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Miners' memorial garden opens up in Hatfield

The garden includes a wall with space for the names of 600 miners who died while working at the colliery

EX-MINERS and their families gathered in South Yorkshire today for the opening of a memorial garden to those who died as a result of working at one of Britain’s most militant collieries.

Hatfield Main colliery outside Doncaster opened in 1916 and closed in 2015 in the final round of Tory butchery of Britain’s deep coal mining industry.

The memorial garden includes a wall with room for the names of 600 miners who were killed working at Hatfield or who died of industrial diseases as a result of their jobs.

Plans are already being made for a second wall.

The garden also includes a half segment of a pithead wheel.

Mick Lanaghan, one of the former Hatfield miners involved in the project, said: “This has been a seven-year project and today is not the end of it.

“At some point, we are going to have to build more walls.”

Speakers at the opening included National Union of Mineworkers Yorkshire area chairman Chris Skidmore.

The event was followed by a social gathering at Stainforth — one of the three communities which surrounded the pit — with radical entertainer Joe Solo.

He said the memorial is “a truly poignant reminder of a community pushed to breaking point by neoliberalism, but unbowed, unbroken and standing tall.

“This memorial is a community which straightened its back, looked the future in the eye and said: ‘This is who we were, this is who we are and this is what you will be’.”

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