Pit wheel restoration ceremony is to be held in the village churchyard

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A dedication ceremony will be held this Sunday for the recently-restored pit wheel in Stanley.

The wheel, to mark the former Newmarket Silkstone Colliery, has been placed in the corner of the yard at St Peter’s Church, next to Aberford Road.

Stanley councillor Matthew Morley said restoring a wheel in the village had been a dream since he was first elected in 2012.

He said: “I’m over the moon about it, other villages have a pit wheel, but Stanley didn’t. We now have a permanent memorial to everyone who played their part in the minding industry. Stanley was born of coal.

“We are expecting a lot of people there on Sunday, there are people coming from all over and everyone is welcome, it’s a big event. “

The pit, which shut in 1983, is on the site of where NewCold storage now stands.

Coun Morley added: “We could have put something there but no-one would see it.

“All the miners were christened, married and buried in the church site so that was the ideal place to put it.”

To mark the wheel’s instalment, there will be a parade that starts at 2pm on Sunday from the main entrance to the churchyard.

There will be a few words from Wakefield’s new mayor, Coun Charlie Keith, Coun Matthew Morley, an official unveiling by the general secretary of the National Union of Miners, Chris Kitchen.

There will also be memories and poems read out by former coal workers and Emley Brass Band will perform mining anthems, before wreaths are laid at the wheel.

The ceremony will be followed by a social gathering at St Peter’s Church Centre.