Penny Hydraulics MD Robin Penny Opens Mining Memorial
As one of the largest employers in Clowne and the local area, it is important to Penny Hydraulics to give back and pay homage to its local community. Our recent collaboration with the Clowne Historical Society to assist with the creation of a mining memorial is a project we are immensely proud to be a part of.
The memorial itself includes a huge half winding wheel – an impressive 7.3 meters in diameter and 3 plaques.
The first plaque remembers those who lost their lives in the dangerous working conditions of the pits and the miners who were conscripted to fight for our country in both World Wars. The second plaque shares images and information about the Barlborough No 1 and Oxcroft No.3 Collieries, whilst the final plaque shares the provenance of the winding wheel and thanks supporters. Penny Hydraulics designed and sourced the first and third plaques.
On Saturday the mining memorial was opened and blessed and MD Robin Penny was invited to address the crowd of people who had joined us to pay their respects.
‘I think that it is good to be reminded what a unique place in the world we have here and what fantastic people come from this area. Sheffield, Chesterfield and the hills and valleys around is where the industrial revolution started. It wasn’t in London, it wasn’t Japan or China, it was here. It was the hard work of the coal miners and the great minds of the engineers that brought us the world that we have today.
I learnt recently that my great-grandfather was one such engineer who ran a foundry in Eckington and spent many nights repairing the pumps at Renishaw Park Colliery having walked there and back with his tools. That same work ethic, the same enquiring and innovating minds are still here and attracting world-class industry to the region. Boeing, Rolls Royce and Maclaren are just a few of the big names that have new factories in the area. These new factories are replacing the coal mining and steel works jobs and that is a good thing and good for the opportunities that it brings to our young people’
Robin went on to pay tribute to the men who worked at the collieries.
‘Clowne was unusual in that it had two large collieries. These were major operations even by today’s standards with 850 men at Barlborough No 1 Colliery and 400 men at Southgate Colliery mining over 1000 tonnes of coal per day all won by hand. They would have been hard days, not the good old days we often think of with poor wages and poor conditions.
It was the camaraderie and respect that builds when your life depends on your workmate that bonded these communities and helped them to strive for better times. And, when the call came to help their country these men responded, and they volunteered and went to fight together in the trenches of the First World War and where, as we see here, many died together in those trenches.
We are living in the good days that these men never knew. They worked for better times, fought for better times and many died for better times and this memorial is a reminder to us all of the high stakes that have been paid for us to be here and enjoying the freedoms that we have. My thanks go to Allan, John and his team for keeping these memories alive’.
Robin was then presented with a beautiful painting of the memorial by a local artist which will take pride place in the Penny Hydraulics reception.
Following Robin's presentation Rev'd Briony Taylor, Rector of Barlborough & Clowne blessed the memorial and there was a commemoration of the war dead which included a poem.
Robin's mother Mrs Penny, Financial Director Ashley Holmes and Marketing Manager Daniel Casey also attended the blessing.
'It's been a fantastic turnout today from the community. Penny Hydraulics are proud to have been a part of keeping Clowne's mining heritage alive with this beautiful memorial. We get involved with these projects not because we have to, but because we want to. We hope this memorial helps people to recognise the sacrifice of these men for years to come.'
- Ashley Holmes Financial Director - Penny Hydraulics
'Once again Penny Hydraulics are helping to support local organisations with their good causes. We've worked hard with Alan and John from the Clowne Historical Society to produce plaques that are a fitting memory to the men who lost their lives many years ago.'
- Daniel Casey, Marketing Manager - Penny Hydraulics
You can find out more about the history of Clowne and surrounding areas by visiting the Clowne Historical Society Facebook Page .