Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

Wakefield Express  21st March, 2008

WREATHS were laid at the foot of the Lofthouse Colliery disaster memorial today to mark the 35th anniversary of the tragedy.
Seven miners were killed when water flooded the pit shaft from old mine workings at Low Laithes, Alverthorpe.
The memorial, in Batley Road, Wakefield, stands above the spot where the men - Charles Cotton, William Armitage, Paddy Finnegan, Alan Haigh, Colin Barnaby, Sidney Sinclair-Browne and Frank Billingham - were killed.
Officials from the National Union of Mineworkers travelled from Whistow Colliery, near Selby, to lay flowers in their memory. Many miners who used to work at Lofthouse went on to work at Wistow.

Tony Banks, of the Lofthouse Colliery Memorial Trust Fund, said: Flowers are laid at the memorial every year to remember those who died in the tragedy. Families are invited to attend.
Mr Banks brought the lamp with him which was used in the original rescue attempt to detect gas.
Information & pictures from the Wakefield Express

Wakefield Express  18th January, 2008

Pit group's delight with 'landmark'

MEMORIAl: A pit winding wheel will commemorate the pit disaster 35 years ago. From left, Maggie Stubbs, Elaine Morley, John Ansell and Elsie Confrey. w2221a803
AN ACTION group has succeeded in securing a piece of social heritage to remember people who lost their lives in a mining disaster.
The Lofthouse Colliery Action Group has been given a pit winding wheel by Wakefield Council, which will be installed on a patch of public land near to Colliery Approach in Lofthouse.

The group has also been awarded 1,300 from the community chest to pay for the painting and installation of the wheel.

Plans are gathering pace to have the wheel in place by Good Friday to tie in with events to mark the 35th anniversary of the Lofthouse Colliery mining disaster, in which seven people died.

But the wheel also symbolises the group’s efforts and commitment to improve the green spaces around the colliery site.

Secretary Maggie Stubbs said: “It’s very apt because some of our group are still in touch with people who were friends or relatives of the people who died.

“We’ve also adopted the pit winding wheel as our logo and this wheel will be good for the future, the community and show there’s people who care about the area.

“It’s really going to be a landmark for the action group and shows we mean to do something and that we are not all talk.

“People seem quite excited about this whole project and we must thank Coun David Atkinson who has helped us get the wheel.”

The group formed in July 2007 in a bid to secure the use of the former colliery for the community and protect it from potentially being built on by housing developers.

Elsie Confrey, chairwoman of the group, added: “We are still fighting to get it reclassified as green belt, or something similar, to protect it from being developed on and ruined.

“The new wheel is really good news and we delighted. All the hard work the group has put in seems to be paying off and this is first of many things in store for the area.”

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