Party and reunion for former mineworkers at Thoresby Colliery

A social fund set up by miners at Thoresby Colliery more than 50 years ago is again to pay for a Christmas party and reunion for former employees at the pit.

By Richard Silverwood
Friday, 17th September 2021, 8:53 am

The events had to be cancelled last year because of the coronavirus restrictions, but the volunteer organisers say it is all systems go for their return on Friday, December 10, at Forest Town Arena.

And the committee of the Thoresby Colliery Retired Miners’ Social Fund would like to invite as many former workers of the pit near Edwinstowe as possible.

The fund was created when miners agreed to pay in a small amount from their wages each week. Its coffers were swelled even further when the pit closed in 2015 and another kitty, the Benevolent Fund, transferred monies into it.

Thoresby Colliery soon after its closure in 2015. (PHOTO BY: Steve Uttley)

Trevor Barker, one of the organisers, said: “The original fund was set up to provide a party for retired mineworkers around Christmas time.

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“We have continued to provide a Christmas party in the afternoon for the more elderly and, in 2019, we catered for 65, many of whom were in their 80s. There was an artiste, bingo, a raffle and a buffet.

“In the evening, about 200 came along to the reunion, which is for all ex-employees of Thoresby Colliery, excluding senior management and contractors

“Admission to the social evening, which will run from 7pm until late, is free, but anyone wanting to attend needs to have a valid ticket or have ordered one to collect on the door.”

Tickets, which will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis, are available every Thursday, from October 7 to November 25, by calling the fund on 01623 624678, between 7pm and 8pm.

Alternatively, you can pick them up from Forest Town Arena, Clipstone Road West, on the same Thursdays, from 10-11am and 7-8pm.

Those wishing to attend the preceding afternoon party, which will run from 2-5 pm, should also call the fund on the above number on the same Thursdays between 7pm and 8pm.

Former mineworkers who have attended previously will be contacted by the fund committee.

When Thoresby Colliery was at its peak in the early 1980s, it had a workforce of almost 1,500 men and was one of the most productive pits in Europe.