Walking Together Heritage Trail, Staveley

The historically-significant walking trail remembers the miners who lost their lives in three major disasters in Markham Colliery.  In total, 106 miners lost their lives in the disasters of 1937, 1938 and 1973, which had a huge impact on the local communities and the surviving relatives with some households losing up to three members of their family at once.  The colliery closed in 1994 and a new business park was established by Derbyshire County Council.

With much of the mining landscape changed beyond recognition, a trail from Duckmanton to the pit was established lined by galvanised steel figures, each one represented a known miner from the disasters.   Funding has been incremental and Markham Vale Heritage Group and Beam with Derbyshire County and the trail has been developed in distinct phases.  This phase consisted of figures, some blackened to symbolise miners returning from the pit.

The steel figures were designed by Stephen Broadbent and each figure has a circular bronze miner’s tag fixed on his chest. On the underside is stamped the name of the miner killed, his age and occupation.  On the front of the tag is stamped the name and year of the disaster.

“We were delighted to be awarded a grant of £30,000 through Valencia Communities Fund Environmental Company, through the Landfill Communities Fund, to fund a group of 15 figures.  This grant enabled us to join up the two ends of the trail creating a transition resulting in visitors experiencing the wider sense of the trail.  The funding specifically commemorated the following miners who lost their lives in the disasters:

  • Michael Kilroy, 53, Development Worker
  • Joseph William Brocklehurst, 58, Deputy
  • George Cyril Foulds Buckley, 40, Contractor
  • John William Watson Commons, 33, Contractor
  • George Eyre, 60, Gearhead Attendant
  • Clifford Brooks, 58, Deputy
  • Joe Hardy, 37, Contractor
  • William Edward Whelpton, 32, Rope Greaser
  • Charles Bown, 27, Contractor
  • George Clarence Briggs, 52, Deputy
  • Clarence Hill, 29, Belt-hand
  • Fred Reddish, 53, Development Worker
  • Harry Hudson, 26, Gate-end
  • Benjamin Wallace, 29, Road Layer
  • George Henry Jackson, 43, Contractor

In January 2022, Valencia Communities Fund awarded a further £17,830 to the final phase of the project.