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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 March, 2004, 13:20 GMT
Symbol of mine heritage goes home
Eston Hills
Ironstone was discovered in the Eston Hills in the 1850s.
Two pillars, which symbolise Teesside's ironstone mining heritage, are to be returned to their home.

The pillars, which were the largest pieces of ironstone to be taken from Eston mine, currently stand outside the town hall in South Bank, Middlesbrough.

They were originally outside Eston hospital, which was demolished in 1980.

But the Eston Residents Association has succeeded in getting the pillars returned home.

Ironstone was discovered in the Eston Hills in the 1850s and several drift mines were opened, marking the beginning of the iron and steel industry that shaped Teesside.

'Our heritage'

The pillars are set to be placed at the site of the former hospital, by May this year.

The hospital was built for ironstone workers who paid a penny a week from their wages for the upkeep of the hospital.

Councillor Ann Higgins, from Eston Residents Association, said they had been fighting for a number of years to get the pillars returned.

She said: "It is our heritage and where they belong.

"They are a commemoration of our heritage - it was the start of the industrialisation of the whole area and we have little to mark it."

The pillars are engraved on one side with the words 'Eston Mines' and, on the other, 'Cleveland Ironstone'.

Ms Higgins said: "I have spoken to Eston people who had family who worked in the mines and they are very proud, and will be there when the pillars are returned."

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