HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
AGECROFT COLLIERY EXHIBITION BEGINS IN SALFORD
 

Star date: 22nd September 2013

MINERS' CATHEDRAL EXHIBITION OPENS

The Last Pit In The Valley
Until Saturday 28th September
St Augustine's Church

The Last Pit In The Valley exhibition has opened at the spectacular St Augustine's Church on Bolton Road, known as the `Miners' Cathedral'. The exhibition was attended by many ex Agecroft Colliery workers and their families, who saw two specially commissioned films, the launch of a book about the pit and a short play devised by pupils from St Augustine's Primary School.

The exhibition, which runs until 28th September, includes a huge collection of Agecroft artefacts and `Death of a Pit' photos by Lorraine Mchugh, who flew over from Ireland for the opening.

Full details here…


Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening Agecroft Colliery Exhibition Opening
click image to enlarge

Over one hundred people, including many ex-workers and Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart, attended the opening of The Last Pit In The Valley , the exhibition that documents Agecroft Colliery in Pendlebury, the city's last working pit that closed in 1990.

Amongst the massive array of exhibits from the Colliery are miners' lamps and helmets, commemorative plates, badges, maps, old diaries, `Coal Not Dole' and `Switch Something On For The Miners' posters, ties showing the gradient of the seams, and even a polished cutting from the original wooden Victorian props that held up the first Agecroft workings.

The Last Pit In The Valley, organised by the Irwell Valley Mining Project and funded by a National Heritage Lottery grant, is being housed in the spectacular St Augustine's Church on Bolton Road in Pendlebury, known as the `Miners' Cathedral'. Huge photos adorn its pillars, showing the colliery's life and its eventual demise in the early 1990s, as documented by Lorraine Mchugh, who flew over from Ireland for the opening.

Lorraine, whose uncle Ken Chandler worked at Agecroft, got special permission to go on the site as the mine was being dismantled and her stunning series of photographs, Death of a Pit, speak volumes about the desolation caused by Margaret Thatcher's class war (see the full ebook of photos – click here).

Speaking at the opening, Lorraine dedicated the exhibited photos to her Uncle Ken and "all the courageous and loyal miners" at Agecroft and throughout Salford.

Those who attended yesterday saw the launch of the film, The Last Pit In The Valley, in which former miner Paul Kelly begins by showing a lump of coal "formed millions of years ago from the forests that covered this land", which "millions of people toiled under the ground to bring to the surface".

Standing near Agecroft's now extinct shafts, he tells the story of the pit and how miners went down four times the height of Manchester's Beetham Tower to bring back the black gold (Beetham Tower, incidentally, looks like it was modelled on one of Agecrofts former shafts).

Paul shows, with visits to working pit museums, how difficult and dangerous the job was, and how coal is as much a part of British history as 1066 or anything like that. He asks people to think about those who toiled underground and those who never returned to the surface, and "to recognise the role that coal miners played in the shaping of the country that you live in today".

The film, by History Project Moston, is now available to view on You Tube – click here. Another film showing the unveiling of the Agecroft memorial on Agecroft Road, was also shown (and is available to view on You Tube – click here).

Speaking at the opening, and launching his book, The Last Pit In The Valley (review to follow), Paul Kelly explained that St Augustine's Church, or the `Miners' Cathedral', is the only place in which the exhibition could have been housed… "I feel the presence of our past in here, the presence of former comrades."

And speaking of the opening of the memorial last July (see previous Salford Star article – click here) he noted that someone had planted a rose bush there to commemorate their great grandparent who died at the pit in 1963…

"I thought that was worthy of anything" he said "It has given us the opportunity to come to that site and recognise what miners did for this country, bringing back the coal that kept us all alive and made us what we are today…This exhibition is what it's all about - the community sticking together."

The exhibition opening was also about the generations sticking together, with artwork showing the old Salford mines by St Augustine's Primary School pupils, and a funny short play by two of the children showing a 50s fireside scene.

Those visiting the exhibition can also hear what is was like at Agecroft from former workers, their families and pit neighbours. The oral history project, Even The Pigeons Had Black Feet, has both the tragic and comic memories…

…girls getting dressed up to go on family visits down the mine, only to emerge covered in black dust…a fat teacher from Irwell Valley High getting stuck in a tunnel during a school visit…and one person's part in helping Yorkshire miners avoid the police and get to the picket via the Racecourse pub, Whit Lane and the River Irwell…


The Last Pit In The Valley is one of those special Salford events that don't happen very often in a city that's being sterilised and lobotomised.

The exhibition runs until next Saturday. It's one not to be missed.

