Sacrifice, Community, Legacy
Nottingham Mining Museum are raising £30,000 towards creating a permanent memorial to their sacrifices and materials for schools to pass on our history to future generations.
They Died In The Darkness
There were 3193 deaths in Nottinghamshire’s coal mines.
They were killed by rock falls, poisonous gases, explosions, faulty equipment and a lack of safety measures. Few families received compensation and the mine owners were never held accountable.
The centrepiece of Shining A Light is a memorial to all those miners who died whilst working. It will be a tribute to their sacrifice and a place where children can begin their learning journey into Nottinghamshire’s history.
And Still They Die
No miner has gone below ground in Nottinghamshire since 2015 but the death toll from mining continues to rise.
Black Lung is caused by the constant exposure to coal dust and it slowly clogs the arteries. Around 1 in 10 ex-miners are affected, shortening their lives.
Many miners carry other injuries. For every accident which killed a miner there were ten more which broke bones, took fingers and disabled workers. Other industrial diseases such as White Finger, caused by the continual use of mining equipment , and hearing loss are common.
It Took A Village To Dig A Pit
Mining was never just a job. It was a community built from shared hardships and tragedies which extended far beyond the pit head. Everybody in a mining town was touched by the coal dust in some way.
The sense of purpose was as strong among the women as it was in the mine. Tending for the sick workers and the widowed women, helping the elderly, raising the children and working every bit as hard as the men to make tomorrow better than today.
Turning Black To Green
Long hours of dark, dirty and dangerous work lead to dreams of a better future. Pooling their money, mining communities funded libraries, hospitals and parks so their children might inherit a better world.
One of their parks, Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, became the centre of social activities across the region. Now the park has been chosen as the location for a permanent memorial. Here, a stainless steel statue will stand in the sun, overlooking the trees, band stand, duck pond and swings created by miners as a gift for everyone.
Divided They Fall
Miners in Nottinghamshire were among the first to unionise in the country. While the local unions worked with national organisations, Nottinghamshire miners were always a distinct and independent voice.
In the 1980s the Government began shutting pits and in 1984 miners from other areas went on strike. Loyalties among Nottinghamshire miners were split and some local miners went on-strike and others continued to work. Divided in the face of a determined enemy, the unions lost the strike and within 10 years, 18 of Nottinghamshire’s 25 mines had shut.