Industrial heritage – is it important?

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    On the 1st November 2013, the Wrexham Mines Rescue Station is 100 years old. There are many opinions on both sides of the fence about the condition that the station now finds itself in. Love it or hate it, I feel that it is an important part of our heritage, particularly in respect of the Gresford & Llay Pit disasters.



    It’s a very important part of our history, without the coal industry the area would never have developed as it did. It’s also a part of a great many people’s family history who have fathers, grandfathers and other relatives who worked underground. When North Wales Miners Association Trust North Wales Miners Association Trust Ltd hold an event this is a constant theme and it’s amazing how people remember even now, almost 80 years later, that they had a relative in Gresford, and what happened to him.
    What happened to the Mine Rescue Station and the illegal attempt to demolish it was a total disgrace and even worse is that no attempt has been made to repair it properly. I have been lucky enough to go inside and the original training galleries are almost intact. It’s impossible to imagine the rescue workers training in the dark, humid atmosphere, which was used to recreate the atmosphere of a mine after an accident, without admiring them.
    With a bit of imagination and goodwill the important parts at the rear can be kept for future generations, but if they are demolished or allowed to decay further then it sends a very sad message about present day Wrexham, the town that forgot where it came from.



    I found a Flintshire lead mine one penny token when we cleared out my in-laws house about years ago didn’t know what to do with it so put it away in a drawer think I might look it out and get in touch with North Wales Miners Association Trust and see if they want it

    Didn’t know there was a North Wales Miners Association



    It is of course of supreme importance to both Wrexham and North Wales. It may be 100 years old but the building, and all it represents, has a special place to many people connected to mining in North Wales – and indeed their families. The attempt to demolish the building was a disgrace – if the developers and council official of Wrexham want the town to look to the future then it is imperative to preserve the past. Change and re-evaluation if unfortunately inevitable but if a concerted effort was made to preserve and and repair the building then a potential dual-use plan could be created where the building can be preserved for the next 100 years.



    The Wrexham Mines Rescue Station was possibly one of the best, if not the best equipped in the world. It was purpose built and rescue men who trained there met all the same dangers that they would meet in a gas filled mine. Should we let this history be forgotten? Some like me, think not. There was an article in the paper recently advertising for rescue men to come forward for an anniversary event and I wonder after all this time how many are still left. After all it is 17 years since the last coal mine in North Wales closed never mind that the last one in Wrexham closed 27 years ago.

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