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Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Monday, 25 October 2010 14:31 UK
Monument to dead miners unveiled in Gedling, Notts

Monument to dead miners unveiled

A monument has been unveiled at Gedling Colliery to remember the 128 men who lost their lives in pit accidents.

Former miner Graham Taverner and the Gedling Preservation Society campaigned for the memorial, which was paid for by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Mr Taverner saw a dead man being brought up from the mining shaft during his first week of work in 1955.

He said: "The blanket was over his head [and] I thought 'I don't know whether I ought to be doing this job'!"

Even in the 21st Century, as proven with the rescue of the Chilean miners, life as a miner can be dangerous.

Nottinghamshire knows the dangers all too well with thousands of men killed in pit accidents over the years.

It is for this reason that Graham Taverner wanted to do something to remember those who lost their lives at Gedling.

"It isn't until it [mining] stops that you realise just how bad it was," said Graham.

"When you're working with somebody every shift, all shift, and suddenly they're not there, it's the knock-on effect with not only the men on the coalface but the families that we all used to think about."

There is now little evidence of the colliery in Gedling. Graham struggles to locate where the shafts used to be and stated that "nature's taken over".

However, there is now a lasting memorial in the shape of a giant oil lamp that was used by miners for many years.

"The 128 [names] are now recorded in bronze, a memorial for those brave men who worked at the pit," said Graham.

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