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Walking Together mining memorial

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

Walking Together mining memorial

We've created the 'Walking Together' mining memorial as a permanent reminder of the site's strong mining heritage and to honour the miners who lost their lives in 3 accidents at the site in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

The memorial is set to be made up of 106 life-size steel figures which symbolise a miner's journey to the pit and back home again.

Each figure carries a tag with the name of one of the miners, along with their age and job role.

On 21 January 1937 an underground explosion at Markham Colliery claimed the lives of 9 men and on 10 May 1938, 79 miners lost their lives and 40 were seriously injured in a second explosion at the site.

Eighteen miners died and 11 others suffered serious injury in the third disaster at the colliery when the mechanical brake on a lift carrying them to the coalface failed on 30 July 1973.

The £188,000 project will provide a walking tour of Markham's mining heritage and the route through the site, symbolising the journey between the village of Duckmanton and the former pithead of Markham Colliery.

The project recently reached the halfway point and there are now 77 figures in place.

The memorial won the award for best volunteer project and the Markham Vale Heritage Group was also highly commended recognising the involvement of young people in heritage with its Story Mine project in the Derbyshire Heritage Awards 2019.

The Walking Together memorial has been designed by Cheshire-based artist Stephen Broadbent.

July 2020 tribute

Fifteen new figures were added to the memorial in July 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic it wasn't possible to hold a physical event to unveil them. Instead we produced a short film to act as a virtual commemoration of the miners' lives for volunteers, relatives and the local community.

Sponsor a figure

The Walking Together memorial has been generously supported by a wide range of businesses, relatives, community partners and trusts. Thank you to all the supporters who have contributed so far.

Read more about the memorial and how you can sponsor a figure.

The Story Mine project

From dusty faces, holidays to Skegness and coalface training – lots of stories from Markham Colliery are being unearthed every day on the Story Mine website.

The website has been set up by a team of local volunteers, including local historian Sandra Struggles and has been supported by us and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project has been funded by us alongside a £35,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Research into the lives of the thousands of local men who worked at the site between 1882 and 1993 has been carried out as part of the project. The Story Mine gives details about the lives of the men who worked at the site, their jobs and the local mining community. Residents can also share their memories of Markham Colliery on the website too.

There are real-life accounts of working down the pit from former miners and videos from relatives of the men who were tragically killed working at the site in the 3 major accidents in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

Autumn 2020 tribute

Eleven new statues were added to the memorial in autumn 2020. 

Watch our tribute video

Autumn 2021 tribute

Five new statues were added to the memorial in autumn 2021.