New streets to be named after miners who died in disaster

Dave Heyes, coun David Molyneux and Rob Holcroft on the site of the new housing estate

Dave Heyes, coun David Molyneux and Rob Holcroft on the site of the new housing estate

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THE streets of a new housing estate in Leigh are to be named after miners who died in a Victorian pit disaster in a touching tribute to the town’s mining heritage.

The new housing development at Walmsley Farm, Leigh is close to where Bedford Colliery once stood.

The colliery, which was mined by generations of miners from 1874 until it closed in 1967, was struck by tragedy on Friday 13th August, 1886.

An explosion of firedamp caused the death of 38 miners at Bedford No. 2 Pit.

The youngest victim was 13 years old, the oldest 65 and 48 children were left fatherless.

Wigan Council has a policy of naming streets with local relevance where possible and Dave Heyes, the council’s address management officer, researched the new estate’s links to the mining history of the area.

Ten of the Persimmon housing estate’s streets will now be named after miners who died in the disaster.

They are:

Hadfield Grove – named after Allen Hadfield, aged 21.

Mort Close - named after Alfred Mort aged 25 and Richard Mort aged 26.

Clayton Green - named after Thomas Clayton aged 25.

Fairclough Park Drive - named after Thomas Fairclough aged 34.

Daniels Close - named after Michael Daniels aged 44.

Hampson Court - named after Stephen Hampson aged 61.

Cooke Close - named after John Cooke aged 17.

Heaton Green - named after William Heaton aged 14.

Stirrup Close - named after Thomas, William and Peter Stirrup aged 13, 18 and 43.

Worthington Place - named after Isaac Worthington aged 38.

Councillor David Molyneux, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The mining industry will always be an incredibly important part of our history as it helped shape the borough we have today.

“Many of us in the borough have ancestors who toiled away deep below the ground in this extremely dangerous job.

“It’s therefore important that we keep our mining heritage alive in a meaningful way.

“The names of the miners who died in the disaster will live on through these streets and will help educate future generations on the debt we owe to our mining ancestors.”

Neil Follows, Managing Director for Persimmon Homes, said: “We are honoured to play a part in this lasting memorial to those who lost their lives in the pit disaster and to help continue the local heritage”

Another new street in the development - Wood End Way – will be named after Wood End Colliery the original name of Bedford Colliery and Walmsley Meadow Road will be named after a pasture of Walmsley Farm.

A memorial for the victims of the disaster stands in Leigh Cemetery.