Artwork plan to remember colliery workers

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Former Derbyshire miners and their families are invited to share their memories to help shape an ‘exciting’ new artwork.

Thousands of men earned their living at Markham Colliery, near Bolsover, before it closed in 1993, after 111 years of coal production.

Derbyshire County Council is investing £77 million in the site, now known as Markham Vale, with the long-term aim of creating about 5,000 jobs.

Artist Stephen Broadbent has been commissioned to create a permanent reminder of the area’s strong mining heritage and honour the 97 miners who lost their lives in the two Markham disasters of 1938 and 1973, for generations to come.

A new artwork called Walking Together is to be built in a £188,000 scheme.

It will provide a walking tour of Markham’s mining heritage in the form of 100 steel figures on a route through the site, symbolising the walk to and from the pit head by miners.

Each 2m-high figure will carry 12 mine tags with the names of former miners.

Each tag will trigger a different piece of information – including video, audio, and written works – via apps and web links through mobile phones and handheld devices.

These will include interviews with local historians, accounts of mining disasters, and GPS-generated maps of tunnels running beneath the feet of visitors.

Anyone with connections to the colliery is invited to the first working group meeting to share their ideas about how to develop the Walking Together project at Markham Vale Environment Centre, Markham Lane, on Wednesday November 28, from 3.30pm. For details, call 01246 826000.