The Memorial in Wallsend, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
I grew up in Newcastle, NSW. My uncle was a coal miner and lived in West Wallsend ( a little suburb west of Newcastle). My brother-in-law and nephew are coal miners and my sister lives in Barnsley - a little further south of West Wallsend. My brother-in-law said they were using pit ponies until 1981 in the pit he worked. My sister had to pack carrots in his lunch box for the horses. They used one horse in particular for work picnics for the kids to ride and it would only ever walk around in a circle. There is a memorial to the miners.
I have grown up with the coal mining culture and with the plaque, over which I wept many tears as an angst ridden teen. I have some nice photos of the memorial that I took myself and I will hunt them out and scan them for you later today. Coal mining is as much a part of my heritage as my ancestors. I have been down a pit (not far as we were kids at the time) and I remember feeling awed and frightened. It is quite a legacy and we should never forget how people were forced to live and work underground. The conditions these days are greatly improved (which is a bit of an understatement).
The Storyteller by Lynn Gumb
See also The Commemorative Plaque given to the family Lundhill Explosion, Barnsley, Yorkshire - 1857
Download The Historical Wallsend Town Centre Walk, a PDF File