A REPLICA of Wallyford’s short steam engine or ‘pug’ – which transported coal and bricks to a train on the main East Coast rail line – is now on track after receiving planning consent.

The nod to the village’s mining history is being organised by community councillors who will now seek funding.

Group chairman Alister Hadden said: “The replica steam locomotive sculpture will be installed near the location where the original Wallyford pug crossed over Salters Road at the level crossing.

“I know that we still have some way to go as yet with securing funding and structural engineering design requirements.

“We will need a blacksmith to manufacture the sculpture, along with installation, but hopefully we are going in the right direction to further promote our coal mining heritage within Wallyford.”

The sculpture, about 1.675 metres high and 3.3 metres long, will be constructed from painted galvanised steel and show the replica train. It will be kept in position by three steel braces to the back of the main panel.

The pug was used to carry coal and bricks in wagons at a time when the coal mines and brickworks were in operation in the town in the 1800s and early 1900s. It took supplies to a train on the main line.

A stone buffer for the pug, known locally as ‘the pound of cheese’, due to its shape, still sits in the public park.

Mr Hadden said: “Other trains would pick the wagons and distribute the coal around the nation, and return with clay to the Wallyford brickworks which manufactured 22,500 bricks per day. The pug also brought damaged wagons back up to the wagon repair shop which was adjacent to pits one and two.”

He said that he got the idea to mark the pug for posterity after seeing a steam locomotive design on a wall in Peebles.

Mr Hadden said: “As the village of Wallyford is growing rapidly, Wallyford Community Council felt that its coal mining heritage should be preserved to inform and educate people who move into the new housing. Hopefully new residents will become involved in our local traditions.”

An East Lothian Council planning report stated: “The proposed sculpture would occupy a prominent location along a public pathway and near the entrance to Wallyford Primary School. In its position, it would be readily visible from public view. However, by virtue of its positioning, size, form, massing, proportion and scale and in its depiction of the former rail and industrial heritage within the local area, it would positively contribute to the sense of place of Wallyford and would not be inappropriate to its location.”

Mr Hadden said: “We wish to thank Ian Young, a former signalman with British Rail and model maker enthusiast, for his valuable help as he had original scaled drawings for the original steam locomotive that was in operation at Wallyford when the coal pits were operational. This allowed us to get scaled-down dimensions for the size we needed for the sculpture, which is approximately half the size of the original Wallyford pug.

“We would also like to thank local consulting engineer Gordon Eadie, who will do the structural design detailing work, and Wallyford Miners Welfare Club, along with those individuals who have sent messages of support.”