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Memorial park to honour Derbyshire miners who put their heart and soul into lifeblood industry

today22 September 2022 1

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A miner’s memorial park in a Derbyshire town will “honour the people who put their heart and soul into the job they did” and some who gave their lives to the region’s lifeblood industry. At a South Derbyshire District Council meeting, plans to create the memorial on a patch of land bordering Eureka Park, John Street and Midland Road in Swadlincote were unanimously approved.

The project, submitted by the council itself, will include seats, pergolas, sculptures, an information board, 18 new trees and wildflowers. Cllr Steve Taylor told the meeting: “There are a number of ex-miners in this room. South Derbyshire has a long history of a number of industries and one of those is mining.

“It has all gone now but all the wealth and some of the huge houses we talk about in this committee and the wider economy in Swadlincote and the wider South Derbyshire area were built on the profits of these mines. This memorial will be for the people who put their heart and soul into the job that they did, and some gave their lives.”



The proposed miner's memorial park would be built near the main Midland Road entrance to the overall park
The proposed miner’s memorial park would be built near the main Midland Road entrance to the overall park

Cllr Neil Tilley, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said he was “very pleased” to see the planned memorial park come to fruition. The planned park will include benches and pergolas which are relics from former local mines and the proposed sculptures would be a pit pony and a miner, both made of oak.

Planning papers say that this “under-utilised” area of Eureka will be used to “promote local history and remember local people”. A gravel path would be laid on the grassy area and would run the length of the patch of land, running parallel to the existing main Eureka Park pathway.

A number of arches would also be installed, crossing over the footpath, in homage to mining tunnels. The sculptures would sit closest to Midland Road, and two areas of flowers would be planted on the opposite end, towards the main park, and in the centre of the grassy patch.



The land in Swadlincote where the new memorial honouring the town's miners will be built.
The land in Swadlincote where the new memorial honouring the town’s miners will be built.

Wildflowers would be planted between the proposed new park and the main Eureka pathway and trees would be planted on the opposite side of the new memorial area, facing John Street. Council officers, recommending that the authority’s plans are approved, wrote that the scheme would “increase woodland cover, encourage healthy lifestyles through greater accessibility to open space for residents, as well as enhance the district’s landscape”.

They write that “the celebration of local history is important to create a sense of place” and that the scheme “will be a positive development for Eureka Park and Swadlincote”.

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