Monument to mining history is unveiled

Unveiling of Mining Trubute at Blackwell.
Unveiling of Mining Trubute at Blackwell.

a MONUMENT to Blackwell’s mining past was unveiled in the village on Saturday.

The £8,000 monument to ‘A’ Winning Colliery takes the form of two pit wheels, donated by local businessman Dave Garrard, mounted on a plinth designed and constructed by local artist Andrew Tebbs.

A stone lintel from the former colliery offices was donated by Blackwell MOT & Tyre Centre and a wooden plinth with a commemorative plaque was made by ex-colliery worker John Rusby.

The project was organised by Blackwell Residents’ Action Group (BRAG) which raised half the money itself.

BRAG chairman Katharine Childs said: “There was a fantastic turn-out with over 200 people. It means so much to people. It’s been over 40 years since the colliery shut but it lives on in peoples’ memories. It was such a central part of their lives.

“It took about a year to get the design together. We wanted to consult people and make sure they would like it. We ran a series of events to ask for opinions and ideas.

The overwhelming feedback was that people wanted something real – not too fancy or abstract.”

The finished monument has concrete panels which show miners coming out of the colliery and incorporates original snap-tins, miners’ lamps and picks and shaft props.

“Andrew Tebbs is a local construction artist whose dad used to be a miner, so it was very close to his heart,” Katharine added. “He was really good at listening to the village and working out what we wanted and going with something that found the balance between nice to look at but that also was about the colliery.”

Funding came from various sources, including a Grassroots Grant of £2,775 from Derbyshire Community Foundation, as well as donations from Halls Construction, county councillor Clive Moesby and district councillors Alan Tomlinson and Sally Gray.