Marra statue officially unveiled as Horden remembers mining past

A statue to commemorate a community's mining heritage has been officially unveiled today.

Marra, a 9ft-tall steel sculpture to celebrate Horden’s proud mining heritage, has now settled into his new home at the village’s Welfare Park.

Marra is unveiled

Marra is unveiled

Created by artist Ray Lonsdale – the man behind Seaham’s acclaimed “Tommy” sculpture – it depicts a miner with his heart torn out, to illustrate the ravages on mining communities that happened in the 1980s.

Scores of people turned out to the event which saw Horden's oldest miners have the honour of revealing Marra for the first time.

Councillor June Clark, of the Horden south ward, said: "It's such a tremendous achievement to have Marra officially unveiled in our park today.

"You can see by the turn out just how much it means to have him here, not only to the local people, but for the visitors who have came from further afield.

Former miners with Marra.

Former miners with Marra.

"What we are trying to do is to regenerate Horden, to get more people in our park and to see how wonderful the area is, and this is a great way for our heritage to be told."

Paul Davison, parish Clerk, added: "What a turn out, I am delighted with how many have came to see Marra's official unveiling.

"I was a bit nervous as the flurries of snow started at 2.30am, but thankfully it's turned out to be a wonderful day.

"Already younger generations have been commenting about Marra on social networking sites, young people who were born long after our pit closed in 1986 and that's exactly what we wanted, our heritage to continue and to carry on through future generations."

Crowds gather to see Marra.

Crowds gather to see Marra.