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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 20:21 GMT
Charles opens colliery monument
Prince Charles receives a gift after opening the monument
Prince Charles received a gift after opening the monument
The Duke of Rothesay has officially opened a monument on the site of a former colliery in East Ayrshire.

Prince Charles visited the Barony A Frame near Auchinleck on Monday.

The steel structure stood at a shaft of the Barony Colliery and has been restored by the Barony A Frame Trust at a cost of more than 1m.

Four miners who died in a mining disaster in 1962 were remembered during the visit. Their bodies were never recovered from the shaft.

Prince Charles met some of the men's families before officially unveiling the plaque in the centre of the monument.

This was followed by a firework display which lit up the towering structure.

The prince told assembled guests: "I am so glad to be able to unveil this plaque and also to join you here on this very cold January evening to open this marvellous monument to those who tragically lost their lives 45 years ago on this site.

"I was so pleased to meet the relations of those who lost their lives on this spot.

"I know for them this occasion and this memorial is a form of closure for them after all these years of grief and agony they have had to endure."

Fireworks display after the plaque was unveiled by Prince Charles
There was a fireworks display after the plaque was unveiled

George Wade lost his father, George, in the accident when he was 14-years-old.

He said: "It is very sad but it is good recognition not only for the four men who are interred and their families, but for mining communities as a whole."

Prince Charles also met representatives involved in the project.

William Menzies, trust chairman and local councillor, said: "The Duke of Rothesay's visit is a momentous occasion for the trust, for those of us who worked at the Barony and for the local community.

"It is vitally important that young people learn about the area's industrial past, which has had a profound effect on their communities and the towns that they live in."

The category B listed structure was built in 1954 and is the last remaining of its type in Britain.

The colliery employed 1,200 people at its peak and operated for 82 years, before its closure in 1989.

Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund contributed more than 800,000 to the restoration.

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