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Memorial to pit past


SUPPORT is mounting for a memorial to commemorate the miners who worked at Ollerton Colliery.

A generation has grown up since the colliery closed 16 years ago and those who have links to Ollerton’s mining past want it to be remembered.

Former miner Mr Ken Boundry (86) of Forest Road, Ollerton, said: “I think it was the biggest crime in the world that they didn’t put wheels up as a memento to the lads.

“We have got no memorials of any sort.”

Winding wheels were used to operate the cage that transported miners down to the coal face and are around 20ft in diameter.

Mr Boundry started at the colliery straight from school at 14 in 1935, retiring in April 1981.

He worked on the coal face until 1956 when he was promoted to overman.

Mr Boundry, possibly the oldest surviving miner to have been born in Ollerton, said younger people and newcomers to the town would not know the history of the pit.

Mr Boundry thought an ideal site for a memorial would be outside Sherwood Energy Village, which was built on the site of the old pit.

Another colliery worker, Mr Jack Hind (86) of Tuxford Road, Boughton, also backed the idea, and thought other former miners would also.

He began working down the mine at 16 1938.

He worked underground in 71/4-hour shifts, five days a week for 43 years.

Mr Hind said individual miners should be remembered, such as the late Mr Sam Kilner of Ollerton who worked for the National Union of Mineworkers.

He also thought miners killed while working at the pit should be commemorated.

Mrs Joan Seager (82) of De Lacy Court, Ollerton, said although there were windows in St Paulinus Church commemorating the miners, there was nothing outside apart from benches in Ollerton Pit Woods.

Three stained glass windows were installed in the church in 2003 and feature a miner holding a lamp.

Mrs Seager’s late husband, Mr Cyril Seager, was a miner at Ollerton Colliery.

She said something was needed to let people know that Ollerton was once a mining village.

“New Ollerton came into being because of the mine,” she said.

“I feel guilty that we haven’t done anything. It’s not right.

“There were men who died at that pit and others suffered in health afterwards as well.”

The leader of Ollerton and Boughton Town Council, Mr Ben Wells, said Mrs Seager had written to the council asking for a memorial.

He said: “I am sure the town council will give this consideration.

“It is a matter of how people will react.”

Mr Wells, who worked at Ollerton Colliery from 1958 until its closure, said consultation, such as a public meeting, was needed to get opinions.

The MP for Sherwood, Mr Paddy Tipping, said he would fully support a project to install a mining wheel at the energy village.

“There is a feeling in Ollerton that the tradition of the colliery ought to be identified and honoured,” he said.

“I think it would be a real chance to celebrate the energy village, looking to the future while reminding people of the pit and the suffering and the heritage.”

The director of Sherwood Energy Village, Mr Stan Crawford, was unavailable for comment.

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