On a very sunny Monday Cathy, Des and Marie joined over 100 guests including Artist Stephen Broadbent at the launch of the latest stage of the 'Walking Together' mining memorial at Markham Vale Environment Centre, Chesterfield.
CB Arts are proud to be the chosen fabricator of the memorial figures since the scheme first launched back in 2013 but this event was even more special as we were attending not only as a supplier but also as a sponsor.
The 'Walking Together' memorial will take the form of 106 larger than life size steel figures to commemorate each of the 106 men who died in 3 major disasters in 1937, 1938 and 1973. This walking trail of figures symbolises the miners' journey to the pithead of Markham Colliery and back home again.
Commissioned in batches as sponsors and funds are raised, the latest installation of 8 figures was officially unveiled by Councillor Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council.
This group of figures commemorates 7 men who died in the 1938 disaster: Arthur Carter, Bernard Gregory, Samuel Kerry, Alfred Lamb, John McConnon, Frank Smith and Herbert Wale; and 1 man who died in the 1973 disaster Joseph Birkin. CB Arts are proud to sponsor the figure to commemmorate Joseph Birkin and were fortunate to meet Joseph's daughter Sadie and her husband at the unveiling event.
Joseph was a Face Worker at Markham Colliery. He was married with twin daughters when he was killed in the 1973 disaster. He had worked in the industry since he was 14. Joseph was buried in Shirland Cemetery on 3rd August 1973.
Each figure carries a bronze tag with the name of the miner along with their age and job role. Some are finished with our signature patination giving them a blackish look to signify miners returning home from work whilst others are simply left with the galvanised finish...these signify miners walking to the mine. Each figure also bears a bronze plaque with the sponsors details.
After this latest commemoration there are 61 figures in place of the 106 total which will eventually stretch from Duckmanton in Chesterfield to the former pit head.
CB Arts Des (second left) and Cathy (far right) with Sadie - daughter of Joseph Birkin and her husband