Minnie Pit Memorial

January 2018 saw the centennial of the Minnie Pit Disaster in Halmer End in which 155 boys and men were killed. War poet Wilfred Owen when recovering from shell-shock wrote his poem Miners about the explosion. It was his first published poem.

New Vic Borderlines and Minnie Pit Centenary Group have been successful in achieving funding from the WW1 Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will include research into the public inquiry and the links between Wilfred Owen and Staffordshire, community workshops to share knowledge, developing skills with local people to  record oral history of miners descendants, writing and performing a community play.


A Sigh of the Coal

Touring schools in November 2018

‘A Sigh of the Coal’ is told through the eyes of Nancy Tipper a young girl from Halmer End at the time of the Minnie Pit disaster, who is looking for her missing father, she meets Wilfred Owen, and the play is about their imagined conversations.

The play is part of Miners, a Heritage Lottery project exploring the Minnie Pit Disaster and WW1 poet Wilfred Owen. The performance is approximately 30 minute’s long and will be followed by an interactive poetry writing workshop where young people chose a favourite line from the poem Miners and write a new piece in response to the Minnie Pit Disaster, WW1 and the play they have just seen.

It’s part of a series of events that have been taking place marking 100 years since the disaster.


FREE public performances are taking place at:

Railway Inn – 14th Nov 7pm

Halmer End Methodist Church – 15th Nov 7pm

St James Church Hall – 16th Nov 7pm


For more information about the tour please contact:

Rachel Reddihough – rreddihough@newvictheatre.org.uk – 01782 381368

Adhia Mahmood – amahmood@newvictheatre.org.uk – 01782 381368