More than 1,000 names are to be engraved on a permanent memorial to one of the last coal mines in the West Midlands – marking the 25th anniversary of its closure.
Councillors behind the new memorial dedicated to former miners at Birch Coppice Colliery, near Tamworth, collected more than double the amount of names they expected, including some from Australia and Spain.
North Warwickshire Borough Councillors Pete Morson and John Winter launched an appeal last summer for former workers and relatives of deceased miners to get in touch so their names could be engraved onto the bricks of the memorial.
The influx of names from across the world has now led to the official opening being postponed until Wednesday, April 18, to provide sufficient time for extra engraving and construction to take place.
Coun Morson, who worked at the mine with Coun Winter, said: “We have been overwhelmed with names, information and photos from former Birch Coppice miners and their relatives across the world.
“At its heyday in the 1980s the site employed over 1,000 people, but we only expected to collect around 450-500 names as we knew that many of the workers moved away from the area when the pit closed in 1987.
“Some have moved abroad and others have sadly died. We had planned to officially open the memorial on March 27 – which would have marked 25 years since the colliery closed in 1987 after 100 years.
“But this fantastic response means we need extra time to engrave all the names and complete the construction.”
The Birch Coppice Miners Memorial, standing over 10ft high and topped off with a 6ft tall replica of the famous Davy lamp used by underground workers, will be located close to the entrance to Birch Coppice Business Park, which stands on the site of the former mine.
It has been funded by a £50,000 donation from IM Properties, the company which developed the Birch Coppice Business Park.