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The worst disaster of the North Wales coalfield occurred at Gresford Colliery in 1934. An explosion took place and, with the exception of 1 deputy and 5 men, everyone working in that section was killed. The explosion was followed by a fire which spread to the rest of the mine. For over 24 hours, rescue teams fought the fire but to no avail. As the rescue operations had already claimed the lives of 3 members of the rescue brigade, it was decided to seal off the top of the two shafts. Only 11 bodies were recovered of the 266 miners who were killed.
The mine was re-entered in 1935 and coal production was gradually resumed from January 1936 until its closure in 1974.
One wheel from the headgear was removed and now forms part of the Gresford Disaster Memorial. There is nothing left of Gresford Colliery itself since it has been covered by the Gresford Industrial Park.
Walk to the roundabout and turn left into the industrial park, then take the second left to the front of F Bender Ltd. On the triangle of grass in front is a small plinth marking the site of the main shaft.
Some of the spoil tip still remains. This can be seen by crossing the road opposite the memorial and walking along the lane and under a railway bridge.

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Comments (2)

Anonymous's profile picture
This means the world to me because it is wrong that the managers didnt care about the colliers safety.
J B N Gammond's profile picture
The memorial was finally built and unveiled in 1982 following a long campaign often against both opposition and apathy locally and nationally by Margaret Capper, two of whose family members were killed in the disaster, and Miners' Agent, Ted McKay. John (Jack) Samuels was awarded the King's Medal (Edward Medal) on the recommendation of the chairman of the Official Inquiry into the Causes of the Explosion at Gresford Colliery. The medal was displayed at Wrexham County Borough Museum to mark the 80th anniversary of the disaster in 2014.

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