Century-old pit disaster remembered

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A UNIQUE service took place at Darfield recently, in honour of 10 miners who lost their lives in a pit tragedy over a century ago.

The newly-renovated Houghton Main Disaster Memorial was unveiled before a large crowd that included relatives of victims James Hardcastle, 49, and his son Alvin, 18. They perished when a cage lift plummeted, crushing those inside.

Others who died were Joseph, Samuel and Charles Walker from Darfield Bridge, Joseph Pearson and his son Joseph, Edward Baxter, William Mannion and William Barton.

The director of the National Coal Mining Museum, Dr Margaret Faull, was at the re-dedication service, conducted by the Rev David Hildred. Houghton Main Male Voice Choir were also on hand.

More than £4,000 was raised by the Friends of Darfield Churchyard, supported by Catherine Bailey, Stephen Smith MBE, Ian McMillan, Frank Morley and Martyn Johnson and Brian Elliott – who re-told the disaster at the service.