Stoke & Staffordshire

Sneyd Colliery disaster: Service on 75th anniversary

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.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites