At last! Pit-rooted choir get their miner’s lamp

SHINING LIGHTS -- members of Bestwood Make Voice Choir look on as their chairman, Colin Pursglove, receives an authentic miner's lamp from Eric Eaton (fourth left), of the ex-and-retired miners association -- DISPIC NHUD11-2486-3
SHINING LIGHTS -- members of Bestwood Make Voice Choir look on as their chairman, Colin Pursglove, receives an authentic miner's lamp from Eric Eaton (fourth left), of the ex-and-retired miners association -- DISPIC NHUD11-2486-3
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THE BESTWOOD Male Voice Choir celebrated their deep-rooted links to the mining industry when presented with a traditional pit-worker’s lamp during their latest concert.

The long-running choir were formed in 1952 by Len Hogg, who was the new manager of Bestwood Colliery at the time.

Many of the original 30 members who turned up for the first meeting worked at the pit.

The colliery, which was once the most productive mine in the world, closed down in 1967. Mr Hogg died in early 2005.

The choir have continued to thrive and now boast more than 70 members as it works towards their diamond jubilee next year.

However there was a glaring gap in memorabilia held by the choir in a display cabinet at their headquarters at Bestwood Village Social Club — a miner’s lamp.

This was corrected when, as part of a concert in Blidworth, the choir were presented with the artefact by Eric Eaton, chairman of the Nottinghamshire National Union of Minerworkers (NUM) Ex and Retired Miners Association.

After receiving the lamp at the Blidworth Methodist Church, the choir followed up with a rendition of the song ‘Take Me Home’, which is about a young miner making his own way in the world.

David Riley, a member of the choir, said: “The presentation was very poignant. We are very proud of our traditions and very proud of having been part of the mining community. We still have two members who were working miners at Bestwood Colliery.”

The choir are now preparing for their annual concert at the Albert Hall, Nottingham, on Sunday October 9.