Miners only at this year's Hapton Valley Pit disaster memorial service due to coronavirus precautions

The annual public memorial service to the miners killed in the Hapton Valley Pit disaster sadly had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:44 am

The service was due to be held at the memorial stone in Burnley Cemetery on Sunday, but organisers felt it was not worth the risk of a close social gathering in light of the current crisis.

One of the organisers, trustee of the Hapton Valley Disaster Fund and former miner Bob Clark, said: "The Hapton Valley Disaster Memorial Service had to be cancelled due to the present virus situation.

"However, a short service was held for the small number of the mining community who visited the memorial stone which included the reading of the names of the 19 men who lost their lives and a remembrance of those who were injured, followed by the laying of floral tributes.

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Former miner Bob Clark at the memorial stone

"I would like to thank the Rev. Kat Gregory-Witham for her kind support and the Parks Department for the splendid floral display at the memorial stone of remembrance."

The terrible accident occurred on the morning of Thursday March 22nd, 1962, at 9-45am when an explosion ripped through the 140-yard long Number 2 Union seam at the colliery.

Sixteen men were killed instantly and a further three died later from their injuries. A further 22 men were hurt in the blast.