HUNDREDS of people packed the streets of Edlington as the whole community turned out to mark the sacrifice of 133 men who died working at the village’s former colliery.
Yorkshire Main Colliery was closed 25 years ago, just after the long and bitter Miners’ Strike of 1984-5.
But it was the pride of the village again as former miners and residents paraded through the village to a new memorial on Saturday.
A commemorative wall and a paved landscaped area has been put in place near the Edlington Community Centre, the old Miners’ Rest Centre.
Among those who turned out to the event were relatives of Dennis Kenny, the first man killed at the former pit.
Dennis was an Irish immigrant who came to Doncaster for work.
Relatives travelled from County Mayo to join the opening of the memorial.
Frank Arrowsmith, chairman of the Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust, described the turnout for the opening as ‘amazing’.
He said: “The road was absolutely packed on the way to the memorial. It was the biggest turnout Edlington has seen for years.
“Staveley Street was full of people.
“A lot of people said it brought civic pride back to the village.”
The Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows, paid tribute to those who lost their lives at the mine.
He led the march of remembrance from the Top Club to the old pit gates, accompanied by Edlington Town Mayor Georgina Mullis, to the commemorative wall, garden and statue which was unveiled.
Don Valley MP Caroline Flint also attended the unveiling.