Bosses at the National Coal Mining Museum are celebrating after receiving a funding boost to create England’s first memorial to coal miners.
The Wakefield musuem has been given £30,000 from SITA Trust for its project ‘Miners’ Memorial Garden - Lives Lived, Lives Lost’ which will be created on its site in Overthorpe.
The garden will be the first national memorial in England to commemorate the role and contributions of people and communities who worked and lived through the mining industry - once the most dangerous industry in Britain.
Visitors and the local community have helped to develop plans for the garden, which will be accessible by foot or light railway and will look out over the rural landscape still marked by coal mining.It will link with aspects of the industry, such as cutting machines, pit wheels and lamps, partially enclosed by a commissioned art installation of Corten steel screens to reflect the confined spaces underground.
David Hinchliffe, chair of the board of trustees of the museum, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from SITA Trust towards the Miners’ Memorial Garden. It feels very fitting to create the garden on the museum site, in an area where generations of local people have worked in coal mining.
“The garden will be a communal space which will lift the spirits and act as a memorial to all coal miners, their communities and the industry as a whole.”
Jools Granville, of SITA Trust, said: “The National Coal Mining Museum for England is a fitting location for a garden of memorial to those miners who lost their lives in the pits; or had them shortened by the industry they worked in. A garden is particularly apt considering the great pride that many miners took in nurturing the nature around them when they were above surface. An area of contemplation and reflection within such a busy and well-used facility will also be greatly welcomed as a resource by the general public.”