Memorial unveiling

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 MEMORIAL to 86 men and boys who lost their lives while working at Allerton Bywater Colliery will be officially unveiled in September.

The memorial, designed by Castleford artist Harry Malkin, will be unveiled by Leader of Leeds City Council and Kippax and Methley councillor Keith Wakefield on September 8.

The event will start with a procession from Brigshaw High School through the town, led by Kippax Brass Band, through the village and to the former colliery site.

Clive Cowell, the last branch secretary of Allerton Silkstone NUM, who will be a speaker at the ceremony, said: “All members of the community are welcome and there is a special invitation to former miners of Allerton Bywater Colliery.

“The Allerton Silkstone branch banner, which has been on display in Leeds Civic Hall since the colliery closed in March 1992 will be returned to the village for the day and will lead several other NUM branch banners and Women Against Pit Closures banner.”

Special guests on the day will include Chris Skidmore, the Yorkshire area NUM chairman, George Mudie MP, former Elmet MP Colin Burgon, Ann Scargill and Betty Cook from Women Against Pit Closures and Paul Routledge of the Daily Mirror.

The service, at 2pm takes place at the entrance to the new millennium community built on the former colliery site, and will include a blessing and a reading of the names of the dead, then close with the laying of wreaths.

Mr Malkin is currently finishing the memorial, and will include four mining-themed panels, one on each side of an imaginary pit cage.

One will depict the original Allerton double decked cage with men sat down on the bottom deck and stood stooped in the confined space of the top deck.

The second panel will show two miners roof bolting, the third larger panel will be themed on a powerful Dosco Road Header machine that was used to rip out the coal and stone in order to form new roadways underground.

The final scene will show the Allerton Silkstone NUM Branch members marching through the community displaying their banner.

For more information visit www.abcminersmemorial.co.uk or contact Clive Cowell on 0113 286 1642 or Robin Tomlinson on 0113 286 5842.