Ex-pitmen asking shoppers to dig deep for £20,000 Dalton memorial appeal

FORMER pitmen will be donning their old kit and digging for spare change during a supermarket fundraiser.

Three former Silverwood Colliery miners will be at Morrisons in Parkgate on Saturday, March 31, bucket collecting to raise money to erect a memorial in honour of ten men who were killed at the colliery.

Keith Hopkins (72, pictured), who was a diesel mechanic for 13 years until 1984, said: “We will be wearing our original mining gear, including helmets, boots and trousers – some of the uniform has been loaned to us by the National Mining Museum.

“We will be in Morrisons all day and will be joined by youngsters from the Silverwood Miners’ Welfare Football Team who will be wearing their football kits,” said Keith, of Rawmarsh.

“When Silverwood Colliery was pulled down in the 1980s a memorial for the ten men who were killed and 37 that were injured in a paddy mail crash in February, 1966, went with it.

“We are now trying to raise £20,000 to build a new memorial down at Silverwood Miners’ Welfare Club in Dalton.

“So far we have managed to raise about £600 in the last five years.”

The former miners will also return to the same store on Sunday, April 29, for a second bucket collection.