Keith Allsopp wants to make sure Doncaster’s mining heritage is never forgotten.
Keith, who started his working life at Barnburgh Main colliery as an apprentice electrician, believes the borough has a colliery history to be proud of, and is doing his bit to keep alive.
His is one of the faces that would be used on the planned memorial which could be built in Doncaster Town Centre. He is also a key figure in the battle to keep the winding gear in place at Hatfield Main Colliery, for future generations to see.
After starting in the mining industry, Keith left to spend time in the merchant navy.
But he returned to Doncaster’s collieries, to work at Brodsworth Colliery, and worked as the National Union of Mineworkers representative at the mine for 32 years, before leaving to run The Swan in Askern – another of Doncaster’s pit villages.
He said: “Our mining heritage is not recognised enough. I certainly believe that the collieries made Doncaster what it is today. Doncaster town centre's wealth came from the mines, and the people coming fro the pits into town. Future generations need to know about what their dads and grandads did.
“I’ve met the artist who is creating the memorial and I’m impressed with the artist and his work, and I’m impressed that the mayor’s donated half her salary to it.
“I welcome it because it is keeping our mining history alive.
“But I would also like to see money putting into a memorial instead of demolishing the winding gear at Hatfield Main. I think keeping that winding gear is important.”
The Free Press is backing a campaign to raise the £135,110 cost of the memorial, through a crowdfunding appeal.
The appeal lasts until October 26, and we are urging readers to pledge to the appeal, which has so far raised £35,437.
The memorial will feature a number of bronze heads depicting genuine former miners.
Readers can contribute to the appeal in four ways:
* Pledge online at www.doncastersminingstatue.org.uk.
* Send a cheque to Doncaster Council addressed to Doncaster Museum, Chequer Rd, Doncaster DN1 2AE.
* Cash donations will be accepted at Central Library, Doncaster Museum or Doncaster Civic Office.
* Make an in-kind contribution to any of the key elements to the project.
The Hatfield Main Heritage Trust is raising money to try to preserve the former pit winding gear at Hatfield Main, which last week received a donation from the Beautiful South and Housemartins singer Paul Heaton. They have a crowdfunding page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hatfield-main-heritage-trust.