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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Coal mining memorial planned for town centre

A memorial to West Cumbria’s coal mining heritage is planned for Workington town centre.

The new artwork would stand at the end of Steelmen’s Walk facing Jane Street, which is one of the main routes into town.

It would be a tribute to the thousands of miners over many generations who worked down the pits.

The work would be completed by Dearham stonemason Shawn Williamson on an eight-foot block of stone.

It would feature the engraved names of local mines such as the Solway and Annie pits, with a relief sculpture of miners at work.

Gerald Humes, a Workington town councillor and county councillor who has coal miners in his family, said it was important to recognise the town’s heritage.

He said: “There is nothing to acknowledge how tough life was. This would be a major step towards recognising that.”

He estimated that the project would cost about £8,000 and that he hoped funding would become available through grant-giving bodies such as the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

JMercia Haughan, vice-president of Workington and District Civic Trust, pledged to put the idea to the trust’s executive committee on Monday.

She added: “It’s a good idea and worthwhile.”

The idea of a mining sculpture was first mooted by Allerdale and Workington town councillor Joan Wright.

The project would need planning permission from Allerdale council.

Mr Williamson’s work includes a Herdwick ram on the A66 roundabout near Cockermouth and the Maundy lion in Vulcan’s Lane, Workington.

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