Rotherham roundabout to become calendar pin-up as "Britain's best"

IT might seem round-the-bend to have an awards ceremony for the UK’s Roundabout of the Year — but a Rotherham traffic island has landed the top gong.

The UK Roundabout Appreciation Society singled out Wortley Road’s Rhymer’s Roundabout, at Bradgate, for its prestigious annual award earlier this year and announced it as the competition’s overall winner today.

Rotherham’s landmark roundabout is now set to feature on the front cover of the Best of British Roundabouts calendar 2016.

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Society president Kevin Beresford said: “This year UKRAS narrowed the winning choice down to three splendid roundabouts, one from Kingston, London, one from Clackmannanshire, Scotland and finally Rotherham, Yorkshire. 

“All three of these ripping roundabouts feature in our world wide selling calendar the Best of British Roundabouts but only the winner takes the front Cover and the prestigious December page. 

“After much debate, fierce argument and discussion the UKRAS committee finally narrowed the competition down to two. 

“Kingston College Roundabout in London, featuring 52 soaring paper-like aeroplanes and the Corn Law Rhymer Roundabout in Rotherham. One roundabout reflecting modernity the other celebrating noble history.”

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Kevin said that it was the history between the Rotherham roundabout that eventually secured its victory.

The wheat sculptures on Rhymer’s Roundabout were designed back in 2010 in memory of Ebenezer Elliott, the famous industrialist, poet and campaigner for the rights of the poor.

The roundabout’s name is a reference to Elliott's "Corn Law Rhymes". Published in 1831 the poems were written in protest at the attempts by the Government to artificially fix the price of corn.

Kevin added: “Councils all over the country are placing their local interests on roundabouts. These roundabouts are now reflecting what is unique about our towns and cities.

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“Ebenezer Elliott sounds a marvellous character and the people of Rotherham should be proud to have this fine sculpture on their roundabout. 

“When our calendar comes out next year, people from around Britain will also be aware of this noble figure and his place in history.”

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