A POIGNANT memorial service took place in Wrexham on Sunday to mark the 85th anniversary of the Gresford colliery disaster.

With the rain just about managing to hold off long enough, more than 100 relatives, residents and local politicians gathered to remember the 266 men who lost their lives after an explosion ripped through the Dennis section of the mine on September 22, 1934.

The Revd Butler of Llay led the service, which included a moving performance by the local pupils of nearby All Saints school, who told the story of Gresford, a play written by Polly Snape.

Gresford Colliery Brass Band performed several hymns, including a very powerful rendition of "Guide me O, thou Great Redeemer", before they brought the service to an end with both the British and Welsh national anthems.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, AM Lesley Griffiths and Mayor Rob Walsh were just some of the local politicians who attended the memorial service, that have taken place every year on September 22, since the memorial was first unveiled in 1982 by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Margaret Jones, secretary of the friends of Gresford Colliery Disaster Memorial said: "266 people died, which means a lot of families in Wrexham and beyond were affected.

"Some of the men were grandparents and great grandparents and we still have a lot of people who are very interested in knowing their family members were involved.

"It is very important and the service is very well attended every year.

"We made a promise to Vicar David Griffiths in 2014 that we would keep the memory of those who died alive."