The people of Wingate now have a permanent reminder of the village’s mining heritage after a pit wheel was unveiled.
Installed by Wingate Parish Council, the pit wheel commemorates Wingate Grange Colliery, which opened in 1839 and closed in 1962, and all those who worked in it.
At its peak, it employed over 1,400 people.
More than 100 people attended the official opening of the pit wheel, which was carried out by the chairman of Wingate Parish Council, Ernie Mason.
Among the others present were the leader of Durham County Council, Coun Simon Henig, Durham Miners’ Association secretary Alan Cummings, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson and a number of ex-miners.
Trimdon Colliery Brass Band played at the wheel and during a march to Wingate Constitutional Club, where refreshments were served, including a hog roast, and the band played again.
Graeme Reid, the clerk of Wingate Parish Council, said: “This has been in the making for over a year, in terms of the design, manufacturing and installation.
“The parish council took the view that most mining villages in the surrounding area had something to commemorate their mining heritage.
“For some reason, Wingate didn’t, so it was decided to go ahead and do something.
“The pit wheel is seen as a bit of a welcome to the village, and also commemorates that heritage.
“The community came out in force, and there were colliery banners from Wingate and neighbouring villages.
“The pit wheel remembers the mining heritage and provides a permanent reminder.”