From the early 1700s coal mining was an important industry in development of the town and to the people of Workington, and so the proposed town centre redevelopment should include a memorial to educate and pay tribute to all the generations of families born into our coal mining community and ‘right a wrong’.

Why should all evidence of mining be erased off the map? It is only right and proper that we continue to educate people about our heritage and pay tribute to the brave souls who gave their life down the pits. They worked for long hours in horrendous conditions for a modest income, all to make sure there was food on the table for their families. We should remember them and make sure others do for generations to come.

On July 28, 1837, Workington Colliery, on the coast of Cumberland, was inundated by the sea, and the Isabella, Union, and Lady pits submerged. The workings had been carried to a distance of 1,500 yards under the sea, and rising rapidly towards it, until only 150 ft. of strata intervened. Up till ten months previous to the date of the accident, Matthias Dunn had the management of the colliery. After Mr Dunn’s departure, a considerable robbing or removal of the pillars under the sea was carried on the danger of which was a matter of common talk about the town.

Disaster was foretold by many. A number of the colliers left the work.

A correspondence on the subject took place between those on the spot and Mr Dunn, who, on account of the imminence of the danger, submitted the matter to a north of England coal-owner, and induced him to write to Mr Curwen, the owner of Workington Colliery, drawing his attention to the risk that was being run. But no steps were taken, until eventually a crush ensued, and the sea burst in on the evening of the day above mentioned.

Had the accident occurred during the day, the number of lives lost would have been greater. As it was, it is variously stated at from 27 to 40 human beings; a number aged nine years old. From about 1833 to 1840 in the Workington and Harrington collieries, no fewer than 91 souls were lost, and there would be many more.

The majority of pits have been left without any sign of their existence. It’s the least that could be done as a tribute to all whose lives were lost.



How to rate an MP

I HAVE received a poorly-designed questionnaire from MP Mr Jenkinson enquiring about improvements I would like to see in Cockermouth. For some reason he asks about a number of things that are the responsibility of local or regional bodies, such as bin collections.

I wonder why, as a Member of Parliament, he does not seek opinions about the national issues on which he was elected to represent his constituents? Allerdale includes areas of high deprivation. Surely he should use his party and parliamentary influence to argue for proper funding for local authorities so as to reverse the effects of years of austerity?

He should be trying to limit the impending economic damage, poverty and unemployment that will result from the twin hammer blows of Covid-19 and Brexit.

The questionnaire includes an item in which respondents are asked to “rate Mark Jenkinson MP”. This perhaps shows a degree of inexperience by this relative newcomer to democratic politics. He should have indicated the factor(s) on which we are to judge him.

It would have been wiser to ask this once he had built up a record of achievements on behalf of the constituents he no doubt values and respects.



Only in Allerdale

Re your article regarding the state of the bridle way to the school (Times & Star, November 12), planners gave permission for this school to be built when there was no public road to it.

You have to either use the bridle way or privately owned land to access it.

It could only happen in Allerdale.


By email

Thank you

May I, through the pages of your publication, extend our grateful thanks to the gentleman who found and returned my wife’s car key on Carrock Fell recently?

We had walked on over High Pike, and only discovered its loss on returning to the vehicle. While discussing options with my son, by pure luck we were approached in regard to another couple, who he felt might be the owners!

The gentleman headed back onto the fell in the Caldbeck direction, so had evidently gone out of his way. He may have an association with the Cockermouth area.


Sedgwick, Kendal

Join Scouts on a global race

This year has been tough on every single one of us.

Scout groups in Workington are doing their best to help young people gain skills and find their place in the world but some groups around the UK have told us they’re struggling to pay their bills and even keep the lights on. We can’t afford for that to happen. We won’t let it.

That’s why we’ve launched an epic new challenge – our Race Round the World. We’re asking everyone in Workington to travel a mile or more (or do a project at home) and get sponsored for it.

Miles will be added to the total and help us get the 43,000 miles round the world. It’s about a lot of us, doing a little, to make a massive difference.

You can donate directly, or travel a sponsored mile (anyway you like) and support us in our mission to save our groups and Race Round the World. You can sign up in less than a minute at

This is our moment to show how much we care; to show our solidarity and our friendship.

So join me on the starting line for the biggest race of the year.


UK Chief Scout and Chief Ambassador, World Scouting

Were you related to Jackie?

I SEEK readers’ help in trying to trace a relative of a well-known tradesman who died earlier this year.

Would any relative, or any reader knowing the whereabouts of any relative, of the late Mr John Robinson (known as Jackie), a builder formerly of Croft House, Stainburn, who had a legal interest in properties in Keswick, please contact Ms M Wright at Bendles Solicitors, 1 Victoria Place, Wigton; call 016973 42121 or email