On Monday 26th April 2021, key contributors to a project to revamp the Lozenge roundabout on Station Road, met for the symbolic unveiling of an Interpretation Board. The roundabout display and Interpretation Board showcase an important part of local history for residents and visitors and celebrate the mining of celestine in Yate and the local area.
In 2019 a joint project was conceived between Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council to replace the existing flower beds with two items of original, restored mining equipment; a cylindrical skip bucket (called a kibble) and V-shaped tipper truck filled with local celestine. An information Interpretation Board was also commissioned and installed under the chestnut trees, next to the Armadillo.
Celestine was worked from open cast mines for over 100 years in and around the Yate area, providing almost all of the global supply. It was used in the German sugar refining industry and later, in products from hair restorer to the red colour in flares and fireworks.
The skip bucket, rescued from Yate Common, was used to move celestine with a steam crane. The tipper truck, which transported celestine by rail to local stockpiles, is typical of the trucks used locally and was rescued by the late David Pollard, who was a member of the South Gloucestershire Mining Research Group (SGMRG). Both items were restored by South
Gloucestershire Council, sandblasted then painted with red oxide for long term preservation. The Celestine used in the display was supplied by Barratt Homes.
The two new mining artefacts join the salt truck already on the roundabout which was used in mining in Yate’s twin town of Badsalzdetfurth in Germany. Local Chainsaw artist Andy O‘Neill, designed and carved the pedestal base to support the board, modelling it on original local hand tools used in open pit mining.
The project was also funded by South Gloucestershire Council Member Awarded Funding and supported by David Hardwick (SGMRG) who provided images and invaluable advice. A representative of Yate Town Council commented: ‘We are very pleased to be able to help increase the awareness of Yate’s important global role in this rare mineral and would like to thank everyone who has worked to transform the roundabout with the installation of mining artefacts, providing a permanent tribute to Yate’s mining history’.
If you want to know more about Celestine and Yate’s role in mining this rare mineral, a booklet by Harry Lane and David Hardwick published by SGMRG tells the story: https://sgmrg.co.uk/shop/books .For further information on mining in Yate contact:
South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group https://sgmrg.co.uk/ Tel. 01454 883607
Or for general local history contact: Yate and District Heritage Centre
email: email@example.com Tel. 01454 862200
Local chainsaw artist Andy O Neill (who designed and carved the base), Roger Gosling (chair of South Gloucestershire Mining Research Group) Nina Robert (representing the late David Pollard who donated the tipping truck on the roundabout) Representative of Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council.