ARCHIVES: Coal Mining
The Winding Wheel
When Desford Colliery closed in 1984, the history society approached the National Coal Board to see if Desford could acquire an item to use as a memorial. Desford had benefitted from investment in housing and mining by the NCB.The NCB suggested a winding wheel.
The society set up the Wheel Appeal as several hundred pounds was needed for the project. After negotiations with the Parish and County Council the site on Lindridge Lane, Desford opposite what is now the Village Hall (at the time, the Miners Institute) was agreed. Half a wheel was chosen, as this was easier to mount at the site.
Smith’s, a local haulage company moved the wheel from the colliery yard. A base was made so that the wheel could be mounted on its shaft, pedestal and bearing. The NCB prepared the site, and the 14 tons of wheel was lifted by crane onto the site.
A surrounding wall was needed.The Butterley Brick company supplied the bricks and local builder Philip Gaunt completed the wall.
At the opening ceremony, on September 12th 1987, the wheel was decked with flowers and Ratby Silver Band played. Ex -Desford colliery workers, society members and village residents gathered to hear speeches by Anthony Wessel, chairman of the History Society and Jack Jones of the N.U.M. A plaque was unveiled by the granddaughter of Mr. Butterley who had been manager of the colliery before nationalisation.