The number of new names to be added to a miners’ memorial has passed the 500 mark, it was announced today, as the deadline for entries nears.
More than 1,000 bricks engraved with the names of former miners were incorporated into the large Davy Lamp tribute in Hednesford last year.
The memorial recognises thousands of miners who worked at the Cannock Chase coalfields.
The project proved so popular that the Chase Arts In Public Space – Chaps – group is to take more applications for another phase of brick dedication later this year.
Sheila Harding, secretary of Chaps, said the response was fantastic. She said: “It is fair to say the interest in this has been huge and we have had people contact us from as far away as Canada where one gentleman has put an order in for three bricks to remember three members of his family who worked in the coalfields. He said it was a nice thought to think that their names would live on in Hednesford.
“We have had more than 500 applications which has gone way beyond our expectations.
“We even had some people say that they had been unable to afford gravestones for their loved ones but that this had gone some way to heal that grief.
“It is something that is truly appreciated by the community and emphasises that these memorials are the right thing to do.”
Mrs Harding has made an appeal to a lady called Trish Taylor who has expressed an interest in having a brick but has left an incorrect telephone number.
“I really need this person to get back in contact with me,” she said.
“I have tried by all means to get in contact but can find no trace. Anyone who hasn’t heard from me should call as I usually confirm within a few days.”
The memorial has received considerable attention and interest, both by those who had named bricks included and by others with an interest in the mining industry upon which the community was built since its dedication at a service led by the Bishop of Manchester just over one year ago.
Peter Harrison, clerk of Hednesford Town Council, said: “The mining memorial has the full backing and support of Hednesford Town Council and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. Further bricks will be laid around the grass areas which surround the clock in front of Anglesey Lodge and will form part of the overall memorial which has a huge Davy Lamp as its focus.”
Organisers at Chaps hope that work on the project will start in October 2013.
The closing date for applications will be August 31. Application forms are available by calling Sheila Harding on 01543 275013 or email email@example.com