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Your Responses

Here are some of the contributions received in our Online Memorial Book.

Today a group of students and staff from Ysgol Delyn, Mold visited the exhibition. The visit has been an excellent insight into the disaster. The video was heart rending and we have the utmost respect for everyone who lost their lives to the production of coal for our benefit.

Ysgol Delyn, Staff and Students, F.E.Dept., 07.10.2004

This was the price of coal and should never be forgotten.

J.R.Murphy (ex Bersham Colliery)

To Husband, Father, Grandfather Daniel Hughes (Rescue Man). Always in our thoughts Alice (née Hughes) and Gaynor Chaloner. Sadly missed by all the family.

My grandfather was a miner in South Wales, he died young, his illness caused by the harsh working conditions. Thank you for this thought provoking exhibition. We shall not forget them.

Carol Peake, 10.10.2004

My father, David John Bowen, changed his shift and went to the football match at Wrexham. Being a young man he went for a drink and missed his shift and so survived. I would not be here today or my son otherwise.

D.M.Bowen, 22.10.2004

My dad, Billy Jones, worked down the pit from the day he left school, first at Llay Main, then Bersham until it shut. He was a member of the Miners rescue team and I well remember the reflective blue disk outside the front door of our house in Llay where luckily he and my mum still live.

Great villages, communities and people came from coal mining and we must forever remember this heritage and tell our children of these brave men that went into the bowels of the earth, sadly some never to return.

Gary W. Jones, 28.10.2004

My dad was touching everything and told us how our Opa (German for grandad) worked in the old coal mines. We loved it here.

Ryan, aged 9, 28.10.2004

Even in the 1930s when the miners were afraid for their jobs, they spoke out about the dangers of mining. They were brave men who were betrayed by their so-called 'betters'. They had no whistle blower's policy then. Don't worry, boys, it wouldn't make any difference today either. They still don't listen to us!

Anne Jones

I worked in Gresford in the early 60s and 70s. The colliers were the finest comrades you could ever work with. I knew some of the survivors. Stories they told were horrific and it left me in no doubt who was to blame for the disaster. It seems apparent that the men who died had no choice - work in those conditions or see your family starve and you out of work. They will never be forgotten in the Wrexham area and elsewhere. Brave men indeed.

J.Booth, Wrexham, 11.01.2005

My father, Sidney Spurdle, was a miner at Gresford Colliery for 51 years and was ill on the day of the disaster so did not go in for his shift. He is still alive today, aged 97, and would not allow any of his four sons to work down the mines. He always said that none of those brave men would be forgotten.

D.Spurdle, 19.01.2005

Having worked at Bersham for 31 years. I don't think we should forget the true price of coal that was paid in 1934 at Gresford and that should always be in our minds.

M.Owens, 31.01.2005

Really catches the feel and interest, thoroughly enjoyed learning about everything. It is a wonderful tribute to all the people that were lost.

Amy Buckley & David Mills, 16.02.2005

My family lived with the dreadful effects of this disaster on all our lives. My mother's mother died when mum was one year old. Her father, grandfather and an uncle were all killed at Gresford, so virtually the whole of her family had been wiped out by the time she was ten. The trauma of it all never left her, as in those days childhood traumas were not addressed. Mum didn't even have a photograph or a keepsake of her father. The photograph printed in the memorial papers is not the correct one. This is in memory of John Ralph Davies, John Davies and the uncle whose name I haven't traced yet. I wish I had known them all.

V.G.Nuttall, Stockport, 21.02.2005

Blame lies totally with the mine's owners, failure of equipment. No maintenance carried out. Greed and capitalism hand in hand which continues today.

Iola & Alex

My grandfather, Robert Henry Williams, worked at Ifton Colliery and was in the rescue team at Gresford. We never realised what brave men the rescuers must have been.

Anne & Mike Davies, Chirk, 02.03.2005

Who was to blame? Perhaps the Russian miners had a point. An interesting and very informative exhibition. Wrexham should be proud of its mining heritage - a permanent exhibition in the museum would be welcome.

Anon.

Please keep this collection together to the memory of all that lost their lives at Gresford.

Ex-miner, 04.03.2005

My Grandfather, John Jones of Nant yr Gaer Road, Llay, spent all his working life underground and most of it in Llay. He spoke to me many times of the Gresford disaster and was himself on the No.2 rescue team which it turned were sadly not required.

It is unimaginable how the families of these men must have suffered as a direct result of this terrible event. The names of these brave men should live forever.