The Last Pit In The Valley
Until 28th September
St Augustine's Church, Bolton Road, Pendlebury M27 8UX
(parking in the church grounds via Church Lane by the side of Isis Restaurant)

Opening times:

Sunday 22nd: 12- 4pm
Mon 23rd to Fri 27th 2pm-6pm
Saturday 28th: 12- 4pm.

See also previous Salford Star preview of the exhibition - click here

Update: 27th September - Mystery miners discovered at Agecroft exhibition - click here

Main photo shows premiere of The Last Pit In The Valley film

Exhibition opening photos by Steven Speed

Keith J. Smith wrote
at 12:46:47 PM on Thursday, September 26, 2013
Just a small error with the following line. ...via Church Lane by the... It's Church Street, not Church Lane. Thanks. Will pop in tomorrow, Friday, 27th Sept. Sounds good.
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD APARTMENTS RE-BRANDED GREENGATE MANCHESTER AFTER AVOIDING £2MILLION FEES
The question as already been asked but can someone answer???? what is affordable to the average man or women within this city. For... [more]
article: CHEK WHYTE THIRTY MILLION POUND DEBT
too many comments about chek whyte ,not nice ones either,he is here in moffat conning a lot of people,?... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL AJ BELL STADIUM WORTH £6.5MILLION DESPITE OVER £24MILLION PUBLIC LOANS
bob the regular- so you would rather it go bust and we get nothing back? or would you rather it be sold and at least get £9m back?... [more]
article: 91% OF SALFORD UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS IN ARREARS WITH CITY WEST
Mystic Meg, you seem to resent the fact that the council is in the process of replacing tower block cladding. Why are you so disp... [more]
article: ‘ETHICAL’ AVIVA TRIES TO EVICT NEW MANCHESTER HOMELESS SQUAT
David why blame Burnham. Didn't he put Dennett in charge of Greater Manchester housing? Didn't Dennett get extra top up making hi... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD APARTMENTS RE-BRANDED GREENGATE MANCHESTER AFTER AVOIDING £2MILLION FEES

Star date: 23rd January 2018

£2MILLION FEE AVOIDANCE, £35MILLION OF PUBLIC MONEY, AND THEN APARTMENT BLOCKS MOVED TO 'MANCHESTER'

 A huge 'luxury' apartment block which avoided almost £2million in fees to Salford City Council, plus around 100 affordable properties, and then got a £35million subsidy from the Government as it changed ownership for £110million, has branded itself 'Greengate Manchester'.

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL CONTINUES WITH JUST ONE AFFORDABLE PROPERTY OUT OF 196

Star date: 22nd January 2018

WHEN IS THIS SALFORD COUNCIL PLANNING SCANDAL GOING TO END?

The planning panel of councillors for Salford City Council will be probably rubber stamping yet another huge development in Ordsall this week – two blocks of 'luxury' apartments, up to nine storeys high, off Ordsall Lane and Dyer Street.

From 196 properties being proposed by Selectric Investments Ltd, just one will be affordable, thanks to official Salford Council policy.

Full details here...

JOE O’BYRNE WINS SALFORD STAR AWARD FOR BEST PLAY

Star date: 21st January 2018

THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR WINS BEST PLAY

Last year, the Salford Star asked its readers to nominate winners in four categories reflecting Salford's cultural delights – Best Night, Best Performer, Best Play and Best Band.

From the shortlist, Live Events Editor, Ian Leslie, together with Salford Star staff, have decided the worthy winner of the first Salford Star Award for Best Play is The Haunting of Blaine Manor by Joe O'Byrne – a horror masterclass!

Full details here...

GREENPEACE PENGUINS HIT MANCHESTER TO PROTECT ANTARCTIC

Star date: 21st January 2018

CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT PENGUIN HOME

A waddle of Greenpeace penguins paraded in Castlefield, Manchester, yesterday, joining a worldwide awareness raising day about the need for the world's largest protected area to be created in the Antarctic Ocean.

Full details here...

EVIDENTLY WINS SALFORD STAR AWARD FOR BEST REGULAR EVENT

Star date: 21st January 2018

SALFORD STAR AWARDS SEE EVIDENTLY TRIUMPH

Last year, the Salford Star asked its readers to nominate winners in four categories reflecting Salford's cultural delights – Best Event, Best Performer, Best Play and Best Band.

From the shortlist, Live Events Editor Ian Leslie, together with Salford Star staff, have decided the worthy winner of the first Salford Star Award for Best Regular Event is Evidently, the top spoken word night at the Eagle Inn.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx