Hartlepool accident victims to be remembered on Workers’ Memorial Day

A service to mark Workers Memorial Day was held at Christchurch in Hartlepool on Saturday. A lone piper plays outside the service.
A service to mark Workers Memorial Day was held at Christchurch in Hartlepool on Saturday. A lone piper plays outside the service.

TRADE unions in Hartlepool are urging people to get involved in two special remembrance events to mark Workers’ Memorial Day.

Workers’ Memorial Day, on April 28, commemorates those who have been killed or injured in workplace accidents and aims to raise awareness among employers of the importance of effective health and safety procedures.

On the evening before the day, there will be a Memorial Day Show at The Studio in Tower Street from 7.30pm featuring folk singer Rosie Upton and performer and raconteur Joe Solo.

Then on April 28, there will be an annual Workers’ Memorial Day Remembrance Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony at Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Church Square, starting at 12.30pm.

A lone Scottish piper will perform in Church Square from 11.45am and will pipe guests and attendees into Christ Church at 12.20pm before the one-minute silence at 12.30pm.

The service will be jointly conducted by the Reverend Chris Collison and the Reverend Janet Burbury, while speakers include Hugh Scullion, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, Fintan Hurley, scientific director of the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Glen Williams, chairman of the UNISON Service Group Executive.

A special guest at the service will be Trevor Burden, whose 19-year-old son Jason, from South Shields, died after a piece of machinery weighing almost a tonne fell on him in an accident at the Wear Dock in Sunderland in 2011.

Rosie Upton will also perform three songs which she has specially selected for the service.

Afterwards, wreaths will be laid by people attending the service including bereaved family members. The ceremony will end at around 1.40pm and a light buffet will be provided in Hartlepool Art Gallery.

Edwin Jefferies, president of Hartlepool Trades Union Council, said: “Whether or not they have been affected by a tragedy at work, we hope that as many people from across the region will join us to pay their respects and add their weight to the campaign to make all workplaces safe for workers.

“To add a greater emphasis to the commemorations, for the first time ever we are also holding a special show on the evening before. It’s sure to be a very memorable event and we hope people will join us for that too.”

Tickets for the Memorial Day Show on the evening of April 27 cost £5 plus an online booking fee and are available at www.wegottickets.com/event/315599 (pie and pea supper or a vegetarian option available) or £5 at the door (admission only).