Statue commemorating Wigan borough's mining history to be unveiled this weekend
The official unveiling of a statue commemorating Wigan borough’s mining history takes place on Saturday - an event-packed day for the town which may also welcome a political VIP.
The artwork, which was erected shortly before the pandemic broke last year, will finally have its ceremony on the same day as Wigan hosts the annual Diggers Festival on Saturday - which former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hopes to attend - and a heritage event to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The mining statue – which depicts a collier, pit brow lass and a child – is the culmination of a project spearheaded by the Wigan Heritage and Mining Monument (Whamm) charity with support from Wigan Council.
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “Our borough is very proud of our mining heritage and the statue is a fantastic addition to our town centre.
“The official unveiling was delayed last year because of the pandemic, but it is certainly worth the wait. It’s a proud moment and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project.”
Coun Sheila Ramsdale, chairperson of Whamm, said: “Most people would be aware of the borough’s mining history, it was first documented as far back as the 1300s.
“The statue commemorates the centuries of heritage, the people who suffered and also the incredibly important contribution made by the districts of Wigan Borough to the industrial revolution.”
The unveiling of the mining statue will take place between 11am and 11.30am on Saturday, September 11. The location is between Wigan Life Centre South building and the town hall.
The annual Diggers Festival marks the life and works of 17th century Wigan-born activisst Gerrard Winstanley.
The event, featuring live music and performances, will take place on Believe Square between 11am and 9.30pm, with Mr Corbyn hoping to drop in during the late afternoon.
A heritage event to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Britain will take place on Market Place.
Featuring a display of military and vintage vehicles, the free family event will run from 11am to 4pm also on Saturday, September 11.
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