Allan Jones, 01.08.2005

I live in Swansea and whilst I was in school here, dreamt of becoming a miner. I am now 60 and thank God I never did become that miner because I don't think I would have been brave enough and after just watching on tv the story of the events on that fateful day KNOW I wouldn't have been. Even though I never did become that miner I feel a great affiliation with them and through this book would like to offer my thoughts and prayers to all miners involved and their families.

David Kerr, 29.09.2005

My grandfather, William Crump died in Gresford mining disaster. He left behind four children, William, Rubina, Cyril and Evelyn (my mother) their mother died only 6 years later and they were left with no momentos, not even a photo. We still do not know if there are any family members out there as the children were too young at the time and were 'fostered' out. My mother still has not come to terms with it although she is now 78 she still talks about it every time we meet.

Is there anyone out there who remembers William Crump? Did Sidney Spurdle know him? Did V.G. Nutall know my mother or her siblings? William Crump lived at 157 Glan-Llyn. I would love to give some sort of closure to my mum by hearing from someone who knew him.

Andrea Wilson, 01.11.05
gollum032000@yahoo.co.uk

i never met my great uncle, only heard stories,my nana said that ALEX PALMER should have never been there because he was doing a favour for somebody. But he will always be my hero...goodbye alex

Mrs Linda Wright, 14.08.06

my great grandfather William Hughes was on the rescue team on that fateful night and was sadly killed leaving a wife and five children.Lets not forget these brave men.

Chris Evans, 21.10.07

My Uncle Maldwyn Bateman was only 15 years old when he lost his life in the disaster,he's still down there.His death devastated my Grandma and she never recovered,it also devastated the rest of the family!I never met my Grandma,she died before I was born,due,I'm sure,to the loss of her precious son.Rest in Peace Uncle Maldwyn.

Ceris Davies, 13.08.08

I first learned of the Gresford disaster in a book (The Hardest Work Under Heaven) nearly 20 years ago, and always wanted to visit. Today I did. It is worthy monument to the of Wrexham who died winning coal. Its location is a little underwhelming, and perhaps it should tell those who don't know the story that most of those 266 souls still lay beneath their feet. But it is only right that we have these memorials to those who perished in the dark and I'm glad I found it. Bless them all.

Chris Taylor, 14.09.08

My grandfather was a miner in the Forest of Dean. He lived to an old age but I was always aware of the dangers he had faced down the mines. The Gresford story is a terrible one and one that demonstrates the very high price that mining communities have paid throughout history as they work to provide the country with the energy it needs. RIP all of them.

Graham Taylor, 25.08.09

My great uncle, Thomas James Roberts died in the Gresford disaster, I didn't get to meet him but I heard wonderful stories of him from my nana, you are in our memories and will never be forgotten.

Andrea Hughes, 25.09.09

Alfred Holt was the uncle I never knew and I often wonder how his family managed without him and where they are now. I believe he was only on that shift because he was standing in for an injured colleague. My dad was his younger brother and I know he and the other brothers & sister missed him so much. I have been to the memorial site and found it a very moving experience. God bless all who died.

Frances, 04.02.2010

In 1967 my mate used to go the a social club in Liverpool when one night a volunteer from the audience sang a song which my mate Les explained later was about Gresford Colliery Disaster. It has taken forty years or more to finally pay my respects, my mate Les died in 1979 so it to him and to your miners that I finally am proud and humbled to register my deepest sorrow and respect.

John Davies, 03.08.2011

My Uncle Dick (Richard Stevens) died in the Gresford Colliery Disaster. He was a single man and had swapped shift with a married friend of his that night. My grand mother, who even though was grieving so badly, always said that that man's children needed him and Uncle Dick had given his life for them youngsters. What a wonderful woman she was!

M Broadhurst 16.09.2011

My great uncle David Lloyd Jones, (no115 on the memorial book, god bless him). I am so humbled and proud.

Lydia Brandl, 19.08.2013

My Great Grandad David Lloyd Jones died in the Gresford disaster, I never got to meet him but I am sure he would have been proud of my grandad (Trevor Lloyd Jones) had he been alive to watch him grow up.

Andrew Lloyd Jones, 21.07.2014

My Grandfather, Jack (John) Rowlands was killed in the Gresford Pit disaster. My father Albert Rowlands was 14 at the time and was working in the lamp room on 22nd September 1934. He will be 94 next week. He has given accounts of that time. It is good to know that his memories will live on.

Pat Oldham, 30.07.2014