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Schoolgirl brings local history to new residents

New residents of Hugglescote will be learning about the area’s significant mining history thanks to the efforts of a local schoolgirl.

Picture Credit: David Wilson Homes

A ten-year-old pupil from Hugglescote Primary School, Emilia Knowles, has entered and won a design competition which aims to educate new residents on the significant mining history of the area. The competition was organised by Leicestershire homebuilder, David Wilson Homes, and invited pupils at the school to create designs for greetings cards to be distributed to new residents at the Grange View housing development. Emilia’s win will see her design distributed to the 210 residents moving into Grange View homes.

Her design featured a colourful house with a string of bunting as well as a vibrant sky and clouds. Most significantly, the drawing of a mining wheel took pride of place on the card. The inclusion of the mining wheel was a requirement of the competition.

This was in recognition of the Whitwick Colliery disaster; the country’s first and only mining disaster which saw 35 men lose their lives. The disaster happened on the morning of the 19th April 1898 when an underground fire occurred in the workings of Whitwick Colliery which were located under Grange Road in Hugglescote and resulted in the death of 33 men and two boys.

In a further step to commemorate the tragic event, Leicestershire County Council Museums Service, Hugglescote and Donington le Heath Parish Council, Whitwick Parish Council, Whitwick Historical Group, Coalville Heritage Society and Snibston Heritage Trust worked with David Wilson Homes to provide an upcoming memorial which features a mining pulley wheel and will be installed at the development in Spring 2022. As part of the memorial, the street names at Grange View will also be named after some of the miners who lost their lives.

Picture Credit: David Wilson Homes

Stuart Warburton, Secretary at Coalville Heritage Society and Snibston Heritage Trust, said: “The partnership between local Parish Councils, heritage groups and David Wilson Homes has been a valuable asset to the local understanding and appreciation of this historic event in the history of the Leicestershire coalfield.
“David Wilson Homes are to be congratulated for their contribution towards remember those miners through street names, memorials and the engaging with schools to teach children about the significance of the local history.
“Emilia’s superb drawing is testimony that commemorating the local mining heritage can cut across the generations”.

Paul Driver, Headteacher at Hugglescote Primary School, said: “The children really enjoyed designing their Welcome Home cards for this competition and Emilia was delighted that her design was chosen. We hope the residents enjoy received her wonderful cards and we’d like to thank David Wilson Homes for providing us with this lovely opportunity.”

By Gita Sarasia

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