A FORMER MINER is raising funds to pay for a memorial to the country's worst mining disaster.

Bill Shaw is a member of a small group of ex miners called People and Mining. The group are raising money for a memorial to the Oaks Colliery Disaster, in which 361 men and boys lost their lives.

At the time it was the world’s worst mining disaster, and remains the worst mining disaster in England.

Bill and the group are hoping to raise £130,000 for the memorial, which is already under construction.

Bill said: "Scotland and Wales have National memorials to their worst mining disasters, as yet England does not. This needs to change.

"December 12th 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of this terrible tragedy and we should not let this occasion pass by unnoticed. This was not only a local disaster for the People of Barnsley and surrounding areas, it was a national disaster and we feel that the event should marked with a suitable memorial."

Anyone wishing to make a donation should visit the Facebook page 'Remember the Oaks' or email remembertheoaks@gmail.com.