Memorial Recalls Victims
by John Lumsdon
Pupils from Heathcote Primary School Pupils from Sir Thomas Boughey High School
Youngsters from Heathcote Primary School composed and read poems for theoccasion, while pupils from Thomas Boughey High School read out the names and ages of all the men and boys who died.
Memorial to the miners who died in North Staffordshire's worst ever pit disaster were remembered with the unveiling of a new memorial in the 86th anniversary year. Almost 200 people gathered at the Minnie Pit site, Halmerend, to remember the 155 men and boys who perished in the explosion on 12/1/1918.
The pit wheel monument was unveiled on Monday 12/1/2004, the anniversary of the disaster.
Community leaders attended the event to commemorate those who lost their lives in the massive underground explosion, which ripped the colliery apart, burying fathers and sons alive.
I believe it was the longest rescue and recovery job ever done, using continuously,
self-contained breathing apparatus, the last body being recovered 19 months after the explosion.
Newcastle deputy mayor Freda Myatt unveiled the memorial, which was paid for from a Lottery grant of £1.400.
Archdeacon Godfrey Stone conducted the service.
Youngsters from Heathcote Primary School composed and read poems for the occasion,
while pupils from Thomas Boughey High School read out the names and ages of all the men and boys who died.
On the day of the disaster fewer than 100 of the 247 miners working on that day came up alive.
An exhibiting on mining was displayed by Apedale Mining Museum at an event organised by the Halmerend Wildlife Trust.
Trust chairman, Ike Williams, aged 79 said;
It was a brilliant day, and so pleased so many people had turned up to pay tribute to the miners who lost their lives. It is important to remember our heritage and where we come from."
Forty-eight boys died under the age of 17 and 67 women were left widowed.
It is important that we remember them.
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