The search for missing banner from former pit

A search is underway to find the missing banner from a pit which closed in 1983.

Friday, 20th July 2018, 2:07 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 3:12 pm

Later this year campaigners are planning to to erect the former pit wheel from Methley’s Newmarket Silkstone Colliery in the churchyard at Stanley.

But first they want to locate the pit’s old banner which was used on celebration days.

There are conflicting reports of when anyone last saw the banner and posters have been placed around Stanley with the hope of jogging memories.

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The banners were used on marches.

Stanley ward councillor, Matthew Morley said: “All lines of enquiry seem to be coming to a dead end, the last time someone thought they saw it was at Lee Moor Working Men’s Club in about 2004.

“It could be anywhere, it could be in someone’s garage.

“It’s not at the National Mining Museum and it’s not at the NUM headquarters.

“A few years ago the Glass Houghton banner was lost and turned up in Wakefield Town Hall, they’d been on a march and someone had left it there so this one could be anywhere.”

David Cullingworth, who was born and raised in Stanley and worked at the Newmarket Silkstone from 1970 to 1981, added: “It was brought out when we had functions or parties or when somebody was retiring.

“We have looked all over, I believe I saw it with the Newmarket Colliery Band playing at Lotherton Hall about 15 years ago, but I’m clutching at straws.

“When the pit closed, everybody just left one day and never went back, it could have been left behind, or it might have been taken somewhere safe.”

Bearing the words ‘Newmarket Silkstone Colliery NUM Branch’, it is thought the banner might be a blue colour.

Anyone with details should call Ian Hoggan on 07950 957615. The group wants to unfurl the banner when the pit wheel is put in place in St Peter’s Church this autumn. The village’s war memorial is also being restored, mounted on bricks from the old church demolished in 2014.