A recent letter extolled the name of the Markham family and Charles Markham in particular. I do not think this chap was as benevolent as the picture of him was painted, he was a capitalist and a union basher and I’m sure his philanthropic gestures would have totally overwhelmed his money- making ones.
Whilst the man and his partners created employment for thousands, it was not for the good of the community, but to make as much brass as possible for him and his cronies.
Miners at the pits controlled by this man, who joined the early unions to try and achieve a decent wage and conditions, were evicted from their employer-owned homes and forced to live in tents - very benevolent.
I agree that Charles Markham’s grave is in a sorry state, but so are the graves of many of his ex-employees in the same cemetery.
When he died, Markham left a personal estate worth a mind-boggling £230,000, could he not have left some of this in a trust to pay for the upkeep of his last resting place?
Ex-employees would have paid into a funeral saving club for years to ensure they got a decent burial, and if they paid in for long enough they may have been lucky enough to get a headstone. Many did not live long enough.