Donisthorpe welcomes back Colliery Wheel to Memorial Gardens after its refurbishment

The Friends of the ODA Memorial Gardens have a long way to go and they say the second stage to install footpaths and hard standing will prove more difficult

By Graham Hill

Posted: Wednesday, 25th October 2023 9:00 am

The wheel has returned 'home' to the Memorial Gardens in Donisthorpe near Ashby de la Zouch. All Photos: Friends of ODA Memorial Gardens
The wheel has returned 'home' to the Memorial Gardens in Donisthorpe near Ashby de la Zouch. All Photos: Friends of ODA Memorial Gardens
Local initiatives

Donisthorpe's Colliery Wheel has been returned to its home following its full refurbishment.

The Friends of the Oakthorpe Donisthorpe & Acresford Parish Council Memorial Gardens took delivery of the special item earlier this month.

The Colliery Wheel was collected in September so that it could have a thorough overhaul.

And it was delivered safely home by Cotton Transport and Sons Ltd, of Church Gresley.

The wheel was placed safely back on site, with the Friends saying the care taken by Cotton's staff was second to none.

But the return of the wheel did not go un-noticed by passers-by, particularly the children on their way to school at the village primary who wanted to stay and watch it being put in place.

Once the wheel had been safely placed in the gardens, it then had to be moved by T. R. Steele Contracts Ltd, into its new location by the use of skilful machine handling.

The Overseal-based company also carried out the groundworks and have in the past been involved with work at Conkers in Moira and Rosliston Forestry Centre.

With the aid of the ODA Friends volunteers and some hefty machinery, the wheel was positioned within its footings.

The concrete was provided by Borley's Ready-Mix Concrete of Donisthorpe Lane, Moira, and these works not only secured the Colliery Wheel into its new surroundings for the foreseeable future, but also ensured the wheel is a focal point in its own right within the Gardens.

The volunteers from Friends said they were 'extremely pleased' with the refurbishment that has been carried out on the wheel, and it has received some fantastic comments from the residents with regards to its new look and location.

The refurbishment, which included shot blasting the wheel to remove old paint finishes, applying a zinc undercoat and then top coating, was all completed by R and M Shotblasting Ltd from Measham.

This time-consuming work has revealed the name of steelmakers Dorman Long Ltd of Middlesbrough, on all the spokes of the colliery wheel, who produced the main components.

It is the group's ethos that they support and used local businesses to complete the work on the project.

Over the coming weeks they will call upon Tim Steele's expertise again to help move the earth bunds to develop the bones of the project and begin restructure of the site's new layout.

Maddie Parker, from the group explained: "We feel it is important to recognise and utilise skilled local businesses when completing work on the project.

"We wish to support our local businesses as they help and support our project."

The group have a long way to go yet and they say the second stage to install footpaths and hard standing will prove more difficult especially with the rising cost of materials.

If you can assist the project in anyway or would like more information, please email the volunteers at [email protected].

They have been lucky to be selected for the Co-op Local Community Fund for the current year and are hoping to boost efforts through the scheme to begin the hard landscaping on site later in the year.

If you have a Co-op membership card, you can help by selecting their cause through the Co-op online HERE.

If you would like to be involved, can help the group in any way, or would like to know more about the project, please email: [email protected] for more information.


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