A MEMORIAL for the 288 miners who lost their lives at eight pits in the borough will be unveiled in Dodworth.

Hundreds of ex-miners and their families are expected at the unveiling which takes place on Saturday, June 22 outside the library on High Street.

The memorial commemorates the deaths of men killed while working at Dodworth, Redbrook, Silkstone Fall, Stanhope Silkstone, Higham, Strafford, Robroyd and Wentworth Silkstone collieries between 1850 and 1987.

It features a section of a restored pit-head winding wheel, which has been mounted on a specially-designed stone plinth. It also has two stainless steel plaques featuring pit locations and a poem.

A panel with a map showing locations of several local collieries, surrounded by art work from the local pupils, sits alongside it.

Ex-miner Steve Wyatt, 59, who worked at Dodworth and other pits, has been a driving force as chairman of the Dodworth and District Miners' Memorial Fund group which led the £16,000 project.

He said: "It's good to see it all coming together, so much hard work has gone into it.

"The problem these days is there is no community spirit any more and this memorial is what that's about, putting something back into the community and making it a place to feel proud of."

The day will be be marked with a march from Dodworth church at 10am and banners of the National Union of Mineworkers branches will be carried.

In September last year, the memorial group received a £9,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to kick start the project, and the rest came from various fundraising events.