Walking Together

‘Walking Together’ – mining memorial artwork by artist Stephen Broadbent.

Walking Together’ is a mining memorial at the Markham Vale Business Park designed to commemorate 106 miners who tragically lost their lives in 3 disasters at Markham Colliery.

The business park was developed by Derbyshire County Council and HBD on the site of the former colliery and the memorial acts as a permanent reminder of the site’s strong mining heritage. Each statue symbolises a miner’s journey to the pit and represents the men who lost their lives in the 3 accidents in 1937, 1938 and 1973.

We are seeking support to help complete the memorial with only 18 statues left to realise the full commemorative trail of 106 statues.

Experienced public realm artist, Stephen Broadbent developed the design concept for Walking Together, with guidance from a community working group of volunteers. Once complete, the ‘Walking Together’ artwork will see 106 steel figures symbolising a miner’s journey to the pit - and back home again. This trail of walking figures will connect Duckmanton with the heart of the new Markham Vale industrial area.

The artwork will boldly cut through this dramatic industrial landscape; a ‘desire line’ will be created for visitors to re-imagine and remember the lives of all miners, and in particular those who lost their lives for their work.

This walking trail of figures symbolises a miner’s journey to the pit and back home again. The 53 figures walking home after a shift underground will have a darker finish on the steel, compared to the 53 brighter figures walking to the pit to start a shift. Each of these figures has fixed on his chest a circular bronze miner’s tag. On the underside is stamped the name of a miner killed, his age and job title. On the front of the tag is stamped the name and year of the disaster, encouraging the visitor to touch the very personal and tactile tags, and turn it over to discover the name, age and occupation.

We work closely with the Markham Vale Heritage Group to research each of the miners and seek to engage with relatives and friends to engage them with the memorial and associated unveiling events.

Historically, there were many routes to Markham Colliery from many different communities, but the route of the ‘Walking Together’ artwork, and which we hope will symbolise all of these routes, connects Duckmanton through the motorway underpass, to the Markham Vale Environment Centre.

The route was developed by Stephen Broadbent under guidance from a group of former miners and pupils from nearby schools. Along this route, clusters of figures will help establish new landscaped areas, with associated planting and seating, creating an enhanced ‘sense of place’ for workers, for the local community and for visitors. These special areas will also allow for personal reflection, and greater interpretation of the site’s history. At other areas along the trail, the figures will serve as way-finders and markers.

“Markham’s three significant mining disasters must be remembered, but it quickly becomes clear that we must not forget the many other tragic mining deaths and significant injuries, and indeed the remarkable sacrifice all miners made to help build this nation’s prosperity. We believe the memorial also needs to convey a sense of celebration; of an important job well done; of a unique time and place; and a community’s spirit and resilience.” Stephen Broadbent, Artist.

To date, 88 miners have been commemorated through the steel statues, generously supported by local businesses, families and relatives, the local community and Trusts & Foundations. The names of the men commemorated so far have been chosen by the community working group or selected by business or community sponsors. Fundraising and planning for future installations continues in order to fulfil the full vision of the 'Walking Together' Markham Mining Memorial and commemorate all 106 men.

Visit

If you would like to visit the Walking Together Trail you can find a downloadable map here. Free parking is available at Markham Vale Environment Centre, Markham Lane, Chesterfield, S44 5HY.

Seeking Sponsors and Supporters - how to get involved

Derbyshire County Council has made a significant investment in developing the Walking Together memorial working with business and community partners to deliver 88 of the ‘Walking Together’ figures. We are now seeking additional funding and support to ensure that the project is fully realised.

We’d like to invite community groups, businesses, family groups and individuals who would like to support this important memorial to the men who died in the three major disasters and to Markham’s wider mining heritage, to sponsor an individual figure, pair or cluster of figures as part of the ‘Walking Together’ artwork.

Guideline sponsorship levels are indicated below:

Cluster of 10 figures – fabrication and installation

£15,000

Cluster of 5 figures – fabrication and installation

£7,500

A pair of figures – fabrication and installation

£3,000

A single figure – fabrication and installation

£1,500

A more detailed sponsorship information pack can be viewed here.

Contributions to ‘Walking Together’ will be recognised in a number of ways:

An acknowledgement plaque on each figure you support, with wording of your choice (see illustration on next page)

A board listing all sponsors will be created for the reception area at the Markham Vale Environment Centre

All sponsors will be listed on the ‘Story Mine’ website.

All sponsors will be acknowledged through social media promotion.

All sponsors will be acknowledged at an unveiling event and associated commemorative event booklet (this may take the form of a film rather than physical event due to Covid restrictions).

For more details please contact: contact@beam.uk.net / 07718 564 376