The Markham Colliery Memorial Trail
Image: Pupils from Duckmanton Primary School performing at unveiling event.
The voluntary Markham Vale Heritage Group & Derbyshire Council are developing a historically significant walking trail to remember miners who lost their lives in 3 major disasters at Markham Colliery. We need your support to help complete this important project whilst living relatives are still able to engage and benefit.
106 miners lost their lives in the disasters of 1937,1938 & 1973 which had a huge impact on the local communities and the surviving relatives with some households losing up to 3 members of their families at once.
What will your funding support?
We only have 18 more figures to complete the memorial and are specifically seeking support to commemorate Arthur Roper, aged 61, whose grandson is still living, he was only 6 when his grandfather died.
The Derbyshire Times reported on the 13th May 1938 that "Arthur Roper, Rectory Road, Duckmanton, who was 62 years of age, was born in Kilburn. He had lived at Duckmanton for 30 years and was formerly employed at Denby. Until 1921 he was a colliery deputy and then continued working as a contractor, a position, which he occupied at the time of his death".
Image: Relatives attending unveiling event.
Where did the idea come from?
Following community consultation, artist Stephen Broadbent designed 106 steel figures to create a public walking trail that symbolizes each of the miners’ journeys to the pit and back. Each figure has a circular bronze miner’s tag fixed on his chest. On the underside is stamped the name of the miner killed, his age and occupation. On the front of the tag is stamped the name and year of the disaster, encouraging the visitor to touch the very personal and tactile tags.
Image: Family reunited during unveiling event with relatives attending from Australia, France and UK.
How will the public benefit?
Visitors can re-imagine and remember the lives of all miners, and in particular those who lost their lives for their work. The walking trail supports outdoor wellbeing and active lifestyles especially during covid restrictions and creates an important physical learning resource for the next generation alongside further online resources via markhamstorymine.org sharing stories of mining life and each of the 106 miners.
Image: Concept drawing by Stephen Broadbent.
The Markham Vale Heritage Group helps to guide the project and includes 25 dedicated local volunteers representing friends and relatives of miners killed, local historians, residents and local schools. This project started over eight years ago and has lots of local support and has reconnected many families through the important research by volunteers. Funding has been incremental with support through community fundraising, grants and business sponsorship.
Image: Derbyshire Heritage Awards - winner for the ‘Best Volunteer Project’ Award and The Story Mine received ‘Highly Commended’ for ‘Young People in Heritage’ Award.
Image: Local school children laying flowers during unveiling event.