A CAMPAIGN group bidding to create a memorial to the victims of the area's worst ever mining disaster today called on support from East Lancashire folk.

They want locals to help them achieve their dream - and not let the memories of the victims pass away.

Clayton and Altham Prospects Panel has raised £4,000 for the Moorfield Colliery Disaster Memorial thanks to grants from Clayton and Altham Area Council and Persimmon Homes.

But a further £6,000 is needed to get the project off the ground.

In the three months since the idea was raised at the area council by Councillor David Myles Clayton and Altham Prospects Panel agreed to manage it, permission has been secured to put the memorial on a site in Burnley Road.

The plan is to landscape the area and create a central feature, hoped to be made from a piece of pit machinery.

Lancashire Council Council is providing the services of a landscape architect to design the site for free and Mid Pennine Arts is helping to design the central feature.

A huge underground gas explosion caused the disaster at the colliery on November 8, 1883, in which 68 men and boys were killed. Those who died ranged in age from 10 to 56 and several died in the following years as a result of their injuries.

Last year, on Remembrance Sunday, around 70 people attended a service at St James's Parish Church, Altham, to commemorate not only the area's war dead but those who died in the mining disaster. It is hoped the memorial will be completed in time to hold a service to mark the anniversary of disaster next year.

But Mike Stapleford, community projects development officer for the Prospects Foundation, said that will only be possible if another £6,000 can be raised.

He said: "It is important to create a memorial because the disaster was such a major event in Altham's history. So many men and boys died.

"We could create something there with the money that we have already got, but if we can raise a further £6,000 we can make it a much bigger and better memorial."

To support the Moorfield Colliery Disaster Memorial project call Mike on 380675.