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Turning On The Lights
Saturday 12th March, 2005

Turning On The Lights
Miner’s Light: College site manager Tim Sherrington and Environmental co-ordinator Gill Sinnott trip the light fantastic with Street Scene luminaries Paul Dandy and Nick Burdekin.

A town centre monument to Wigan’s mining past has come under the spotlight.The famous wheel at Wigan & Leigh College can now been seen at night thanks to the council’s Street Scene Team.

Once a working piece of pit–head equipment, the wheel topped Bickershaw Colliery for many years, helping to haul miners up and down the shafts.

The college was founded in 1857, and at its peak a century ago, was famous across the world for its pioneering mining courses that attracted students from around the world.

The wheel was saved and renovated after the pit closed and brought to the college by local firm Hawkins Construction. It’s since won a Building Design Award.

To commemorate its status as a tribute to the mining industry and as a symbol to the college’s current generation of bright sparks, the wheel is now lit up at night courtesy of a powerful spot light.

The Street Scene team organised for the light to go up and the college will now maintain it as part of a much larger £29.5m development scheme.

The scheme will include new facilities for college sites in Wigan and Leigh including an arts centre and new business accommodation.

Wigan & Leigh College’s Environmental Manager Gill Sinnott said

“We are delighted to be able to highlight the wheel, which is such an important symbol of the history of Wigan & Leigh College. Our thanks to the Street Scene team for making this possible.”

Street Scene boss Paul Dandy added:

“The college’s famous wheel is one of the town’s most distinctive features. By lighting it, we have managed to make it a real highlight of the night–time environment and we have had very positive feedback about it.”

There’s more to come because the Street Scene team has plans to enhance other borough landmarks as part of an ongoing improvement programme.



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