Flying the flag in memory of tragic Markham miners

Doncaster College students Daniella Houghton (left) and Andrew Essex (right), unveil the Miners Memorial flag, which they helped to design, at the Memorial Service in Armthorpe alongside MP Rosie Winterton and Dennis Knowles. Picture: Cliff Edwards
Doncaster College students Daniella Houghton (left) and Andrew Essex (right), unveil the Miners Memorial flag, which they helped to design, at the Memorial Service in Armthorpe alongside MP Rosie Winterton and Dennis Knowles. Picture: Cliff Edwards
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A memorial flag has been unveiled in tribute to 89 miners who lost their lives at a 
Doncaster colliery.

The flag, which is a memorial to the workers who died at Markham Main between 1920 and 1996, was shown of for the first time at the Miners’ Memorial Garden in Armthorpe on Sunday.

The three feet flag, designed by Doncaster College students, was unveiled by former miner Dennis Knowles and Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton. It has now been taken down to be framed but it is hoped that other mining groups across the world may follow suit and have their own commemorative flags designed. Mr Knowles, 69. of Mere Lane, Armthorpe, worked at the colliery for 30 years as a blacksmith.

“We believe that this is the only flag of its kind and we are going to have some made. We are hoping other miners’ memorial groups may want one.

“We have got to keep remembering. We can’t let young kids forget. It’s a lost industry.”

Miss Winterton added: “Doncaster has a proud mining heritage, and collieries such as Markham Main were once at the heart of our communities. The majority of people in the borough will have had a family member, or will have known someone, who worked down one of the area’s many pits. Our collieries were places where long-lasting friendships were formed, but also where some terrible tragedies occurred – and many lives were lost – and it is important we remember that.”