Remembering Pontefract’s mining heritage

Former workers from the Prince of Wales pit site are campaigning for a memorial. (p612a442)
Former workers from the Prince of Wales pit site are campaigning for a memorial. (p612a442)

Former miners working to create a monument at the site of the former Prince of Wales Colliery have finalised its design.

Developer Harworth Estates is currently redeveloping the site into housing, along with business space, shops, cafes, medical and community centres, plus nursery and parkland.

The company, together with former miners at the site, will build a monument marking the history of the site at the entrance.

And they will also name three roads after former workers and managers from the pit.

One of the roads on the new estate will be called Butterwick Way - after former pit manager Colin Butterwick.

It has also announced it will name two other roads on the estate after former workers Lord Lofthouse and colliery founder John Rhodes.

Garry Foreman, former National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers branch secretary at the pit, said: “We don’t want the mining heritage to die because Pontefract was built on liquorice and coal.

“We want the monument to be something dedicated to everyone who ever worked at the Prince of Wales Colliery.”

The group has appointed artist Harry Malkin to make the monument.

Mr Malkin, a former miner, also designed the Wheel of Light at Glass Houghton.

Mr Foreman said: “We have now finalised the design but we decided we want it to be dedicated to everyone who was associated with the pit rather than just those who died there.

“It is about six to seven feet tall and will have two miners on it.”

The group will discuss the plans at a reunion for those who used to work at the site next month.

It will take place at Ladybalk Sports and Social Club, on Saturday, November 7 from 7pm.

Iain Thomson, partnerships manager at Harworth Estates, said: “We plan to mark the development’s origins in two ways. We will rename three road after three former workers at the pit.

“We’ve also had a meeting with the former miners who would like a memorial outside the entrance and we will work with them as their work progresses.”