The Irwell Valley Mining Project commenced in 2012 when a small group of individuals with an interest in mining got together to raise awareness of the Salford’s historical coal mining industry.

We work with schools, organisations and members of the community to increase knowledge of our mining heritage by performing exhibitions, talks and provide information packs.

In 2013 we secured funding from the National Lottery to erect a monument at the former entrance to Agecroft Colliery. It is our intention to erect a monument for each colliery in the Irwell Valley.

We are a not for profit organisation and work voluntarily. Funding or donations that we receive are used to provide a better educational experience and commemorate each of the former collieries.


This Project commenced in 2012, when a group of individuals, with experience and an interest in mining, got together with the aims of raising awareness of the history of this industry in Salford. At that time, we all felt that there was a gap in the historical landscape of Salford, since no where was there a memorial, or similar, to this important industry and to the miners, who worked in such difficult conditions, to power the factories, the mills and the railways, as well as bringing warmth to our homes. We were determined to correct this omission.

Amongst our initial members are a miner and his retired mining father, an ex Salford City councillor, a restaurateur and two artists. We had lots of enthusiasm and commitment but no funding. However, our commitment and the financial help awarded from the ‘All our Stories’ Heritage Lottery Fund, has helped us to achieve our aims.

We decided to focus on Agecroft Colliery, as the last pit in the Irwell Valley, and to make education our central theme. The St Augustine’s Primary School and the St Augustine’s Church, locally known as the Miners’ Cathedral, were recruited to the Project and became integral to its success.

Memories from local people, who either worked at the Colliery or had some connection, have been collected as archive material. Paul Kelly, our Mining Chairperson, decided to write a record of his experiences as a miner at Agecroft and this has developed into this interesting local history book. Irwell Valey Mining project now gives talks to schools on the history and the uses of coal, which many of the children have never seen. The project have also made a series of short films, made partially underground at the National Coal Museum. The DVD of this is available for Salford Schools. Both the book and the DVD are called, ‘The Last Pit in the Valley.’ An exhibition of photographs, memorabilia and art work done by the children, has been on public display at the St Augustine’s Church and is now a mobile exhibition.

Finally, Irwell Valley Mining project aimed to create a lasting memorial to the miners of Agecroft and that has been achieved. At the entrance to the Agecroft Colliery, there is now a raised flower garden, built by the construction students of Salford College and decorated with ceramic tiles, made by the children of St Augustine’s Primary School. This was unveiled in the Autumn of 2013 with speeches, music and tributes, just 18 months from our initial meeting and our tentative plans. The members of the Irwell Valley Mining Project are proud of what has been achieved in recording a significant part of Salford’s history. The Heritage Lottery programme ‘All our Stories’ provided the funding to make this possible and we would like to thank them for their generous support.

Aims and Objectives

  • Irwell Valley Mining project plan to put a memorial is now at the former Agecroft colliery is almost complete, We intend to erect of a half pit wheel at the site of Agecroft colliery, which will be placed near to the memorial garden.
  • We also plan to with the support of St Augustine’s church to build a memorial garden around the Clifton Hall memorial in the church grounds. We will maintain the garden with the help of the children at St Augustine’s school. We plan to start building the garden in July 2014.
  • The project will also be producing an educational pack and plan to continue doing talks, showing films and exhibitions all our our coal mining heritage.
  • The new edition of the “The Last Pit in the Valley” book is now available to purchase all proceeds going back into the project.
  • The group are in the process of working to erect a monument at the former Pendleton colliery. We are currently looking for a suitable spot to mark the pit.
  • Our plan is to mark all the collieries along the Irwell Valley. When the Pendleton pit memorial is complete we intend to continue creating a memorial for Wheatsheaf, Newtown and Clifton Hall.
  • Our collection of mining memorbillia is growing , hopefully one day in the future we will be able to open a mining museum for educational and historical purposes.