New miners’ memorial plaque unveiled

A plaque listing the names of men and women who died in mining accidents at Woolmet Colliery was unveiled at the Miners' Memorial in Danderhall
A plaque listing the names of men and women who died in mining accidents at Woolmet Colliery was unveiled at the Miners' Memorial in Danderhall

A new memorial plaque dedicated to the 47 people that lost their lives in accidents at Woolmet Colliery has been unveiled in Danderhall.

Jean Burnett (67), from Bonnyrigg, the granddaughter of George Waller, who died in an accident at Woolmet in 1940, had the honour of unveiling the plaque, at the Miners’ Memorial in Danderhall on Sunday.

She said: “My mother carried a great sadness that she had lost him at such a young age. She was 20, and her brother was 18. My grandfather was 48 when he was killed. Two months later their mother died from cancer. So the story was well known in the family.

“It was a very proud moment for me on Sunday and a great honour.

“I was thrilled to have been invited by Danderhall and Newton Retired Miners Branch. It was a very emotional day.

“My sister was with me, and my brother in law and my husband.

“It was an excellent day, and it just reminded me what community life is all about.

“Sometimes that gets forgotten these days. It’s important to keep these communities’ memories alive.

“I would like to thank the Branch for inviting me along and giving me the honour of unveiling their plaque.”