Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Wednesday, 14th March, 2018)

Mining Statue

Mining Statue
Full sized mock-up of the proposed Mining Monument that will be going on College Ave between the Town Hall and the Life Centre.

Photo: Dave (Oy)  (Nikon D850 with Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 )
Views: 2,733

Comment by: Bradshaws Girl on 14th March 2018 at 07:46

Like it very much.

Comment by: Veronica on 14th March 2018 at 08:20

Marvellous sculptures but the facial features on the boy and the 'mother' don't seem to fit in somehow - with the period and clothes. I think the 'mother' should be more careworn. The boy looks like he's off to the Grammar School. The small scale sculptures from last July's picture seem to me more in keeping.

Comment by: irene roberts on 14th March 2018 at 09:18

I LOVE it! But I wish it could have gone somewhere more central such as The Grand Arcade or the Market area, where more people pass, and where it would be gated off at night. Or even in Millgate near Billy Boston, and preferably replacing that awful Millgate "Head". I can see what Veronica means about the woman's face, but I have a photo of my Aunty Sally on the pit-brow in the 1950s and she is smiling the warmest, happiest smile you could wish to see under the coal-dust, and I think that, on the whole. the pit-brow women WERE happy and smiling. I have read many of their memories where they have stated that their days on the pit-brow were the happiest of their lives and they would go back tomorrow.

Comment by: Alan on 14th March 2018 at 09:22

Excellent photo, the faces look so real. They all look spot on for that time of the mining era.

Comment by: irene roberts on 14th March 2018 at 09:23

ps.....A huge Thankyou to WHAMM for their tireless efforts in raising money so that we could have this wonderful tribute to Wigan's miners and pit-brow lasses. Most of us in Wigan and its outlying districts had at least one family member "deawn t'pit" and they deserve to be remembered.

Comment by: Alex on 14th March 2018 at 09:24

Top draw, love it, very real life.

Comment by: Ann on 14th March 2018 at 09:28

We should all be very proud of our mining history weather it's Lancashire, Yorkshire or Wales.
Very good shot and how real-life they all look.

Comment by: Owd Pit mon on 14th March 2018 at 09:40

Well the mother and boys faces won't be like the chap in the middle, he's probably been a miner all his working life. Horrible conditions down the pits...I know!
Very good photo Dave.

Comment by: Garry on 14th March 2018 at 09:45

Off the Grammar school with clogs and pit dust???? The photo represents a time in History very well indeed. But I can understand Veronica's point.

Comment by: Neil Cain on 14th March 2018 at 11:50

There will be some tweaks before the bronzes are cast from these. The pit brow lass may have a riddle and a shovel, the little lad may have a snap tin.We still need fund for the lighting and groundworks so if it is a cause dear to your heart visit our site on Just Giving

Comment by: Veronica on 14th March 2018 at 11:59

I am still pleased that these sculptures have been created and it's not before time. All thanks due to WHAMM. The more I look at that little lad 's face he reminds me of a choir boy!!!

Comment by: Garry on 14th March 2018 at 12:08

Off to Grammar school with clogs and pit dust ????.
The photo represents a time in History very well indeed.
Please ignore my 09:45 slot.

Comment by: kath on 14th March 2018 at 12:33

Excellent! Wigan should be proud of its history.

Comment by: Sheila Ramsdale (Chairperson WHAMM) on 14th March 2018 at 12:37

Thanks for all the lovely comments. I and all the Trustees are very impressed with all the hard work Steve Winterburn and his daughter Roxy have put into developing and producing these three lovely figures.It will be a fantastic memorial to the Mining community in Wigan

Comment by: Janet on 14th March 2018 at 13:09

I nearly choked on my muffin on first seeing this..The young lads face is just like my Dad when he was young.. I know it isn't him, but it took my breath away...
I think like Irene, I wish it could be more centrally located.. Wonderful Tribute though..

Comment by: Anne on 14th March 2018 at 13:11

I preferred the other smaller example. The boy looks too tidy.
Anyone think they should have names? Any suggestions?

Comment by: Mick on 14th March 2018 at 13:20

No work clothes in them days, you just wear your old suit.
Its still the same in China today if you get out into the countryside and see the peasants at work.

Comment by: irene roberts on 14th March 2018 at 14:42

Anne, I am going to get one of the proposed smaller versions of the three figures, which I believe are going to be available, for my fireplace, and I have already given them names! I have the little bronze figurine of a Wigan Pit-brow lass sold by WHAMM, and she looks so right on my mantelpiece, (or "on tCornish", to put it in Wigan speech!), and I have called her Lizzie after my grandma.

