Harry’s tribute to mining loss

Harry Malkin with some sculptures he is half way through making for a special miner's memorial in Allerton Bywater later this year.
Harry Malkin with some sculptures he is half way through making for a special miner's memorial in Allerton Bywater later this year.
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A LASTING memorial is being created as a tribute to the miners who lost their lives at the former Allerton Bywater colliery.

A replica pit cage will sit by the former pit head at the colliery where 87 men lost their lives before the pit was shut down in 1992.

Artist and ex-miner Harry Malkin is busily sculpting the piece of art in the garage at his Ackworth home.

He is halfway through the memorial, which will be made up of four panels based on a mining theme.

Mr Malkin, 61, who worked at the former Fryston colliery, said: “We have been planning on doing something for years and I am pleased to be involved.

“It is quite a sizeable project, but it is nice to be able to work from home.

“It has been challenging, but it is a pleasure to be able to create a piece of public art and I hope people will enjoy it.”

Mr Malkin is not unfamiliar with public projects as last year his sculpture showing the faces of soldiers killed in Afghanistan was revealed in Airedale.

His latest four-piece creation will depict the original pit cage, miners working, a machine used to rip out the coal, and a march scene of Allerton Silkstone NUM branch members.

Their banner, which has been on display in Leeds Civic Hall since the colliery closed, will return to the village during a special event on Saturday, September 8, along with the Women Against Pit Closures’ banner.

A procession, led by Kippax Brass Band, will march from Brigshaw High School through the village to the former colliery site before the unveiling of the memorial, which has been paid for by the Allerton Bywater community and supporters.

The names of those who died down the pit will also be read out as wreaths are laid by the families of the deceased.