THE names of those who lost their lives in the Golborne disaster were read out during a moving speech by an MP in a House of Commons debate on miners and mining communities.

MPs representing coalfield communities from across England, Scotland and Wales spoke on many of the issues impacting on those communities, and their rich and proud histories.

Conor McGinn, who is MP for St Helens North, paid a tribute to those who were lost in the disaster 45 years ago.

On March 18, 1979, one of the UK's last major mining accidents took place at Golborne colliery after a build-up of methane exploded and sent a fireball searing through the mine tunnels.

Ten men were killed in the tragedy, with apprentice electrician Brian Rawsthorne, from Garswood, the only man to survive.

A commemoration for the 45th anniversary of the Golborne disaster was held in March this year, which Mr McGinn attended.

Mr McGinn said: "Eric Foster and his comrades from the Golborne Ex-Miners Association have faithfully organised an annual commemoration for the 10 men who died in the disaster at Golborne colliery in 1979. On 18 March that year, one of Britain’s last major mining accidents took place there, after a build-up of methane exploded and sent a fireball searing through the mine tunnels. We gathered from across Wigan and St Helens some weeks ago to mark the 45th anniversary."

He went on to read the names of those who died, and the sole survivor, in to Hansard, the Parliamentary record.

"We remembered those who lost their lives, John Berry, Colin Dallimore, Desmond Edwards, Patrick Grainey, Peter Grainey, Raymond Hill, John McKenna, Walter McPherson, Brian Sherman and Bernard Trumble, and we stood with Brian Rawsthorne, then a 20-year-old apprentice electrician from Garswood in my constituency, who was seriously injured but survived."

He concluded: "He and the families of the men who perished have borne their grief with great dignity, and they and their sacrifice are not forgotten. They can rest assured that whatever we do, in everything we do in mining communities in future, they will always be part of it, and part of us."

Mr McGinn also spoke about the social and economic impact of the Miners' Strike, and outlined some of the positive regeneration initiatives being taken on former colliery sites, including Parkside.