Rugeley Miners Memorial was unveiled in front of a crowd of around 2,000 people on Saturday 13th September.
The event started at 11.00 am, when the Chair of Cannock Chase Council, Maureen Freeman unveiled the memorial, created by sculptor Andy De Comyn. Thus was followed by a service led by Rev Georgina Holding in remembrance of those miners who were killed underground whilst working at Lea Hall and Brereton Collieries. Local school children read out the names of each man and boy killed, in what proved to be a very moving commemoration.
After the service and the sharing of remembrances by Lay Preacher Jim Bullock, presentations were made by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Lieutenancy, Barbara Hyde. The Northfield Caledonian Pipes and Drums led the crowds to the Lea Hall Club, for a gala including a fun fair, attraction and stalls.
Chair of Cannock Chase Council, Maureen Freeman commented, "It is an honour to be invited to unveil the statues. They are a lasting tribute to the heritage of Rugeley and the surrounding villages. So many people lost their lives at the Lea Hall and Brereton Collieries and the statues recognise the contribution they made to the local community."
Alex Smith from Lea Hall and Brereton Collieries Memorial Society added, "The Lea Hall and Brereton Collieries Memorial Society are delighted that four years after its founding, the town and villages of the area will have a mining memorial that will be the equal with the best mining memorials in Great Britain."
Text and photographs reproduced with kind permission from
the Rugeley & Chase Gazette.