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Minnie Pit Disaster Remembrance Day

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On Sunday 10th January 2016 Halmer End Methodist Church remembered all who died in the Minnie Pit Disaster of 12th January 1918. In exhibitions in the hall we saw how coal was mined (Apedale Heritage Centre) and how the miner relied on his safety lamp (Ken's Lamps). We talked about the railways which transported the coal from the mine (Knotty Coach Trust) and the written story of it all and the families involved (Audley & District Family History Society). Finally, after the mines came the open cast coal mining, and then the restoration of the land for today's community (Podmore Conservation Group).

The film 'Memories of the Minnie Pit Disaster', produced for this occasion by Ray Johnson of the Staffordshire Film Archive was shown. Four copies of this DVD are available for sale at £5 each from Ray Dale on 01782 720292 or ray.dale@mypostoffice.co.uk

The day concluded at 3.00 pm with a Service of Remembrance with Rev'd Alison Anderson. One of Ken's lamps stood at the front of the Chapel with its flame flickering as a reminder that this lamp was in the Minnie Pit, and yet still works today. Along with the hymns and Bible Readings Alison prompted our thoughts on poets, pitmen and ponies and young Jake read the Miner's Poem by Wilfred Owen. We sat in silent remembrance as we listened to Gresford, the tune to the Miner's Hymn, and we remembered their sacrifice as we contemplated the flower arrangement by the model of the Minnie Pit at the front of the Chapel near the cross.

Thank you to all our exhibitors who may be contacted for more information. Contact Ray Dale on 01782 720292 for the Podmore Conservation Group and Ken Whitfield on 01782 660742 for miner's lamps. Thank you to everyone who shared this day with us.

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