal was extracted in the Glasshoughton area in 1570.

A colliery was started at Glasshoughton in 1793 by a Mr Smith, but deep mining as we know it began with the opening of Glasshoughton colliery in 1869.

This colliery, which created more than 2,000 jobs, was eventually closed in 1986.

The wheel will be one of three iconic images of Glasshoughton's past on the site.

Located at Junction 32 of the M62 in West Yorkshire between Castleford and Pontefract, it is a 150 million, 335-acre mixed-use business park which has been developed by Waystone in conjunction with Yorkshire Forward, Wakefield Council, English Partnerships and backed by the European Regional Development Fund.

tony.gardner@ypn.co.uk