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BobRobert Bradley
Retired Surveyor

Bilsthorpe Memorials

A  memorial to the men and one woman killed at Bilsthorpe Colliery between 1927 and 1997.  The monument of a miner's lamp constructed out of one piece of sandstone chosen from a short list of creative drawings by the children from the local school was unveiled on 4th October 2011.

A dedication was performed by the Vicar Richard Whiteley in the Bilsthorpe Village Hall that was filled to capacity with  local residents and others.

Many school children were invited from Crompton View Primary School and took part in the proceedings along with dignatories from the County Council , members of the Parish Council, Mark Spencer the Conservative MP for Newark and Sherwood district, Trevor Goodman, the Chairman of the Bilsthorpe Heritage Society and Museum, who was one of the people who began the project, also Les Ward, a County Councillor, who presented the awards to the winner of the design and the runners up, second and third.

Another invited guest was the ex manager of Bilsthorpe colliery David Baldwin. Following the service all went down to the garden of remembrance at the corner of Church Street and Crompton Road where the lamp was unveiled by Patricia Jennings (77) of Wellow whose husband's uncle was one of the 14 sinkers killed in a tragic accident in the shaft  when a pumping pipe was dislodged and fell down onto the sinkers working in the shaft bottom on 1st March 1927.

Some were drowned as the water quickly rose as no pumping was able to be done. The colliery was the last one to be sunk by the Stanton Ironworks Co Ltd from 1925-1927. 

All names of the 76 men and one woman who were killed in accidents at Bilsthorpe were cut into the stone monument.  A grant of £14,000 had been given by the County Council Local Improvement Scheme to enable the monument to be made.

Robert Bradley, seen above, to the left, a trustee of the Museum and member of the Heritage Society read out a poem written by himself and dedicated to all.

Deep beneath the earth the miners toiled for coal
For years and years down that dark hole
A village life brought families close
But death lurked untimely, all morose
A dangerous job the miner had
Too many lost their lives, it is so sad
The good times must be remembered though
As life must go on through high and low
This dedication to the miners bold
To all who worked and gave their soul
A monument to them will stand for time
To remember them all will be this sign
With each new generation the word must be told
Of the good men who mined for that black gold

The garden of remembrance has been set with flowers, plants and bushes under the canopy of trees and is tended regularly mainly by members of the Society who live in the village.

Members of the Heritage Society:
Chairman Trevor Goodman , Vice Chairman George Cooper, Secretary Eric Purdy, Treasurer Fred Hall,  Minutes Secretary Christine Cooper, Recorder and Computer Andrea Swallow,

Lawson Little, Robert and Edna Scaife, Margaret and Frank Jarvis, Peter Dawson, Arthur and Janet Wheeldon, John Garrad and Robert Bradley.

Paul Smith ex-miner at Bilsthorpe with Patricia Jennings who unveiled the memorial