Leeds & West Yorkshire

Memorial pit wheel marks site of former Walton colliery

Walton Colliery memorial pit wheel
Image caption Five miners lost their lives in an underground explosion at the site in 1959

A memorial pit wheel has been dedicated to the miners that used to work in a West Yorkshire pit.

Walton colliery, initially called Sharlston West, produced coal near Wakefield for 89 years.

The commemorative wheel has been placed near the site of the colliery, which is now Walton Colliery Nature Park.

Five miners lost their lives in an underground explosion at the site in 1959.

Lawrence Coe, 38, William Hudson, 46, Charles Ray, 53, Jack Rothery, 54, and Wilfred Wardle, 38, died in the blast and another man was injured.

Many former miners attended the dedication event along with dignitaries and representatives from the West Yorkshire-based National Coal Mining Museum of England.

The memorial was unveiled by 80-year-old retired-miner Terry Lloyd.

Wendy Parker, of community group Working for Walton, said: "Walton's mining history goes back many hundreds of years. However, as a community we have never had a focal point which marks this heritage, until now."

The group spent a year raising the money for the memorial.

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