Comment by: Garry on 14th March 2018 at 15:42

You know I still put my tea on't cornish next to my roaring coalfire Irene, I've always only known it as cornish x.

Comment by: britboy on 14th March 2018 at 16:02

Significant changes from the smaller version in July photo... I preferred the July version.

Having said that, anything that celebrates the mining heritage of Wigan is ok with me.

Comment by: irene roberts on 14th March 2018 at 16:57

As Neil Cain commented earlier, the final bronze figures are still to be cast and "tweaked", and I'm sure the WHAMM committee will have noted the comments of people who prefer the original version.. But whatever the outcome, it will be a wonderful and meaningful memorial.
"Some folks don't like to think of times
When life was not so pleasant,
But if we'd never had a past,
We wouldn't have a present.
Let's not forget those mining folk,
Those children, husbands, wives,
For we are their descendents,
And they're part of all our lives."

Comment by: Maurice on 14th March 2018 at 17:25

The statues are excellent,if a bit posh,the clothes we used were rougher,but there was a shower after work,and a change of clothes,and no one could take their lamp home in my day,maybe prior to the NCB taking over they could.

Comment by: phred on 14th March 2018 at 17:28


Comment by: Carolaen on 14th March 2018 at 19:09

Irene. Your comments about most of us having a miner in the family resonated with me. I was only saying to a neighbour of mine in Somerset about the impact of change and the speed of it using this as an example.

In my own family on my Father's side his father had been a miner (Died at 35 from pneumoconiosis) his brother was a miner all his life, even my died who was a joiner by trade and swore never to go down the pit did do for 6 months after the war when he came out of the navy. On my Mums side all 4 of her brothers worked down the mines for some period in the working lives (and all of them had been involved in accidents /roof collapses etc.. This was as you say not uncommon growing up in Scholes etc in the 1950s and 60s.
when all your male relatives were pitmen or had been. And now within the space of one generation all the deep coal mines in Lancashire have gone after Parkside closed in 1993. Its mind boggling.

Comment by: Johnny on 14th March 2018 at 19:21

Good depiction of the man and boy but the woman looks like she's wearing a muslim hijab. Sign of the times!

Comment by: irene roberts on 14th March 2018 at 20:15

Not to my eyes, Johnny....she looks like she's wearing a sacking shawl to protect her from the coal-dust. Go onto "People" on The Album, scroll down to "Griffiths" and click on it and you will see my Auntie Sally wearing exactly the same thing as she leaves her shift on the pit-brow in the 1950s.

Comment by: Pat McC on 14th March 2018 at 20:25

My grandfather too was a Collier (in the Welsh valleys). A young man working on the same seam asked him to swap places with him one particular shift. He did, and during that shift the roof collapsed and the young man, 21 years of age, was killed. My grandfather sustained serious injuries and was off work for months - no compensation those days, and no benefits of any kind, just the support of family and friends.
This sculpture is magnificent and a worthy memorial to all who worked and lost their lives in the coalmining industry.

Comment by: Veronica on 15th March 2018 at 06:27

I'm sure there can't be anybody around Wigan who didn't have miners in their family. Each bearing the blue scars on some part of their body. In many cases they would have come for work from different parts of the UK to mine the coal. Leaving family and friends behind to settle in Wigan. My own great grandfather came from South Wales another great mining community. What would they think now to see that the mining communities have all but disappeared- its a completely different world. One they wouldn't recognise I'm sure. The monument is a fitting tribute to them.

Comment by: Caroline on 20th March 2018 at 11:17

Good depiction of the man but the woman and boy seem far too tidy.

Comment by: Sam h on 30th March 2018 at 11:42

No showers in my great grandfathers day it was a tin bath and my grandma scrubbing his back. ,my gran was a pit brow lass but she hated it especially in winter with chill blames on her fingers the good old days weren't so good for the poor.

Comment by: Sheila Hinds on 13th April 2018 at 00:02

A lot of the Pit Brow women did wear a scarf fixed in a similar way to the hijab. It was meant to keep as much coal dust as possible away from their hair. The statues will be tweaked before the final bronzing. The boy would have worked down the pit if he was over 10 years old. The government act of 1842 prevented women and boys under 10 years from working underground. The government later tried to stop the women working on the Pit Brow, but the women won their case.

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