An excerpt from the book - The Last Pit in the Valley by Paul Kelly - Available to buy from the IVMP store
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Agecroft Colliery stands no more. This coal mine has disappeared from the skyline of Salford.
The former collieries winding wheels, which were enclosed in concrete towers reached a height of 200 feet and covered the number 4 and number 5 shafts. The towers were demolished using explosives in January 1991. The towers which had stood for over 30 years disappeared in seconds.
This signified the end of deep coal mining in the Irwell Valley which had lasted for about 250 years. The colliery buildings were bulldozed and flattened into history. The site was cleared in months without ceremony, to be replaced by warehouses and offices and the area renamed The Agecroft Commercial Park.
No monuments or memorials were erected to the memory of the coal miners who worked at the pit, many of whom paid the ultimate price. All their work and sacrifice was forgotten.
I wrote this book with the hope that it will educate, enlighten and remind people that not so very long ago this area had a thriving mining community. A community that took great pride in the coal mining industry and the work it provided. I hope to remind readers that it was coal which was the source of energy that powered the industrial revolution and made this country great.
This book is dedicated to all the men, women, boys and girls who toiled in the coal mining industry and worked to bring light and warmth for all. Our pits and our way of life may be gone but our memories live on
Paul Kelly, former miner at Agecroft Colliery, 1978-1990
Projects and news updates
Clifton Hall Colliery was in production from 1838 - 1929 the monument and memorial garden will remember the great disaster of 1885 and remember the coal miners killed and injured at the pit.
On the morning of June the 18th 1885 at 9.20 AM a terrible explosion occurred in the Trencherbone mine at Clifton Hall Colliery, The explosion led to the deaths of 178 men and boys. The youngest boys were Charles Leonard Barter and Robert Worral both aged just 13, the oldest coal miner was Ralph Daniels, aged 65. The mine was connected to Agecroft Colliery which lay Just 800 yards away by an underground tunnel in the doe mine seam. This was very fortunate for the Clifton Hall miners the two shafts had been badly damaged in the explosion and were out of use. Many men were rescued by going through this tunnel and escaping from the Agecroft shafts number 1 and 2. Which were located next to the present day Agecroft Colliery monument.
A monument to the tragedy is already situated in the grounds of St Augustine's church, where 64 victims are buried in a mass grave.
The new monument and memorial garden will be above the scene of the disaster on the former colliery site.
Moston colliery was situated on St Marys road, Moston. The pit was connected to the Manchester Rochdale railwayline. The coal mine was in production from 1844 -1950, the site is now occupied by the miners housing estate which was built by theNational Union of Mineworkers for colliers who hadworked at the pit. All that remains of the colliery buildings are the bath house and former lamp room, built in 1931 the building was in a bad state of neglect after years of closure. Five years ago Lou Beckett a local artist with help from friends and family set about repairing the former bath house. The building is now home to the miners community arts and music centre. Lou has done a fantastic job saving the building and preserving a unique historical piece of our mining heritage for the future. Lou wishes to build a memorial garden to commemorate the former coal mine and all who toiled at the pit the many miners who died and the injured who lives were cut short from pit work.
There will be a fundraiser on 11th April in order to hlp raise money to create the garden, please see our events page or http://www.theminers.org.uk for more information.