Cinderloo: Names of workers who were killed or arrested beamed onto Shrewsbury prison

The names of 11 men who were killed or arrested in the wake of an uprising 200 years ago were beamed onto Shropshire's old prison.

Photo: Andrew Howe
Photo: Andrew Howe

Cinderloo 1821, the community group set up to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Cinderloo uprising in the area that would eventually become Telford, staged a commemorative event outside the Dana Prison in Shrewsbury on Wednesday.

It coincided with the 200th anniversary of the execution of Thomas Palin for his part in the uprising, which arose because of a dispute over unfair pay for workers.

Artist Andy McKeown projected the names of the men arrested and killed on to the front of Shrewsbury prison as in a dramatic light show including the sound of a beating heart.

The poignant event was staged to comply with Covid restrictions.

The projection of the names of the men who were arrested or killed in the Cinderloo uprising. Photo: Andrew Howe

Pete Jackson, spokesman for the group, said: "It was a fitting tribute to Thomas Palin who, like the Shrewsbury pickets, recently cleared 40 years after they were imprisoned in the same prison, we believe it would be fitting for Tom to be similarly given a posthumous pardon for the role that he played in 1821 standing up for his community.”

The group has written to the outgoing High Sheriff of Shropshire asking for her support in making the case for a posthumous pardon for Tom Palin.

They also plan to petition the incoming High Sheriff, Tony Morris-Eyton.

The Battle of Cinderloo took place on February 2, 1821 and shook the area that is modern day Telford.

It saw downtrodden miners uniting against unfair pay and met with military resistance. Some 3,000 miners, women and children marched on the cinder hills at Old Park (now the Forge Retail Park), in protest at sudden pay cuts of 6d. Before the announcement of the cut, they were already angry about unsafe conditions on the coalfields.

They were met by the Shropshire Yeomanry and told to disperse, but the protesters refused to back down and violence broke out. Two workers were killed, a third, Tom Palin, was later hanged, and eight were imprisoned.

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