Poignant service set to remember Wigan workers

Last year's Wigan workers' day
Last year's Wigan workers' day

Wiganers who had their lives taken or permanently changed due to their work will once again be remembered in a solemn ceremony.

The Friends of Mesnes Park will again invite residents to the town centre beauty spot on International Workers’ Memorial Day for a poignant service.

Politicians, trade unions and workers’ organisations will gather at the memorial tree in the park on Saturday, April 27 and hope plenty of residents will join them.

Among those remembered will be the 4,000 workplace deaths which took place in Wigan mines and the thousands of people who developed illnesses such as mesothelioma.

Sue Turner from the Friends’ group said: “The Friends of Mesnes Park are honoured to be again hosting the annual Workers’ Memorial Day event at the tree in the memorial garden.

“The Mayor of Wigan, Coun Sue Greensmith, will lead the commemorations by laying a wreath to remember all those killed, injured or suffering long-term illness as a result of their work.

“This ceremony has particular significance for Wigan, built on coal and cotton, and for Mesnes Park, the original site of two pits on the old Glebe Lands.

“Wiganers will be proud of their industrial past, but also be aware of the toll it took and continues to take on the workforce. Members of the public are welcome to join us and lay a red rose in memory of family and friends.”

Friends of Mesnes Park chair Allan Foster will welcome everyone to the ceremony before the formal proceedings are led by the borough’s first citizen.

There will be a minute’s silence and words said by a number of prominent local politicians, trade unions and workers’ organisations.

Wigan folk musician Lawrence Hoy will also perform for the assembled crowd.

Everyone taking part will be invited to lay a red rose beneath the memorial tree during the ceremony.

The commemorations will then continue in the Pavilion Cafe. The service for International Workers’ Memorial Day in Mesnes Park is on Saturday, April 27. Everyone should assemble by the memorial tree at 11.45am and the service will begin at 11.55am, lasting until 12.40pm.