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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 13:44 GMT
Mining waste tip faces removal
Bersham Colliery waste tip
Bersham Colliery closed in 1986
One of Wales' last remaining coal tips could be removed, changing the skyline of Wrexham forever.

The coal waste tip at the former Bersham Colliery on the outskirts of the town dominates the small village of Rhostyllen.

The coal tip is the last major, physical sign of mining in this corner of Wales

Ted McKay, former miners leader

The mine closed in 1986, putting 300 miners out of work, but the five million-tonne tip remained.

Now Glenside Recycling, which sells coal mine waste to the building industry, wants to take the waste away.

If it is removed, there are calls for a memorial to commemmorate the mining history of the region.

At one time there were 90 deep mines in Wrexham and 200 in neighbouring Flintshire.

Former miners leader Ted McKay said mining was synonymous with the county.

"Mining was for centuries the backbone of the economy of Wrexham," he said.

Ted McKay
Ted McKay: People should remember the miners

"What saddens us - when you think of the astronomical wealth that came out of Wrexham - is that we have very little to show for 500 years of coal mining.

"The coal tip is the last major, physical sign of mining in this corner of Wales.

"I'm not adverse to it going if we can have something else in its place.

"We've got an opportunity here if the tip goes to give us something to remind us of our heritage," he said.

At around 30 acres, the curtilage of the tip is larger than the former colliery.

Educate youth

It could take up to 10 years to remove the debris.

Mr McKay said the reclaimed land could be used to educate youngsters about the mining industry.

"We can have a facility where we take children and they can learn about the heritage of Wales.

I think they should leave it there, it's part of the heritage - there are trees and walks on it, it's not an eyesore at all

Rhostyllen resident

"Even if the tip wasn't taken away it could be used as an amenity and it could be a fantastic wildlife area.

"If you look to the north you can see Erddig Hall, and there you have the contrast of the gentry of the 17th century to the people who actually created the wealth of the colliery.

"To the south is Minera mountain and the view is spectacular," he added.

However, residents remain divided over the waste tip.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said thousands of people once worked at Bersham Colliery and they should be remembered.

"I think they should leave it there, it's part of the heritage - there are trees and walks on it, it's not an eyesore at all," she said.

The community council and members of the West Midland based company who want to reclaim the land will meet on Monday to discuss the project.


More from north east Wales
See also:

19 Feb 03 | Wales
30 Aug 02 | England
23 Jan 02 | England
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