Sheffield & South Yorkshire

BBC Domesday project remembers tragedy in Goldthorpe

In 1986 the BBC launched the Domesday project to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK.

The entries in the Domesday project were written by people writing about their communities.

One of the stories featured was an incident which happened in 1984, during the miners strike in Goldthorpe.

Brothers, 15-year-old Paul and 14-year-old Darren Holmes were killed when an embankment collapsed on them whilst they were collecting coal.

Local people and emergency services tried to dig the boys out.

Trevor Holmes, Paul and Darren's father said: "One of their mates came to the house and said Darren and Paul are buried. I thought they were joking, but I ran to the site in my slippers".

Mr Holmes joined the efforts to free the trapped boys.

Mr Holmes said: "There were lots of people there digging, including some of the miners who were picketing whilst they were on strike."

Darren died at the scene and Paul died on the way to hospital.

Image caption The memorial in Goldthorpe to brothers Paul and Darren Holmes

A funeral for the brothers took place seven days later and the whole community lined the streets on the way to the church to show their respects.

Mr Holmes said: "After the funeral every time we went up to Goldthorpe people who I never knew stopped us in the street and gave us hugs."

Following the funeral three girls at Dearneside comphrehensive school, the same school which Paul and Darren attended, decided that they wanted to create a memorial to mark the incident.

The memorial made of metal was installed in the centre of Goldthorpe, showing a map of Yorkshire with a miner on each side and a plaque, naming the brothers.

In recent years the memorial has been covered in graffiti and Mr Holmes is campaigning to get it moved into the grounds of Dearne High School.

Mr Holmes said:"A lot of people around here were miners and it is nice to think that people still remember what happened."

Twenty five years on from the project, the BBC are looking to update the information with details about what life is like in 2011.

Visit Domesday project for details about how you can get involved and share your memories.

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