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A poignant tribute to thousands of Wigan workers

Wiganers gathered to remember those who died at work
Wiganers gathered to remember those who died at work

Dignitaries bowed their heads in silence in a moving ceremony to remember Wiganers who lost their lives due to work-related accidents and illnesses.

People gathered at a memorial tree at Mesnes Park to pay their respects on Saturday, which was International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, Councillor Bill and Joan Clarke, lay a wreath

Mayor and Mayoress of Wigan, Councillor Bill and Joan Clarke, lay a wreath

The annual event was organised by the Friends Of Mesnes Park to remember many workers, including the 4,000 workplace deaths in the mines in Wigan and the thousands of people who developed associated illnesses like mesothelioma.

The ceremony began just before noon and a minute’s silence was held as a moving tribute.

An opening address was given by the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Bill Clarke.

It was followed by speeches by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, Wigan Central councillor George Davies, ex-miner Eric Foster from the National Union Of Mineworkers, and a representative from Wigan Trades Council.

Lisa Nandy MP also turned out to pay her respects

Lisa Nandy MP also turned out to pay her respects

The Mayor laid a commemorative wreath, with other people following him with red roses in remembrance.

The ceremony was closed by the Friends Of Mesnes Park, before refreshments were served.

The ceremony was one of many held around the world to "remember the dead and fight for the living".

International Workers’ Memorial Day honours employees who died due to unsafe practices, accidents, industrial diseases and in other circumstances in the course of their work.