Plaques to honour miners unveiled at striking sculpture in village

Plaques commemorating the miners who worked at - and died at - a coal pit in Shropshire have been unveiled in a touching ceremony.

BORDER COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 12/06/2021 - Plaques unveiled as part of the last stage of the Miner's Statue in St Martins..
BORDER COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 12/06/2021 - Plaques unveiled as part of the last stage of the Miner's Statue in St Martins..

The striking statue of a miner that stands in the centre of St Martins near Ellesmere was created by local artist George Triggs for the 50th anniversary of the closure of the pit.

Now plaques outlining the history of the Ifton coal pit and the names of the men who died there, have been placed alongside the sculpture.

The statue marks the 50th anniversary of the closure of the pit near Ellesmere

Covid restrictions meant that only a few people were able to attend Saturday's event and only 10 members of the Ifton Band, which was formed as a colliery band, could play.

Sue Schofield, one of the members of the committee responsible for the sculpture said it was sad that they were not able to invited any of the former miners or the families of the 57 men who died at work there.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support for the statue, having been able to raise more than £70,000 to site it in St Martins, money that includes the paving, the plaques and CCTV. The next step will be to hand it over to the parish council in perpetuity for the community."

Sue Schofield said the committee was overwhelmed by the support

She said the statue would remain people, and future generations of the colliery in St Martins and how important it had been to the village and serve as a memorial.

"One woman has told me that it is a fitting tribute to her husband, another that she feels she has closure after her father's death down the pit."

At one time the colliery employed 1,300 people. It closed in 1968.

The Miner's Statue in St Martins

Among those thanks were: St Martins Parish Council, Stans Superstore, Ridgway Rental, Tesco, Westminster Stone, Pete and Terrance Penrose, Ash Allum, the Hilton Jones Trust, The Miners' Institute, Bersham North Wales Miners' Trust, Steward SteelPet, and all those who donated to the Go Fund Me page and made other donations.

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