Markham Colliery: Upset after 60 tags stolen from miners' memorial

Walking Together Memorial, near Chesterfield, at Markham Colliery
The bronze tags bear the year of the disaster as well as the name of a miner who died, his age and occupation [Derbyshire County Council]

Sixty tags bearing details of miners killed in accidents at a colliery have been stolen from a Derbyshire memorial.

The Walking Together Memorial near Chesterfield features 106 life-size figures in memory of miners who died in three accidents at Markham Colliery.

Bronze tags bearing the name, age and occupation of each miner killed and the year of the disaster were taken from 60 of the statues between 11 and 13 May.

Plaques detailing how the figures were funded were also stolen.

Photos of 13 miners killed at Markham pit
Markham Vale Heritage Group appealed to trace the relatives of those who died [Derbyshire County Council]

The memorial to honour the miners, who were killed at the colliery in 1937, 1938 and 1973, was unveiled in October 2022.

The figures are scattered along a route that stretches between Duckmanton and the former colliery at Markham Vale Environment Centre to form a walking trail to symbolise a miner's journey to the pit and back home again.

The £188,000 project was led by Derbyshire County Council with the help of the Markham Vale Heritage Group.

Work on the memorial took 10 years to complete as the group appealed to trace the relatives of those who died.

Walking Together Memorial, near Chesterfield, at Markham Colliery
The Walking Together Memorial featuring 106 life-size steel figures of miners was unveiled in 2022 [DAVID JOHN KING]

Councillor Tony King said he was "appalled and saddened by the deliberate damage caused" to the figures.

"The memorial was a labour of love for more than 10 years," he said.

"This is very upsetting for the families of the miners and members of the local community, many of whom enjoyed walking along the memorial trail and whose heritage is rooted in the former colliery.

"We're working with the police and reviewing CCTV footage to try to identify who is responsible for the damage."

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson confirmed the force was investigating.

"No arrests have been made but inquiries are still ongoing," they added.

Anyone with any information about the thefts has been asked to contact the force.

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