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Published February 14th 2021
A new memorial set for Arboretum dedicated to all miners
A national memorial is to be created in Staffordshire to commemorate the men, women and children who worked in the mining industry. CHAPS (Chase Arts for Public Spaces) has been given the go-ahead to erect the monument at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, near Lichfield. The structure, costing up to £100,000, will be five metres long, two metres high and a metre wide. Built in Derbyshire stone, the memorial will have a bronze frieze depicting the history of mining including recognising the colliers' contribution to the two world wars. Research discovered that 45 miners were awarded the Victoria Cross following the Great War, while a further two were awarded the honour during the Second World War. The permanent memorial has the backing of the National Union of Mineworkers, MPs representing former mining constituencies and the Arboretum, where the monument is due to be unveiled in June this year. CHAPS, set up in 2003, works to support and promote public works of art and to celebrate the diverse heritage of the area which includes the mining community of Cannock, Hednesford and Rugeley.
CHAPS President Mike Mellor said: "During research for these particular projects, and from queries received from around the country, it appeared many mining areas were without some form of recognition of their mining heritage." He said it was "fantastic" that approval had since been given for a lasting memorial in order to honour the contribution miners have made in service to their country. "We sincerely hope the public approve of our project, particularly those living in areas with a mining heritage, and that they feel able to donate to the project, which will be a fitting legacy to the miners." The design for the memorial was agreed upon with sculptor Andy de Comyn, whose work includes the Shot at Dawn memorial at the 150-acre National Memorial Arboretum site and a mining sculpture in Rugeley.
or via www.facebook.com/ChaseArtsForPublicSpaces Cheques can also be made payable to Chaps National Miners Memorial and forwarded to honorary treasurer Mr R Ford, 13 Sunny Bank Park, Sunny Bank, Lapley, ST19 9QH.