Over 1,500 people visit exhibition to showcase proposed Doncaster mining memorial

Visitors at the exhibition to showcase the planned Doncaster miners memorial. Picture: David Kessen
Visitors at the exhibition to showcase the planned Doncaster miners memorial. Picture: David Kessen

Over 1,500 people visited an exhibition to showcase a proposed memorial to Doncaster's historic mining industry, say organisers.

Before it closed last week, 1,543 took a look at the display, titled A Rich Seam, which ran at the Frenchgate Centre in Doncaster town centre.

The Free Press is backing a campaign to raise the £135,110 cost of the memorial, through a crowdfunding appeal. The appeal lasts until October 26, and we are urging readers to pledge to the appeal, which has so far raised £35,135.

There were also 32 former miners who returned to the exhibition site to have their photos taken last Tuesday with a view to potentially featuring as one of 12 bronze heads still needed to complete the sculpture, as well as a collection of portraits as part of the project.

Meanwhile, 18 of the bronze heads which have already been created by the international artist Laurence Edwards, made in the image of real Doncaster,miners, are now on display at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.

And a 10ft mock-up of the proposed sculpture design, which was part of the exhibition, will still be on display for a month in the Frenchgate Shopping Mall on the ground floor.

Jo McQuade, culture business manager at Doncaster Council, said: “The A Rich Seam exhibition attracted lots of interest, with many of our visitors sharing their memories and experiences – it was great to be able to invite them back for the photo session so we could start to capture their stories and photograph them as part of the next exciting stage of the project.

"Some even brought along their mining friends too. On several occasions, visitors to the exhibition also bumped into colleagues from their past that they had not seen for a long time and enjoyed reminiscing over their shared memories.

“If there are any former miners or family members who would like to be involved and missed the exhibition, we would still love to hear from you. Doncaster College are looking for more former miners and their family members to photograph to be part of the project’s archive, please contact culture@doncaster.gov.uk ”

Readers can contribute to the appeal in four ways.

They can:

* Pledge online at www.doncastersminingstatue.org.uk.

* Send a cheque to Doncaster Council addressed to Doncaster Museum, Chequer Rd, Doncaster DN1 2AE.

* Cash donations will be accepted at Central Library, Doncaster Museum or Doncaster Civic Office.

* Make an in-kind contribution to any of the key elements to the project.