Mining heritage of Clay Cross set to be uncovered
and live on Freeview channel 276
The industry has a history in the area stretching back to Victorian times and was the site of the Parkhouse Colliery mining disaster of 1882, which resulted in the death of 45 men and boys following a gas explosion.
Prior to the tragedy, and despite the terrible conditions endured by employees, the colliery was considered one of the safest in the area.
In addition to being a pivotal area during the 1984 strike, Clay Cross played a central role in previous strikes in 1926 and 1912. The grant has been awarded to the Hub, Clay Cross,, who will run the multifaceted project that will research and retell the story of the area's mining community.
Much of the project will centre around interviews with former workers, many of whom are now in their 70s and 80s, to capture their stories. It will also record the memories of the last generation to work in the local mines, those now in their 50s and 60s who were part of the 1984 strike.
The project will document locations that were key to the industry in decades gone by — areas that are now business parks, homes, and retail units with little acknowledgment of their former life.
The two-and-a-half-year project will explore the lives and heritage of former miners, with their recordings turned into podcasts for the wider community to hear. It will pay particular attention to the cultural heritage associated with mining art and music. An exhibition and book from the research will also be produced.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the project aims to deliver a number of activities linked to the local community. The project is due to start this month (September 2023) and finish in March 2026.
Commenting on the award, Karen Tait, Managing Director of the Hub, said: "We're delighted that we've received this support thanks to National Lottery players.
"The community of Clay Cross is going through an important part of the transformation of the town, and with the Levelling Up funds, our project will support the heritage of the town and help focus attention on that aspect of its past.
"It's great to know that we are a step closer to conserving stories and information for future generations and our community to understand its former industrial roots."