A COMMUNITY fell silent in tribute to hundreds of miners killed in a disaster.
On September 22, 1934, an explosion claimed the lives of 266 miners in the Gresford Colliery Disaster, with many being buried underground.
Yesterday the annual memorial service was held at the memorial wheel in Gresford with more than 40 people in attendance.
Canon David Griffiths, a retired former vicar of Gresford and Llay, has led the memorial service for more than 25 years.
He said: “We hold this service annually.
“It’s a simple service commemorating that terrible accident.
“It is the most infamous night in the history of Wrexham and Gresford.
“This year’s service was one of the best we’ve had and everyone enjoyed it, including the mayor and mayoress who were in attendance.
“I consider it a privilege to be asked to lead this service each year.”
Next year marks the 80th anniversary of the disaster and Canon Griffiths, who was a miner before being ordained, said planning for that important landmark was already underway.
“We’re currently looking at what we can do to mark the 80th anniversary,” he said.
“We’ll be making a real push and will be keen to have children at the service. Plans will be put in place very soon to ensure next year’s service is extra special.
“We are getting people interested in the heritage.”
Although the cause of the disaster was never proved, an inquiry found a number of factors including failures in safety procedures and poor mine management contributed to the tragedy.
Gresford remains one of Britain’s worst mining disasters and the memorial wheel was created to remember those killed in the disaster.
l A NUMBER of other events were held over the weekend to celebrate the mining heritage of the area.
Llay Brass Band members performed at Wrexham Museum on Saturday, helping commemorate the history of coal mining in Wrexham.
Guided tours were held at the Llay Miners Welfare heritage centre on Friday as part of the open doors event.
Visitors gained a deeper insight into the region’s mining history.