A MEMORIAL to the thousands of colliers who helped Burnley to make its fortune has been restored to its former glory by park bosses.

Young vandals are believed to be responsible for ripping a commemorative plaque from the monument in Bank Hall Park, near the Queen Victoria Street entrance.

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And regular users complain that the artwork, depicting the wheel of the former put, is often used as a climbing frame by youngsters.

But after resident Joyce Wade complained to Burnley MP Julie Cooper, the plinth and plaque have been cleaned up by council parks staff.

The borough’s Parliamentarian will re-dedicate the memorial, first unveiled in 1990, during a ceremony starting at 10.30am, with Mrs Wade invited along as a special guest.

Once the mining industry, which was central to the development of the cotton trade in Burnley, employed thousands of people, not only at Bank Hall but the likes of Cliviger and Hapton. Bank Hall itself was closed in 1970 with the loss of 750 jobs.

Cllr Bea Foster, the council’s executive member for leisure and culture, said: “The memorial in Bank Hall is an important reminder of Burnley’s coal industry on which Burnley was built and a tribute to the many thousands of people that worked in the mines.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to replace the plaque, clean the memorial and install an interpretive panel that explains the history of the Bank Hall colliery.”

The mine at Bank Hall, which belonged to the Hargreaves Colliery Company before nationalisation, was first sunk in 1865, Cllr Roger Frost, Burnley historian, said: “With the rest of the mining industry, the mines of the Burnley coalfield were nationalised in 1947.

“But by that time, many of the collieries were almost exhausted. Bank Hall closed in 1970 when 750 miners were made redundant.

“A few years later work commenced to create the present Bank Hall Park, which is managed by Burnley Council.

“However, if you care to look around the park, there is plenty that will remind you of the days when Bank Hall was the greatest mine of the Burnley coalfield.”