Design of memorial to former mine workers obtains planning consent
19 July 2011
Computer generated image of how the Birch Coppice colliery memorial will look when finished. A 6ft tall replica of a miner’s Davy lamp will be illuminated at night.
North Warwickshire Borough Council's planning officers have given approval for a permanent memorial to former coal mine workers to be funded by IM Properties the company responsible for the regeneration of the former coal mine site into the award winning Birch Coppice Business Park.
Following the announcement of a £50,000 donation by IM Properties providing a fund to construct a permanent memorial on the original mine site at Dordon, North Warwickshire, local borough councillors Peter Morson and John Winter have been busy making contact with former workers and relatives of workers now deceased. The aim is to have names engraved on individual bricks which will be used in the construction. So far over 300 names have been recorded but Peter Morson and John Winter – both formerly employed at Birch Coppice Colliery - are hoping to achieve a total of around 750 names. At its heyday in the 1980’s the site employed over 1,000 people.
The memorial which will stand over 10 ft high and will be topped off with a 6 foot tall replica of the famous Davy lamp used by underground workers will be located close to the entrance to Birch Coppice Business Park and will have pedestrian and vehicular access with parking directly off the A5 trunk road close to the village of Dordon. The hexagonal design of the plinth will incorporate seating facing the brick walls which will display the names of workers from Birch Coppice and also the smaller neighbouring former mines of Wood End and Birchmoor.
Councillor Peter Morson who conceived the design said: "It is a huge task to spread the message to former workers since many left the area to find employment when the pit closed in 1987. Undoubtedly some moved overseas and sadly some will have died. We plan to launch a web site in the coming weeks which will form a far reaching interactive catalyst where former employees can communicate and submit old photographs for others to view. We appeal to relatives of former workers to get in touch and provide names who did their part in the history of the local mining industry."
IM Properties plan to have the memorial completed by March 27th 2012 which will also mark the 25th anniversary since Birch Coppice colliery closed its gates.