GRAHAM IBBESON - OASK DISASTER MEMORIAL
Barnsley sculptor Graham Ibbeson created the Oaks memorial to remember the 361 people killed in England’s worst pit disaster.
Graham, whose great-great uncle Joe Ibbeson was among those killed, said: “I’m the son of a Barnsley miner. I was brought up in a close-knit mining community and really feel I can reflect how that felt.”
The central feature is the woman and child rushing to the colliery on hearing the explosion that was to shatter the lives of many on 12 December 1866. On one side of the block the coal cascading from the woman's back lands above the miners head. The other side of the block depicts buildings and community with oak leaves and acorns on the floor. At the top of the monument is a circle that can be seen symbolically to represent a winding wheel from a coal mine, the circle of life.
The casting in Bronze was completed before the 150th Anniversary of the disaster and erected in Barnsley and unveiled on May 7 2017 which marked the 150th anniversary of the laying in Parliament of the Report of The Oaks Colliery Explosion.
The date also marks the 70th anniversary of the explosion at Barnsley Main (which is linked to the Oaks Colliery workings) which killed 9 miners in 1947.