The P5-7 pupils all had a family member who worked in the mines. So having a minutes silence in the new memorial room at the museum on the anniversary of the disaster was particularly poignant for all concerned.
A more positive note for the day was the announcement that the Pits, Ponies People and Stories project, led by South Lanarkshire Council and various partners has been awarded £357,900 to carry out the project. With all of the in-kind contributions the total project value is just over £757,000 and will be a huge boost to heritage activity within the authority.
The Pits, Ponies, People and Stories project has been in development in South Lanarkshire for the past two years. Various partners have been working together to consult with the community and submit an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Schools and community groups have worked hard during the development stage to ensure that the application was a success and that generations to come will be able to access information about this part of the area’s heritage.
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will allow the project to continue for a further two years and will include a local mining heritage resource project, a schools reinactment and story book project, an exhibition project and community film project.
The project, led by South Lanarkshire Council, will continue to rely on the support of partner agencies such as South Lanarkshire Museums, Libraries and Archives, Blantyre and Coalburn Miners Welfare Resource Centres, National Records of Scotland, RCAHMS, National Mining Museum Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Strathclyde University, Caledonian University, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Leadhills Miners Library, Hidden treasures –Wanlockhead Lead Mining Museum, The National Union of Mineworkers, Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation, Scottish Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund, SCRAN.
South Lanarkshire Council’s Chair of the Education Resources Committee, Councillor Jean McKeown, said: “What a fantastic experience for the Auchinraith pupils to have had at the Mining Museum. As they all have a family history of mining it must have felt like stepping back in history as they had a chance to go down a mine and see the conditions their ancestors would have been working in. It is vitally important that we continue to ensure that South Lanarkshire’s pupils are aware of our strong mining heritage and this project looks set to ensure that the message is brought to every school in the area. I look forward to reading the book, seeing the film and going to the re-enactment over the next few years. Well done to all involved.”
Colin McLean, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: "As time marches on, the memories of South Lanarkshire’s once thriving mining industry begin to fade. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to give its support to a wonderful project which will re-engage people with that history, learning how their community developed into what it is today while providing an important record for the region."
South Lanarkshire Council: Sarah Burrows, Media Officer, Finance and Corporate Resources, on 01698 454 359, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.