Unveiling of Lyme and Wood Pit Mining Memorial
10th Sept, 2009.
Photos and text by Tony Haslam.
The mining industry was the mainstay of local civilisation for generations, but it also claimed many lives.
Ex colliers and miners from the Wigan and St Helens area were invited to attend a special ceremony to see the unveiling of a permanent memorial to their late colleagues and predecessors.
A landfill site now occupies the ground mined at the Lyme and Wood pits in Haydock and up to now only the retention of their names in the tips' title has anknowledged the land's former use.
Recycling and waste management firm Cory Environment has ensured a piece of local heritage is preserved. The company invited former miners to the unveiling on Thursday, 10th September, 2009 at 11am.
Cory has been working with local representatives for the memorial for many months.
There were some terrible accidents and explosions, the most disastrous being the Wood pit explosion in 1878 when 204 men and boys were tragically killed. Lyme pit saw tragedy too with explosions and the loss of two Mines Rescue men in 1946.
James Brennan, a retired mineworker, colliery official and union representative gave a speech before the unveiling of the memorial and said how proud he had been in taking part on this special day to remember all those who perished in the past.
Father Rodney Middleton of St Jame's the Great Church, Haydock gave the dedication to the memorial.
A finger buffet followed and many men met up with colleagues they hadn't seen for many years.