The Burnley Mining Memorial Fund are gearing up to hold a concert night to raise money for a memorial in recognition of the town's rich mining heritage and to honour the hundreds of miners who died.
Established earlier this year, the Burnley Mining Memorial Fund are attempting to raise £75,000 to fund a memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives doing what member and former miner Jack Nadin calls "the worst job in the world".
Taking place at the Burnley Miners’ Social Club on Plumbe Street on 19th October, the concert night will feature the well-known local band 'Badger Sett' (part of the former ‘Marren Five’) as well as a buffet, raffles, and miners' brass checks (also known as tallies) for sale.
"Former mining families [can] buy the tallies in memory of a father, brother, or uncle who worked in the local mines," said Jack (70), a Burnley-born mining historian. "They can either keep these in memory of a loved one, or have it installed in a time capsule to be buried at the foot of the Mining Memorial."
Crucial to Burnley's emergence as a cotton town during the Industrial Revolution, mining was a severely dangerous occupation, with pit workers on the Burnley Coalfield as young as seven and as old as 80 losing their lives in truly horrifying circumstances, including roof collapses, falling down shafts, and being scalded to death.
"It's very important to recognise the miners: Burnley was the biggest cotton manufacturing town in the world at one time and they couldn't manufacture cotton without coal, which was all produced locally," Jack said, pointing out that the Burnley Coalfield boasted 16 pits at its peak. "It's the town's heritage."
As well as the concert night, the group have also begun the process of applying for a Heritage Lottery Grant to help them achieve their target.
To make a donation, head to the group's JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bmmf-1