Manchester

Bedford Colliery disaster: New street signs named after victims

Signs Image copyright Wigan Council
Image caption Thirteen streets will be named after some of the victims of the 1886 pit disaster in Leigh

The streets of a new housing estate in a Greater Manchester town are to be named after miners who died in a Victorian pit disaster.

The homes at Walmsley Farm, Leigh, are being built close to where Bedford Colliery once stood.

The colliery, which operated from 1874 until it closed in 1967, was rocked by an explosion on 13 August 1886, where 38 miners lost their lives.

Wigan Council is to name 13 streets after some of the men who died.

David Molyneux, the 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.

Image copyright Wigan Council
Image caption Bedford Colliery was mined from 1874 until it closed in 1967

"Many of us 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."

As well as the streets bearing individual names, Wood End Way will be named after Wood End Colliery - the original name of Bedford Colliery.

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

Factfile: The Bedford Colliery disaster

  • The disaster happened on 13 August, 1886
  • An explosion of firedamp killed 38 miners in a pit known as Bedford Number 2
  • The youngest victim was just 13, the oldest 65
  • The disaster left 48 children without fathers

Source: Wigan Council

Image copyright Wigan Council
Image caption A list of the names of the deceased appeared in the Leigh Chronicle

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