New video’s tribute to miners in pit tragedy

A MOVING tribute to the miners who perished in the Lofthouse pit disaster is to be launched next week.

A video called A Quest For Coal has been put together by amateur film maker Mike Hooley to raise funds for the upkeep and improvement of the Outwood Wheel Project.

It examines the 1973 disaster which claimed the lives of seven men when a powerful in rush of water burst into the South 9B face.

A six-day rescue operation was conducted but only one body was recovered.

It has taken six months to put the video together and it features a soundtrack which includes the Lofthouse Youth 2000 Brass Band, the Sharlston Male Voice Choir and the West Yorkshire Police Band.


The launch is to be held at the Outwood Memorial Hall on October 13 and will be conducted by Erwin Bottomley, mine manager and deputy director at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Two pit ponies will also be on display at the event.

Mr Hooley said the idea came about after a half pit winding wheel memorial was unveiled earlier this year beside the main road through Outwood, Wakefield, as a reminder of the days when men, women and children toiled at Lofthouse Colliery, which closed after 100 years in 1981.

“People have been brilliant, donating everything,” said Mr Hooley.

“I’ve given all my time for free for this.”

Archive news footage, together with photographs of the rescue effort taken by the Yorkshire Evening Post are featured in the film, together with new interviews with former Lofthouse miners. The video will initially only be available by mail order, and costs 10.

For further information contact Mr Hooley on 01924 827608.