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Description: Miners Memorial
Date Listed: 18 December 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 235898
OS Grid Reference: NZ2876688396
OS Grid Coordinates: 428766, 588396
Latitude/Longitude: 55.1890, -1.5497
1761/2/27 WOODHORN COLLIERY
(Formerly listed as:
MINERS MEMORIAL IN HIRST PARK)
Memorial, 1923, by W H Knowles and John Reid. Re-erected in 1991 at Woodhorn Colliery Museum.
MATERIALS: Bronze figure on a white granite plinth and pedestal with low relief bronze panels.
A stepped base with a low pyramid-capped pier at each corner carries a tall tapering granite pedestal with a moulded base. A moulded string is arched over drinking fountains on the north and south sides, a plaque on the east side bearing a low-relief colliery scene and a plaque on the west side carrying the inscription:
ERECTED BY/ THE MINERS AND/DEPUTIES TRADE-/UNION BRANCHES IN THE ASHINGTON GROUP/OF COLLIERIES (ASSISSTED/BY DONATIONS FROM THE/ASHINGTON AND CO. LTD., THE NORTHUMBERLAND/MINERS ASSOCCIATION, THE NORTHUMBERLAND/DEPUTIES ASSOCCIATIONS AND FRIENDS)/IN MEMORY OF THEIR FELLOW WORKMEN WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE WOODHORN COLLIERY EXPLOSION ON SUNDAY, AUG. 13 1916
Followed by the names of three stonemen, two putters and eight deputies.
A laurel wreath carved in relief is set immediately below a moulded cap which carries a life-size sculpture of a mining deputy holding up a safety lamp.
HISTORY: This colliery disaster occurred on Sunday 13 August 1916 in the Main Seam at Woodhorn Colliery, when a repairing shift was in the mine for the purpose of setting steel girders as roof supports. As the work was of a special nature the shift was composed of eight deputies and five other persons sent in to assist them. The explosion which occurred was caused by the presence of inflammable gas within the seam. Eleven men were killed outright and two others never regained consciousness.
The memorial was designed by William Henry Knowles (1857-1943) and sculpted by John Reid (born c. 1890). Knowles was a renowned Newcastle architect who has a number of Grade II listed buildings to his name, notably several buildings which are now part of the University of Newcastle including the King Edward VII School of Art (1911) and the School of Bacteriology (1922). He was also a respected archaeologist and authority on Hadrian's Wall who directed and reported on the excavations at Corstopitum between 1907 and 1914. Reid was Master of Sculpture at Armstrong College, Newcastle and his Royal Tank Regiment war memorial, Newcastle upon Tyne is listed at Grade II.
Paul Usherwood, Jeremy Beach, Catherine Morris Public Sculpture of North-East England (2000)
REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The Miners Memorial at Woodhorn Colliery is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well executed monument in bronze and white granite in the style of a war memorial but to a civilian accident
* It was designed by the renowned architect W H Knowles, and incorporates a bronze statue by the sculptor John Reid
* The work commemorates a colliery disaster during The Great War, whose impact on the community was all the greater given the absence of many men serving in France at the time
* The pose of its subject, a pit deputy searching for gas with the aid of a safety lamp, is unusual and conveys strongly the message of 'safety first'.
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.