END OF THE ROAD FOR SCULPTURE?
Artwork deemed unsafe
DRIVERS passing the Loughor bridge through to Llanelli often speculated what it was.
Nicknames for the monument included the Cheese Grater, the Witch’s Hat, the Wigwam and the Stepney Wheel, but this month the iconic sculpture on the A484 was removed after being deemed unsafe.
The artwork, on the Bynea roundabout at the Western end of Loughor bridge, was constructed in 2009 by artist Colin Rose.
Named the Swirl Cone by him, the feature marked the visitors’ entrance to Carmarthenshire county and was said to represent Llanelli’s rich ties with the steel industry.
The attraction was met with controversy as members of the public said they believed it could be dangerous, and further concerns were raised by drivers who recognised the continuous decline of the feature, noting that some spokes appeared damaged and the steel seemed to be rusting.
Despite the doubts, the feature was commended for representing an important part of Llanelli’s heritage and for its colourful light display at night in which the coloured lights at the centre of the design are reflected on to the outward spokes. However, this year, after a vehicle crashed into it, snapping some of the wires, the piece was put under investigation and ultimately taken down.
Stephen Pillner, head of transportation and highways for Carmarthenshire Council said: “The Swirl Cone sculpture on the Bynea side of the Loughor bridge was removed after a safety assessment identified that the central pole had buckled following a collision.”
Discussions are currently being held between the council and local representatives regarding the feasibility of repairing the monument, which was commissioned by the Bynea District Forum.
Bynea councillor Deryk Cundy said: “The sculpture was hit some time ago by a vehicle which snapped some of the wires under tension.
“It was investigated, and it would appear that the central pole was bent because of the re-tensioning caused by the steel wires under stress. It had to be taken down to see if the damaged structure can be repaired.”
Llanelli’s iconic roundabout swirl cone sculpture near Bynea on A484 has been deemed unsafe and removed following a collision.