Memorial finally unveiled to victims of 1862 pit tragedy

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FOUR teenagers and two men who died in a mining tragedy will finally be officially remembered with a public memorial today, 150 years after the accident.

The group of miners were caught in a ferocious blast on April 4, 1862, when a roof fall at Westwood Colliery, in High Green, Sheffield, dislodged an underground pocket of hydrogen.

When the gas met the naked flames of candles being used by the miners for lights it exploded, leading to immediate calls for better safety underground.

Today there is little sign of the drift mine where the six miners lost their lives, but a plaque has been made which will be put up as part of a commemorative event in the community.

Darren Ward, from Sheffield Council’s northern community assembly, said several different groups had joined forces for the initiative, including the Six Jolly Miners Sword Dancers, who perform dances reflecting the mining heritage of the area.

He added: “The event will include song, music, poetry, dance and drama, a number of history and heritage displays, and will celebrate the unveiling of a permanent memorial in the High Green Miners Welfare Hall.”

The project was funded by the East Peak Industrial Heritage Support Programme.