A COMMEMORATIVE march is set to take place on the 40th anniversary of a mining disaster.

Residents will walk in remembrance of the Golborne Colliery disaster in which an underground explosion happened on March 18, 1979 and led to the deaths of ten miners.

One miner, Brian Rawsthorne, survived the blast.

A march has been organised every five years since the tragedy to give people the chance to pay their respects to the men who lost their lives.

Next month on Sunday, March 17, residents will gather outside the Queen Anne pub on Bridge Street at around 1.30pm before a procession will be led by Golborne Brass Band.

Members of the clergy will follow as well as Wigan borough mayor Cllr Sue Greensmith and her consort, husband Allen.

The procession will be led through the town before making its way to St Thomas Church for a service which is set to start at 2.30pm.

Leigh Journal:

Golborne Brass Band performing in the 2014 march

Joint organiser Colin Rooney was a mechanic at the pit from 1970 to 1989 and remembers the day of the mining disaster.

He said: "When I arrived at the pit in the afternoon for work I remember it being full of people outside including police. It was a massive shock.

"We held the first march in 1984 and it has been going every five years since then.

"The event is all about the families and we are in contact with them and they fully support what we do in memory of the men."

Due to the high volume of people expected to turn out for the march, plans have been made to screen the church service inside the neighbouring St Thomas' CE Junior and Infant School.

Political figures likely to attend the event include Greater Manchester mayor and former Leigh MP Andy Burnham.

In recent years, organisers have had to raise money through fundraising events to pay for costs such as traffic management.

Colin, who is assistant secretary of the Golborne ex miners group, works alongside secretary Eric Foster to organise events such as an annual fishing match.

Alan Mitchell, who died last year, was also instrumental in the running of the organisation as chairman

This year's fishing match will take place at The Cunneries in Chorley on March 16. For more information contact 07583 064350.

The Haydock Male Voice Choir will also be holding a concert on Friday, June 21 at St Thomas Church at 7.30pm to raise funds for the cause.

Commemorative pin badges with the names of the victims of the disaster on them are on sale for £2 too.

They can be bought at Golborne Library or by emailing Colin at c854rooney@gmail.com.

Other memorials in the town include plaques with the names of the men who died in the tragedy that were put in place at Peter Kane Square two years ago.

A memorial plaque also lies at the site of the former colliery on Kidglove Road, which is in remembrance of "all those who worked and died" at the pit in the 109 years it was open between 1880 and 1989.