Tribute to mining

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A STATUE and banners celebrating Washington’s mining heritage will be unveiled at the weekend.

The Right Reverend Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow, will bless the statue of a mining family and seven banners created by pupils in the area during a special ceremony outside the bus station in Concord on Sunday.

Youngsters from Usworth Colliery, Wessington, Albany, St Bede’s, Springwell, JFK and Usworth schools have also prepared readings for the event.

The Miner’s Statue symbolises the Washington coal mining community, with pits found across the area at Springwell, Usworth, Glebe, Harraton, Fatfield, North Biddick, Chaytor’s Haugh and Butney.

In the Washington “I” pit explosion of 1828, 14 people were killed. These included Thomas Carter, seven, Henry Galmey, eight, and Henry Hutchinson nine.

In the 1867 Washington F pit disaster, 10 miners were killed.