How you can help complete a memorial remembering Derbyshire miners who died in pit tragedies

A fundraising appeal has been launched to help complete a poignant memorial to remember miners who died in disasters at Markham Colliery.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 2:23 pm

The Walking Together memorial – which is located at Markham Vale business park near Chesterfield – will eventually include 106 life-size steel statues in memory of all the men who were killed in three accidents at the pit in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

So far, a total of 88 figures have been officially unveiled at the site.

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Relatives of miners visited the Walking Together memorial before the pandemic.

Now, the Aviva Community Fund has set up an online page – which can be accessed at www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/markham-colliery-mining-memorial-trail – to raise £2,100 so the Markham Vale Heritage Group and Derbyshire County Council can install the remaining 18 statues as part of the memorial.

Sandra Struggles, a local historian and volunteer for the heritage group, said: “It’s vitally important that our mining heritage and what tragically happened to all those men isn’t forgotten.

“It would be sad to have the remaining 18 miners left out and it could mean that the families of those 18 men will miss what we have done for all the others.

“Markham Colliery played a big part in the lives of some 22 nearby villages and it is important that school children know about their local heritage which is something we have already started to do.

The Walking Together memorial.

“Everyone involved has worked so hard to gather stories and information and are wanting so much to pass it on to the next generation.”

Jude Brooks, UK head of corporate social responsibility, at Aviva, added: “We are extremely proud to support the Markham Colliery memorial trail and look forward to enabling them to bring ideas to life.

“By caring more about our community today we can all create a better future tomorrow, so we hope the local community feels inspired to support their crowdfunding campaign too.”

Each statue of the Walking Together memorial – which has been designed by artist Stephen Broadbent – symbolises a miner’s journey to the pit.

The figures carry tags with the names of the miners, along with their ages and job roles.

For more information about Markham Colliery and the miners who lost their lives, visit markhamstorymine.org.

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