National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

1952 Easington Colliery Disaster Memorial

Summary

Type Other

     A memorial comprising a large carved triangular rock painted white. It bears a tablet of stone removed from the scene of the disaster, and a metal plaque with an inscription.
     The memorial was inaugurated on 22nd March 1952. On the same occasion, Easington Colliery's youngest miner, a boy of 16, planted the first of 83 trees, to line the walkway. Each tree symbolises a life lost in the disaster. The NUM lay a wreath on the memorial on the yearly anniversary of the disaster.(3)
     The most disastrous post-War mining accident in the region occurred at Easington Colliery on 29th May 1952. An explosion at dawn in the Duckhill district entombed 81 men. Despite a well-organised and intensive 10 day rescue operation, during which two men lost their lives, only one miner was brought out alive and he died later. The other 80 men were found dead.(1) A government inquiry found that the explosion had occurred when the picks of a coal-cutting machine struck pyrites and ignited firedamp.(2)

Inscriptions

In raised lettering on a metal plaque: ON THE 29TH MAY 1951 / EIGHTY ONE MEN / DIED TOGETHER / IN / EASINGTON COLLIERY / FOLLOWING AN EXPLOSION / AND IN THE RESCUE BID / TWO MEN GAVE THEIR LIVES / THE TREES HEREABOUT / WERE PLANTED THE MEMORIAL / AVENUE WAS MADE AND THIS / TABLET PLACED ON A STONE FROM / THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT / TO HONOUR THE / MEMORY / OF THOSE / WHO LOST THEIR LIVES / LET PASSERS-BY / DO LIKEWISE GET / UNDERSTANDING AND PROMOTE GOODWILL IN ALL THINGS

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Not known, None Designer

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Whole work Stone 120cm high x 103cm wide x 160cm deep

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
DUEA45 NE
General condition Fair
Surface condition
  • Accretions
Structural condition
Vandalism
Road Memorial Avenue
Precise location Welfare Park
A-Z ref None
OS ref NZ433439
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1952
Unveiling details Installed 22nd March 1952
Commissioned by None
Duty of care Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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