Bid to honour Workington steel heritage on roundabout
Last updated at 20:05, Thursday, 02 August 2012
A major piece of Workington’s industrial heritage will be placed on a town roundabout if ambitious £10,000 plans get the go-ahead.
Alan Smith, leader of Allerdale council, wants to site a 15-tonne mill roll stand on the Solway Road roundabout near Matalan as a permanent reminder of the town’s history.
The large oblong roller refined the steel, helping to produce the town’s world-famous railway lines.
Coun Smith, a former steelworker of 36 years, said: “When the steelworks closed six years ago I was conscious that, in the past, we had lost some of our heritage.
“The Bessemer Converter went to Sheffield and there was nothing left.
“That was a travesty and I was determined to reclaim something of our heritage for future generations.
“This is a reminder of where we have come from. West Cumbria was built on steel and on coal.”
The mill roll stand has been lying at the site entrance to Corus – now Tata Steel – for several years.
Coun Smith had asked Corus if it would give the town something as a “focal point”.
He later heard a rumour that it was due to be scrapped and stepped in again to save it.
The project also has the backing of ward councillor Barbara Cannon who was involved in original negotiations to safeguard artifacts from Workington’s industrial past.
She said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to have part of Workington’s history permanently left behind.”
Tata Steel is to have apprentices sandblast it in readiness for it to be placed on the roundabout.
The company has also agreed to make a plinth for free, Coun Smith said.
He estimated that the project could cost up to £10,000.
Ms Cannon added: “It would be great if we could get some of the local businesses to help us.”
A timetable for the project is still to be worked out but the installation would require planning permission.
The mill roll stand would also have to be moved from its current location, which would require road closures.
A similar project was proposed last year for the Stainburn roundabout on the A66 by Bob Hardon, then chairman of the Stainburn Community Group. He wanted a 15ft fibreglass and steel half-size replica of the Bessemer Converter located there, but the sculpture has not been built.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 02 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I think that recognition should go to members of the Old Workington site Mel and Mark Hucknall who saw the discarded piece of rolling mill machinery and alerted Alan to the fact that it would be taken for scrap if something wasnt done...after a meeting with Alan Smith it was agreed by all that this was too important to leave discarded in an unsafe area..hence the plans to display..thank you Alan but also thank you Mel and Mark for your foresight..
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