Perseverance was ‘key’ to memorial campaign

Ceremony at Hucknall miners statue to mark the dedication of a new memorial to miners who were killed at local pits over the years.
Ceremony at Hucknall miners statue to mark the dedication of a new memorial to miners who were killed at local pits over the years.

A new memorial to honour 150 miners who lost their lives while working at Hucknall’s two former collieries and Linby pit has been dedicated at a special ceremony.

Three commemorative stones with plaques bearing the colliers’ names have been positioned next to the miner’s statue on the town’s Station Road.

It was four years ago when Hucknall and Linby Joint History and Heritage Committee first came together with the aim of raising funds for the project.

Over the last two years the group have raised more than £10,000 through a variety of activities and grants awarded by local businesses, funding bodies and local authorities.

Erection of the memorial stones sees fulfilment of the first phase.

A memorial book has also been created and will soon be on permanent display somewhere in Hucknall town centre.

The Dispatch played a key part in the initiative by tracing families of miners who died while working at the three pits.

For the future, an interpretation panel will be developed and installed at the memorial. This will outline the history of the local pits and their impact on the community.

The dedication was performed by the rector of Hucknall, Canon Kathryn Herrod, who told a large crowd that the project was important and significant for the town.

She said: “The memorial reflects the hard work, commitment and danger men faced while working in the mining industry and the effect on their families.”

It was an emotional occasion for committee chairman Barrie Lewis, whose father, Lawrence, died almost exactly 54 years ago as the result of an accident at Hucknall No 1 Colliery, the Top Pit, where he worked.

The memorial was Barrie’s original concept and he said: “I feel really proud that this part of the project has come to fruition.”

Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass Band took part and one of the items they played was ‘Gresford’, the name of a colliery in Wales where 266 miners died in a disaster 80 years ago.

Only 11 of the bodies were ever recovered.

Wreaths were laid by Alan Spencer, of the National Union of Mineworkers; the Rev George Knowles, an ex-miner who is now an associate priest at Hucknall Parish Church; and Eric Eaton on behalf of former and retired miners.

Barrie also laid a personal wreath.