Sunday, 3 July 2011

Event - Mines memorabilia on display (Newark_

Members of Bilsthorpe Heritage Society with the display and some of the Bilsthorpe Colliery exhibits at Millgate Museum, Newark, are, left to right, Mr Bob Bradley, of Mansfield Woodhouse, Mr Eric Purdey, of Bilsthorpe, Mr Morris Goodman, of Rainworth, and (seated) his brother, Mr Trevor Goodman of Bilsthorpe.
Bilsthorpe Heritage Society has taken its roadshow to Millgate Museum, Newark, where it will be for seven weeks.

The exhibition features many items related to Bilsthorpe Colliery, which closed in 1997. These include lamps, helmets, tools, models of mining equipment and photographs of Bilsthorpe and other Nottinghamshire pits.

The heritage society wants to open its own museum in the village and is in the process of organising a monument to the 77 mine workers who died at the pit.

The pit was sunk in the 1920s and closed in 1997.

Bilsthorpe Colliery is the only pit nationally to have a woman worker listed among its fatalities.

Fourteen workers, many of them poor Irish immigrants escaping famine, were killed in one incident while sinking the mine.

They were buried in a communal grave in the churchyard but the society organised a memorial for the men and traced relatives, some from the USA, who attended a service of remembrance in the village.

The society takes its collection into schools. The chairman, Mr Trevor Goodman, of Bilsthorpe, says because there is less of a reliance on fossil fuels to heat homes these days, some children have never seen coal before.

Mr Goodman, a former miner at the pit, said the village was very supportive of their efforts.

The memorial is being paid for by the county council at a cost of £60,000.

It will be a 1.5m high depiction of a miner’s lamp and will stand on a plinth in a garden at the side of the village chemist shop and list the names of the 77.


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