Over the past ten years Beam has been privileged to work with key partners Derbyshire County Council, HBD, the Markham Vale Heritage Group (MVHG), artist Stephen Broadbent and others as creative producers and fundraisers for the Walking Together mining memorial.

The memorial was completed in October 2022, with a book and film about the project published in March 2023.

Markham Vale was established as a catalyst for regeneration in a deprived former coalfield area of Derbyshire. Centred around the former Markham Colliery site, located between Staveley and Bolsover in the north of the County, the project was set up in 2006 to create up to 4,100 jobs in an attractive landscaped 200-acre business park.  Markham has a significant history as a former colliery and the Walking Together memorial commemorates the 106 men who died in three major disasters at the site in 1937, 1938 and 1973.  The memorial trail is a place where current and future generations can visit and learn about the site’s important mining heritage and remember the lives of those lost.

Artist Stephen Broadbent was commissioned back in 2012 to design a memorial and, in close consultation with the local community through the MVHG, developed the Walking Together and The Story Mine concepts.


“A vision and a hope that has grown and blossomed in unexpected and meaningful ways.” Community member.


The volunteers of the MVHG have, over the past ten years, spent hundreds of hours researching the lives of the miners who have been commemorated.  Their meticulous research forms the basis of The Story Mine website and of the project book and film.

The Journey of Walking Together

The 106 steel figures which make up the Walking Together memorial have been installed in a series of twelve clusters since 2013, as funding has been secured and contact made with relatives of the miners. Walking Together has been generously supported by a wide range of businesses, community groups and funders

Commemoration events have been held to mark the occasion of each installation attended by relatives, friends, schools, the local community, funders and supporters.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, work to install the figures continued and instead of a commemoration event, short films were produced to mark the installation of each new group.  These can all be accessed on The Story Mine website. 


“Remembering lives lost…. Memories rekindled.” Community member.


On 30th July 2013 the first two figures were installed commemorating the youngest and oldest miners to die in the three major disasters.  Figures honouring Arthur Brown, age eighteen years, a pony driver who died in the 1938 disaster and Albert Tyler, age sixty-four, a back repairer who died in the 1973 disaster were installed.  Selecting the youngest and oldest miners served to demonstrate the impact of the disasters across the generations.  The event took place on the fortieth anniversary of the 1973 disaster and also saw the installation of a commemorative stone by Alkane Energy, to mark the location of the former pit head. 

Further commemorations of small clusters of figures then took place on – 

4th December 2015; 22nd September 2016; 21st July 2017; 17th January 2018; 26th September 2018; 29th May 2019; 16th September 2019; 17th August 2020; 10th December 2020 and 16th September 2021.


The final installation event took place on 12th October 2022 and included a wider celebration of the completion of the trail, ten years after planning for the memorial originally began. Additional funding was secured from National Lottery Heritage Fund for a project entitled 10 Years of Walking Together, which included commissioning creatives Lynn Ludditt and Angie Hardwick  to work with voluntary groups and local schools.  The outcomes of the young people’s work can be found in the Walking Together publication and on The Storymine website.



“It was a great honour to be commissioned in 2012 by Derbyshire County Council to create a memorial to both the lives lost, and lived at Markham Colliery.  My vision from the outset was threefold –

Firstly a ‘WALKING TOGETHER’ MEMORIAL, recognising the 106 men who lost their lives in the pit disasters of 1937, 1938 and 1973.

Secondly celebration, in the form of a digital ‘STORY MINE’, where the voices of former miners and their families can be heard.

And thirdly, environmental regeneration, in the form of a LANDSCAPE TRAIL connecting the village of Duckmanton to the site of the former Markham Colliery pit head.” Stephen Broadbent – public artist


Markham Vale Heritage Group

The Markham Vale Heritage Group was formed at the very start of the Walking Together project and includes local historians, former miners, relatives and friends of miners, and members of the local community.  The voluntary group informed Stephen Broadbent’s design for the memorial and guided and supported the project every step of the way. 

In 2018 the heritage group led on the delivery of a National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project The Story Mine.  The project aimed to unearth and share stories from Markham Colliery and included engagement workshops with local schools, research training, gathering of mining stories and the development of a website.  The project culminated in a celebratory event at Ringwood Hall featuring the performance of an original song about Markham by Steve Haywood, sung by Duckmanton School pupils.  

The Story Mine website features the stories of the men who died in the three major disasters at Markham (1937, 1938 and 1973), alongside oral histories and further information about mining life in the area.  The information was gathered by a volunteer research team using resources at Derbyshire Record Office, Ancestry and other sources. The Story Mine was named the winner of the ‘Best Volunteer Project’ Award and was ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Young People in Heritage’ Award at the Derbyshire Heritage Awards 2019.  The Walking Together project was also Highly Commended in the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ category at the East Midlands Heritage Awards 2019. 

In 2022 the group went on to deliver a second National Lottery Heritage Funded project, 10 Years of Walking Together.  


“Walking Together means friendship, camaraderie and shared experience.” Community member. 





Walking Together trail map by Rhubarb Design House. Further image credits: David John King, Andy Tryner and Derbyshire County Council.

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