GUARDIAN ROSE: Former miner honoured for leading campaign to educate schoolchildren on their mining heritage

Year 6 pupils, Jay and Maddison, from the Sparken Hill Academy, present Eric Eaton with the Guardian rose at a special assembley on Friday.
Year 6 pupils, Jay and Maddison, from the Sparken Hill Academy, present Eric Eaton with the Guardian rose at a special assembley on Friday.

A former miner from Worksop who has been giving up his spare time to educate school children on their local mining heritage for the last decade has been honoured with a Guardian Rose.

Eric Eaton, from the Retired Miners Association, was presented with the accolade in a surprise assembly at Sparken Hill Academy on Friday, January 15.

For the last 10 years, Eric has led a dedicated team of volunteers from the association who have been taking their “Mining Memories” roadshow into numerous schools across the county.

Eric and his volunteers have taken the roving mining museum into Ryton Park and Manton Primary Schools, and more recently at Sparken Hill Academy, Ollerton Primary, Dukeries College, Worksop Library, Worksop Town Hall and Ollerton and Mansfield Library.

The roadshows gives the children the opportunity to research their own family mining history, handle and get up close with thousands of real working mining artefacts and take part in three mining-themed activities, including a quiz about what can be made from coal.

Kate Curry. Year 5 teacher at Sparken Hill Academy, who nominated Eric along with other staff at the school, said: “Upon working with Eric, it is clear he is truly dedicated to his role and a very passionate man who is very proud to be part of our coal mining community.

“He is a pleasure to work with and truly deserves more recognition for all that he does to keep our mining heritage alive.”

Eric is an enthusiast for his industry and the spirit of community and comradeship that coal mining encouraged, and believes the roadshows foster that kind of community pride.

His own coal mining career began back in 1962 at Cossall Pit. He also worked at Newstead and Thoresby Collieries and retired in 2006.

Do you know an unsung hero who deserves a Guardian Rose for their work in the Worksop community? Telephone 01909 500500 or email newsroom@worksop-guardian.co.uk to nominate someone.

Our Guardian Roses are generously donated by top Worksop florist Walker’s House of Flowers, based in the Priory Shopping Centre.