Easington Colliery is a town on the East coast of County Durham. Originally open farm land, the area began to develop into a thriving colliery community with the sinking of the first shaft in 1899 and the first coal being mined in 1910. The pit was the last one in County Durham to close in 1993.
Tuesday, 29th May 1951 was a day that will be forever poignant in Easington Colliery. In the early hours of that morning an explosion was heard coming from the pit, in the area known as the “Duck Bill”. Within hours a sea of worried relatives had rushed to the pit head, awaiting news of their loved ones. 81 miners were killed in the explosion and two rescue workers also lost their lives in the recovery operation. It was the worst accident in the history of the National Coal Board.
2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the disaster in Easington Colliery. Local school pupils & community members have been looking back at the story of the disaster, remembering the men who died & sharing their memories of that fateful day. Groups have been painting panels that will be put together into one commemorative banner, as well as lots of other thought provoking art work including drama pieces and creative writing.