On 12 January 1918, the Minnie Pit disaster devastated families in Halmer End and Audley parish.
It was 2o months later – on 18 August 1919 – before the final miner was brought to the surface. An outdoor memorial service was held at St James’ Church on 31 August 1919. It was attended by over 3000community members and included the combined choirs of four local churches. The Bishop of Lichfield sent a message of consolation to ‘my dear people of Audley.’
Almost A Sacred Duty tells the story of our community today, and 100 years ago, when our grieving families had to endure the Coroner’s Inquiry which was held at Halmer end Methodist Chapel in October 1919. The Coronoer, Hugh Adams, decided that it was ‘almost a sacred duty’ to hold an inquest ‘amidst the people who had suffered’, so they could attend if they so wished. Many did attend and just like through inquests today, they were looking for answers as to how loved ones were lost, and what could be done differently.
This play is supported by Heritage Lottery.
Tickets are FREE and can be booked by calling the New Vic Box Office on 01782 717962 or emailing Adhia Mahmood on email@example.com
The play features community members as well as professional actors and is our lasting commitment to connecting with our neighbours from 100 years ago, and to make sure that we remember those ‘poor lads’ – both miners and soldiers – who gave their lives in the service of us all, and to keepp alive the spirit whcih is part of the heritage of coal mining communities.
Victoria Brazier: Martha Beech
Bethany-Jo Clews: Nancy Tipper
Robin Simpson: Hugh Adams
Audley Theatre 1 September 5.00pm
Halmer End Methodist Church 3 September 7.00pm
New Vic Theatre Studio 4 – 6 September 7.00pm (Book online here)
New Vic Theatre 12 September 2.30pm