Douglas Water Mining Memorial dedicated - video

Some of those at the Miners Memorial Ceremony at Rigside ( Picture Sarah Peters)
Some of those at the Miners Memorial Ceremony at Rigside ( Picture Sarah Peters)
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Photographer Sarah Peters went beyond the call of duty on Saturday, when she went out to photograph the dedication of the Miners Memorial, a tribute to those who worked in Douglas Water Colliery.

She has produced a video of part of the dedication.

The Memorial, benches with mining scenes in wrought-iron work and a hutch carrying coal, was erected by the residents of Douglas Water and Rigside with from the renewable Energy Fund,

The Association wanted to leave a lasting legacy to miners who founded the villages of Douglas Water and Rigside, to provide a memorial to the men of the village who lost their lives in the colliery, and to provide a focal point to the village.

It also wanted to educate the generations of children who were unaware of the heritage of the village – most never knew that there had ever been a colliery.

Around 70 residents attended the ceremony, along with a large gathering of the surviving miners.

The benches which form part of the Miners Memorial (Picture Sarah Peters)

The benches which form part of the Miners Memorial (Picture Sarah Peters)

Ben Morris, the oldest surviving miner opened the memorial and gave a very touching speech, as his best friend George Boswell had lost his life in the colliery and his name was on the hutch along with the others.

Archie Galbraith performed the dedication ceremony, and spoke in memory of the men of the village who lost their lives.

It was especially touching as many relatives of the men who died were there.

Tea was provided in the community hall afterwards, when those attending had the chance to talk about the past.

Ian Mitchell, chairman of the Douglas Water and Rigside Tenants and Residents Association welcomed everybody and thanked those who had helped create the memorial: Stuart Gibb SLC housing manager for providing the land, Stuart Hodge SLC for assisting with grant funding, James Whitelaw and the men from SLC Land Services who worked in terrible conditions to erect the memorial, Aaron Catterick of Ogilvie Ltd Kilmarnock who manufactured the hutch and seats, Reigart Ltd Coatbridge who donated the wheels, Hargreaves Ltd who provided the coal, James Whitelaw Mobile Welding Services who welded the wheels, and Councillor George Greenshields for all his help and support.

The video shows Archie Galbraith’s dedication; more of Sarah’s photos can be seen on our website; follow the “buy a photo” link.