Stoke & Staffordshire

Sneyd Colliery disaster: Service on 75th anniversary

Service
Image caption A service was held to remember the 57 men and boys who died

A memorial service has been held on the 75th anniversary of a pit disaster in which 57 miners died.

The men and boys were killed in an explosion at Sneyd Colliery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, on New Year's Day in 1942.

Official records at the time concluded the blast it was caused by a spark from loaded wagons igniting coal dust at the colliery.

The service at Holy Trinity Church in Burslem was held on Sunday afternoon.

Image copyright The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Image caption Sneyd Colliery closed in the 1960s
Image caption A memorial has been erected in Burslem town centre

Miners did not usually work on 1 January because of an old superstition, but they had gone down the pit to help with the war effort.

Keith Meeson, 71, from Stanley, campaigned for a memorial for the victims, near the Town Hall in Burslem town centre, which he said was unveiled in 2007.

Image caption A memorial contains names of people who died

The former miner said: "It's so important we do not forget it... working in those conditions.

"[In] another generation it could be forgotten forever."

Sneyd Colliery, once part of a huge mining industry on the Staffordshire coalfields, closed in the 1960s.

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