THE wheels are in motion for the proud mining heritage of a village to be forever celebrated.
Llay Miners Welfare has welcomed the arrival of a huge mining wheel, which is being installed on the forecourt of the welfare.
The village once boasted one of the largest mines in terms of both size and number of workers, but Llay Main Colliery closed in 1966 after 44 years.
Almost half a century later, the arrival of the wheel to complement a mine car memorial placed in front is seen as providing a true celebration to the lives of thousands who worked at Llay Main.
Malcolm Williams, chairman of Llay Miners Welfare and a former miner in Llay, said: “We are absolutely delighted. It has taken an awful long time but it is brilliant we now
“The other places in the area which had mines have had their own memorials but until now we haven’t, despite Llay being the biggest mine in Europe.”
A plaque is due to be installed at the wheel and a special ceremony will take place in December to mark its arrival.
As well as the outside memorials, a museum is housed in the welfare centre celebrating its mining past.
Llay councillor Malcolm Taylor, who worked at Llay Main on both mining and clerical duties, was invited to see the wheel arrive and believes it is a tremendous way of celebrating the village’s mining heritage.
He said: “It is great to see this wheel outside the welfare.
“Until recently we did not have any memorial for the people that worked down the mine, which was wrong.
“This is a true memorial to the colliery. The wheel looks fantastic.”
The wheel weighs about 2.5 tonnes with a diameter of 13.5 feet (4.12m).
The former Point of Ayr Colliery winding wheel was transported from Halfway House, near Shrewsbury, to Dyserth, Denbighshire, where it was refurbished in the colours of Llay Main Colliery.
Colorado Corrosion Engineering of Dyserth carried out the work to refurbish and mount the wheel, moving it to Llay before its much-anticipated arrival last week.
The wheel, donated by the Shropshire Mines Trust, is being placed on a plinth made of six cubic metres of concrete given by Premier Mortars of Llay.
Funding for the restoration and installation of the memorial wheel has been arranged through the Community Heritage and Culture Grant scheme, administered by Northern Marches Cymru.
Local historian Vic Tyler Jones, who led the project to get the wheel installed at the miners welfare, said: “It is great to see it there, it looks splendid.
“In Llay we have needed a proper memorial to all the miners who were based here. The mine was the biggest in Wales and deepest in Europe.
“It is wonderful the wheel is now there. A lot of hard work has gone into it.”