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Local Poetry

Disaster  By John Clays

Maypole means tragedy
to the people of Wigan
In the village of Abram
summer's afternoon 1908
explosive blast deep down
Cannel Mine
Number 1 Pit
Maypole Colliery
ignited a fireball
Lethal combination
caused loss of 67 lives
Community devastated
Underground fire raged
until extinguished
by flooding

Working practice
no coal
no pay
Pressure on
shot firers
one large charge

Miraculously three survivors
Nine years before last body recovered
Payment to widows ceased in the seventies
Today victims rest together in Churchyard