Burntwood Mining Memorial – unveiling today!

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At least this one is a local project. But I remain ambivalent, to be honest.

David Hodgkinson, top chap and grandfather of Brownhills local history on the web has written to point out an event in Burntwood. Burntwood’s long awaited mining memorial will be unveiled with a carnival atmosphere at Sankey’s Corner at 2pm (so arrive a good bit earlier to catch everything). There will be a pig roast, bouncy castle and other attractions, and a decent afternoon out is in prospect.

I must admit, I have similar misgivings about this as I do other mining memorials, including our own; there’s something of the Soviet approach in building memorials to an industry we killed, whilst the last surviving miners we pay tribute to are often fighting for care and dignity in their old age. I have nothing but respect and admiration for our miners and the history – a quick read of this blog will tell anyone that – but sometimes, I fear these gestures are more about civic appearance than anything else.

The Burntwood SCAMP project is, however, a bit different; the money has been raised locally by a hardworking team dedicated to the project, and everything about it – including the erection of the plinth – has been created by local companies and individuals. It is truly of the town and area, and not some identikit off-the-peg thing like Hednesford and Piccadilly. So to that, I raise my hat. It also looks good too, which is half the battle.

I make no apologies for the way I feel about this stuff, but please understand I’m very concerned about the way we remember and understand our mining heritage, for better and for worse. We owe that to those lost, in my opinion.

David wrote:

Dear BrownhillsBob,

Not as big as the Brownhills Miner (and not even in Brownhills!) but still a link with the recent mining past of the area.

Worth a plug via your blog?

The Burntwood Chase Heritage Group are keen bunch and would no doubt appreciate the support.

All the best,

David Hodgkinson

Always worth a plug for you, David…

Miner statue dream at Sankey’s Corner

By Lichfield Mercury

Thursday, May 30, 2013

By Alex Keller

AFTER many years of fund-raising, the “dream” of standing a statue on Sankey’s Corner at Chase Terrace is about to be fulfilled.

The striking monument to mining, known as SCAMP – Sankey’s Corner Arts Miner Project – will be publicly unveiled next Saturday, June 8, at 2pm.

Burntwood Chase Heritage Group and Burntwood Town Council are behind the bronze statue of a miner and his pit pony.

“After many years of fund-raising, this fine monument to the memory of the town’s heritage will be shown to the public for the first time,” said project spokesman Ron Bradbury.

“This statue will be most significant thing to happen in Burntwood for a generation.”

The unveiling also takes place in the same week as the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. 

Town sculptor Peter Walker has created the lifelike work.

Mr Walker is the man behind several other pieces of public art, including the recent statue of Erasmus Darwin in Lichfield’s Beacon Park, a commission which led to him meeting Princess Anne earlier this year when she visited the park.

As well as serving as a general monument to the area’s mining heritage, SCAMP will stand on a circular brick plinth with plaques bearing individual names.

“Although we still need funding, we cannot add any more names to the plaques as they have gone to be cast,” added Mr Bradbury.

“There may be a further opportunity for latecomers at a later date.”

Everyone is welcome to come to the unveiling ceremony, which will be followed by music from Rugeley Power Station Band, a pig roast and – weather permitting – a bouncy castle for children.

There will also be a video playing in the library showing the stages of SCAMP’s progress. 

A book about the history behind the project and pit ponies in general will be on sale during the day at £8 per copy.

The tome will include the names included on the plaques fixed to the plinth, and all profits from book sales will go to SCAMP.

“Everyone is welcome to witness the event and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation with us,” said Mr Bradbury. 

Anyone who can help provide food or entertainment on the day of the unveiling can contact Mr Bradbury on 01543 677789.

 

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3 Responses to Burntwood Mining Memorial – unveiling today!

  1. Pingback: Where the art is… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  2. There was a very good turnout for the unveiling at two o’clock resulting in a Sankey’s Corner pedestrian gridlock and an early sell out of the hog roast!

    So thanks to BrownhillsBob from Chase Terrace and surrounding hamlets for the publicity.

  3. Pingback: The gold hoard to arrive in Brownhills at last… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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