A labyrinth is being created in a Barnsley school as a lasting tribute to mark the 180th anniversary of a Yorkshire mining disaster that took the lives of 26 children aged between 7 and 17 working underground in the Huskar Pit.
It is one of three tribute gardens planned across the village of Silkstone as part of a huge community initiative by Silkstone Parish Council, Silkstone Common Methodist Chapel, All Saints Church, Silkstone, the two primary schools and a number of local interest groups to commemorate and remember this tragic loss.
Work has already got underway to create a vegetable garden in the vicarage at All Saints, left and a greenhouse will go up this week to grow only those species found at the time of the disaster. Children are creating a Victorian flower garden in Silkstone Common Primary School and the labyrinth has just been cut out at Silkstone Primary School and will be planted with medicinal herbs and contain the names of the 26 children.
The gardens are part of a series of community events to mark the 180th anniversary of the Huskar Pit Disaster which instigated a Royal Commission which changed the law so that it became illegal to employ children under 10 in Britain's coal mines.
The five day event will start with a memorial service near the Huskar mine site on Silkstone Common on July 4th and a service at All Saints Church when the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson will preach, and it will conclude with a reception and Service at All Saints on Sunday 8th. There will be exhibitions and displays at each church, drama and poetry writing in the schools, and a Victorian style sports day at Silkstone Common school.
Music and choirs will feature at both churches and there will be remembrance boards and flowers for each of the lost children displayed at All Saints just below the Huskar Memorial Window. This window, right, commissioned by All Saints Church, was created by over 200 local people between July 2009 and March 2010, working alongside local Stained Glass Artist, Rachel Poole.
In addition a walking trail will be signposted from Huskar mine to Silkstone village.