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Pallet-Track helped Christmas come early to Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, the UK’s biggest deep seam mine, near Stoke on Trent.

The logistics business delivered a specially commissioned 40g sculpture of pit pony Prince by Ipswich-based artist Adam Godden, the grandson of Ken Walley, a blacksmith welder at the colliery in the 1950s.

It will form pride of place in a memorial garden at the 18-acre Staffordshire heritage site and be unveiled in 2021.

The sheet metal sculpture was collected, free-of-charge, from the artist’s studio in Suffolk by Pallet-Track member Bartrums and moved to Pallet-Track’s 276,000sq ft hub in Wolverhampton, from where Staffordshire member TPL moved it to Stoke on Trent – all within 12 hours.

Godden, who used to visit his grandparents and go to the site as a boy, shaped Prince – named after another horse looked after by Walley during his time at Chatterley Whitfield – using his grandfather’s own blacksmith tools.

The sculpture was inspired by a black and white photograph of the original Prince walking with Walley.

“I got in touch with the Friends and I was amazed when they were able to get me the original," said Whalley. "I was going to use it as the basis of a picture, but I decided to use my grandfather’s tools to convert it into a sculpture that could be donated to the former mine, which is somewhere where I used to play as a boy.”

Pallet-Track MD Nigel Parkes said: “It is a great thing that Pallet-Track, who have supported the ‘Friends’ in the past, have done in moving the horse here.

“The mine is steeped in history. During its heyday its productivity was such that it was the first mine in the UK in 1937 to produce one million tons of saleable coal in one year.

“Chatterley Whitfield is a site of historical significance to Britain’s industrial heritage. It was the least that we could do as a business to support this important cause.”