Ceremony marks pit disaster

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson with a wreath to remember the 74 miners killed
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson with a wreath to remember the 74 miners killed

A POIGNANT ceremony remembered those killed in a mining disaster 130 years ago.

The anniversary of the Trimdon Grange pit explosion was marked with a wreath laying ceremony and singing.

The event in Trimdon Village Cemetery paid tribute to the 74 people who lost their lives underground, many of whom were boys as young as 12.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson was among a crowd of around 60 people who gathered to remember those killed.

He said the day did not just remember those who died in the explosion on February 16, 1882, but the 3,500 people who are estimated to have lost their lives over the years in pits in the Sedgefield constituency.

He said: “It may be a long time since the disaster, but I think it is only right that we continue to remember it.

“The whole area is built on a proud coal mining tradition.

“But it is one that’s marred by tragedy.

“What happened 130 years ago was devastating. There were 58 children who lost their fathers and every family was affected.

“The day also gave us the opportunity to remember all of those who have died while mining in the area.”