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SALFORD MINERS MEMORIAL UNVEILED AT SWINTON CIVIC CENTRE
 

Star date: 28th May 2016

HUNDREDS GREET THE UNVEILING OF MINERS BENCH AND MEMORIAL

"Have a seat, but as you do have a thought or two for the mine workers of the Irwell Valley..." Brian Stott 

Hundreds of people turned out this afternoon for the unveiling of another fitting memorial to the men, women and boys who worked at Salford's Irwell Valley pits. The memorial a bench featuring a beautifully carved figure of a miner and a lamp was unveiled by ex-Agecroft Colliery workers and the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford.

Full details here...


Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre
Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre Salford Miners Memorial Unveiled at Swinton Civic Centre
click image to enlarge

A brass band played as the community, including ex-Agecroft Colliery workers and their families, turned out in force this afternoon at Swinton Civic Centre to see the unveiling of a memorial to miners who worked in the pits of the Irwell Valley.

"Over the years many thousands of men, women, boys and girls worked in those coal mines, very many suffered serious injury and far too many paid the ultimate price, especially the 178 men and boys who perished in the awful explosion at the Clifton Hall Colliery back in June 1885" ex-Agecroft miner Alex Channon told the crowd "Today we unveil this fitting tribute to all those who toiled in these coal mines and also that we can remember the rich heritage and history of coal mining in and around Swinton."

The memorial, with funds raised by the Friends of Agecroft Colliery, consists of a bench with a beautifully carved miner and lamp, together with a stone plaque commemorating those who worked at pits including Wheatsheaf, Pendleton, Newtown, Clifton Hall, Sandhole, Agecroft and Wet Earth, which dates back to the 1700s. They were unveiled by former Agecroft Colliery workers and the Ceremonial Mayor, Councillor Karen Garrido.

Before the unveiling and dedication of the memorial, a speech was read out by former Salford NUM secretary, Jim Lord, on behalf of Brian Stott, who was there but couldn't speak publicly through ill health. Brian's son, Adam, tragically died at Agecroft in 1981, and his colliery number is engraved on the side of the bench's lamp. Brian's words were evocative and poignant...

"People of Swinton and Pendlebury, please tell your children about us; tell them about those who have gone before, of the blood sweat and tears they shed in order to make this a better place" he wrote "Take them on the heritage trail...and to St Augustine's Church to look at the memorial to 178 men and boys who perished at Clifton Hall.

"The mining families of the past fought, suffered and died for the rights we now enjoy" he added "Please don't let them down."


* The memorial at Salford Civic Centre now joins the memorials at the site of the former Agecroft Colliery (see here) and Clifton Hall Colliery (see here).

Helena Mikas wrote
at 07:14:57 on 01 February 2018
This is a wonderful statue and memorial .As one born in Swinton I'm shocked at the use the word 'hatred and hate' by some . For any extremists I suggest you have talks with many Russians who had a lot more to deal with and some still do. Are you so aggressive re Mr Blair who , in supporting Mr Bush took the lid off Pandora's Box leaving the middle east in utter turmoil , A Swinton Girl forever

Joe nobody's wrote
at 20:26:36 on 29 May 2016
Glad too see finally karen got her wish as mayor..look very good in that position.

Alex Channon wrote
at 13:36:20 on 29 May 2016
Hi Alex Channon here, coal miner for 25 years, member of the Labour party for 50 years, founder and Chair of Friends of Agecroft Colliery and organiser of Saturday's un-veiling Ceremony. First of all my thanks to the Salford Star for covering the event so well with a great report and some nice pics. The political background of the Ceremonial Mayor is irrelevant, she was there to represent Salford and she did this brilliantly. Her speech was greatly appreciated and her very personal touch with one of our members at a difficult for him was well above politics. At my invitation our MP Rebecca Long-Bailey attended as did Paul Dennett our elected Mayor who I also invited. Many of our elected councillors also attended alongside many former miners and members of the public. I'm a confessed Atheist but was more than happy to have Fr Michael Fish bless the Mining Memorial at my invitation during the ceremony simply because I know others think differently from me and would appreciate a 'proper' blessing and they certainly did. This un-veiling ceremony of the Mining Memorial had absolutely nothing to do with politics. The Memorial is to remember and celebrate the rich history and heritage of coal mining in and around the Swinton Area for some 250 years. Perhaps more importantly it's also to remember the many thousands of boys, girls, women and men who toiled in those coal mines. Many suffered serious injury and very many paid the ultimate price including the 178 men and boys at the Clifton Hall Colliery disaster and the 11 men who perished at Agecroft Colliery during my 25 years underground there. Saturday's Ceremony was a very poignant occasion and also a great success of which I'm very proud. It's a shame some individuals choose such an important occasion to vent their own political spleens. My thanks to all who attended and took part in this memorable occasion. Kind regards to all, Alex Channon

James McElhoney wrote
at 09:44:16 on 29 May 2016
Justice for Orgreave- justice for the Miners

wrote
at 09:43:43 on 29 May 2016
The political background of the ceremonial mayor should not be relevant. She is the figurehead of and represents the City of Salford. It would have been a grave disrespect if she hadn't been present at the ceremony. And this is from a Tory hating member of the Labour Party.

Michael James Felse wrote
at 09:43:17 on 29 May 2016
Noreen, I am sorry you are angry at the Tories. I do understand, but choose to not let the butchery by the Tories of my community take away our proud memories. As a Christian I believe Thatcher has had to answer for her disgrace. She will remain without peace with the whole Tory cabinet that backed her. As with the Blair mistakes we normal people have to live with bad rules they forced through their lack of understanding. I hope you will never let the bad actions of those we know were driven by politics to take away the love for our families now at rest.

Simon Williams wrote
at 19:24:53 on 28 May 2016
What a TORY , who starved the miners during the strike , Salford Council NO RESPECT what so ever

noreen bailey wrote
at 18:37:45 on 28 May 2016
what a shock I have just had to see who was part of the unveiling a CONSERVATIVE my father and all the families who's husbands, sons, uncles, and grandfathers worked in the pits would be so disgusted knowing it was the worst time of their lives and it is 30yrs ago since the miners strike forced upon them by Maggie thatcher a conservative , I am totally disgusted surely the ceremonial mayor should have had the decency to refuse to do it knowing full well she is a conservative and respect the memory of our MINERS where were our mp Rebecca and mayor who an earth comes up with a recommendation like this that like the story the enemy within could be allowed to do such an unjustly thing well Salford labour council I am totally disgusted with you all to allow this to happen, but the one thing I would love to say is what a wonderful bench and to all our miners past and present you were the salt of the earth you kept our home fires burning and I could never be any prouder to have been A COAL MINERS DAUGHTER

Michael James Felse wrote
at 18:37:35 on 28 May 2016
Having worked as a Coal Miner for my first 8 years in work I know dangers were horrific. My uncle lost his life following NCB neglect, his body ripped open. My father suffered lung and blood disorders losing his life at only 58 as a coal worker. My big brother was also a coal miner, he dead at just 55. Tributes will not bring them back, but we must never forget. Thank you Councillor Karen Garrido for unveiling respects of Salford and to fundraisers for a tribute that will last generations as a memorial to miners' courage.

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