Eye-catching images have today been released showing how a memorial in the borough to Dudley-born industrial pioneer Abraham Darby will look.
Councillor Ian Kettle, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, met borough artist Steve Field at the site of the planned memorial in Woodsetton this morning (Fri) to have a look at the plans.
Darby, who was born in Woodsetton in 1678, developed a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace using coke instead of charcoal, which was in short supply at the time.
It is a move that is widely credited as playing a hugely important role in the Industrial Revolution.
The design for the memorial, drawn up by Mr Field, shows the inside of Darby’s 1709 blast furnace which was used for his new way of producing iron. It shows pig iron workers grafting, with ingots of local cast iron in the ground forming lettering telling the story of the great man.
The inscription A.D 1709 refers to his initials and the date of his first successful iron castings. The memorial is going on land at the junction of Sedgley Road and Birmingham New Road.
It was granted planning permission by Dudley Council this month.
The campaign for a memorial has been spearheaded by local groups Woodsetton Community Trust and the Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve.
Funding has come from the Enovert Community Trust and the Gornal, Upper Gornal and Woodsetton Community Forum. Local firms are providing components free of charge to help build the memorial and brewers Holdens, based nearby have even created a special beer called Molten Glow.
Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
"It’s great to get a first look at the plans for the memorial, and it certainly looks like it will be a fitting tribute to a great man from our borough.
"It’s been a real community effort to make this happen and when it is finished it will be an impressive monument that the whole of Woodsetton can be very proud of, documenting the finest achievements of their favourite son."