Be proud of mining past

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I WAS pleased to read in Thursday’s edition that the tragedy at Golborne Pit is to be marked with a march and a service on March 16.

It is a typical of a mining town that 33 years after the catastrophe it is to be marked in such a way, well done to all involved for keeping these mens lives alive in the wider community,for whilst they will never be forgotten by their loved ones, the collective memory does fade with the passage of time,so it is good that we are reminded of these brave men.

Being from a mining family I was very moved at the time and I wrote the poem below on the evening of the accident.

The Miner.

A coal mine’s a tunnel that runs under ground, it has black dusty walls and ominous sounds,

Moaning and creaking ,and seeming to move,but the stillness and darkness,are worst of all.

It has no windows, or ornate doors,

And there are thick clouds of dust that menace the throat.

The light is so poor, the ceiling so low, you pity the men who work here below.

Now the miner himself,has hopes and fears, and ponders the plight of those he loves dear,

If that, that he dreads, as all miners must,

When the floor meets the ceiling, with a sickening thud, covered with rock,coal and grime,

Battered and bleeding unaware of time, no clean sheets, or a parsons prayer,

Not the benefit,of family there. And then when the victim’s brought to the top,cries of shame from ever sphere,

The “lad”, only in his thirty-first year.

The union there to see justice done ,

A weekly pension,and a lump sum,

But what price a life, of a man who knew fear, who had hopes,and dreams, but is no longer here.

On a wider theme it is a great shame that Wigan’s mining past is almost ignored in our town centre apart from the recently re sited Wheel (hardly in a prominent position) there is nothing to remind future generations of the part that the industry played in the lives, and indeed deaths of so many from Wigan and surrounding districts. I wonder if the council could be persuaded to include a tribute of some kind, a statue of a miner, or a pit helmet and lamp on a plinth, or some such sculpture, in the plans for the revamp of The Galleries. I feel sure the developers would be welcoming of the proposal and would help fund the project. Let us show that we are proud of our heritage, not abashed, so that we dare not mention its name, for fear of offending modernity.

Tom Walsh

Wigan Road, Aspull

Giants need to think of us

I find initiatives such as www.superfastlancashire.com great. They are just what we need in the area to give Lancashire the competitive edge when it comes to business – giving SMEs the capacity to employ technologies to improve processes previously only available to large companies with larger budgets at their disposal. This is why I find it increasingly frustrating that here, on Chorley North Business Park, Fibre To The Cabinet is not available.

This is despite the local telephone exchange being enabled, and neighbouring housing estates having this service for the past year.

BT’s response as to why the telecommunications cabinet on the business park has not been upgraded to fibre is due to a cost benefit analysis, showing that the cost per head returns would not be sufficient. This may be so from the perspective of a BT business case in a ratio that consists of a number of lines over number of businesses.

However, there is a wider picture for business and the community. It is frustrating that, at the physical level of fibre and copper wire, BT can still operate as a monopoly and have final say on what services are implemented, and argue cost as a sufficient reason, especially in a year they spent £897m on Premier League football rights.

Robb Thompson

Thompsons Packaging Ltd