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
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.
Durham miners gala, Saturday 12th July 2014, Irwell Valley mining project were all there and what a day it was. The sunshine smiled on a proud parade of the North’s heritage as the 130th Durham Miners’ Gala was hailed a triumph. As thousands lined the streets as community stalwarts marched colourful banners down the city’s Old Elvet to the sound of brass bands and bagpipes.
This year’s event marked 30 years since the miners’ strike and, according to organisers, attracted the largest crowd since that fateful year.
Saturday the 5th July, 11 am The St Augustine's summer fair Bolton Road, Pendlebury. The Irwell Valley Mining Project had a stall, with copies of the new book available. Great to see so many familiar faces thanks to all who came.