Batley history event: Dignity of Labour Statue returning to Bagshaw Museum
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Dignity of Labour Statue had been a permanent fixture near the entrance at the Wilton Park museum until it was removed in 2011 following a reorganisation of the exhibits.
Now, the bronze statue, which in its original form depicted a coal miner mounted on a huge block of coal, has been restored after some “tender loving care” and will be rehomed within the industrial history of Batley section of the museum after a special unveiling ceremony on, aptly, Labour Day.
Local history researcher Tony Dunlop, who will be hosting the event, said:
“The statue was put up in recognition of all the work the miners did and it was very well received. It is there to remind people of the hard work that was done by miners and the difficulties they went through.
“It cost a lot of money to make and it stood in the museum for over 100 years in the entrance. It was a highly valued and regarded sculpture and stood at six and a half feet high.
“We found out it had gone from the museum in 2011 when they reorganised the exhibits. Gwen Lowe, the councillor, helped in talking to the right people in Kirklees and it was agreed it would go back into Kirklees but it was in a sorry state.
“The original plinth was broken and the coal had completely disintegrated. It needed a lot of tender loving care to bring it back.”
Asked what it means to have the statue back at the museum, Tony replied:
“I think it is an important step in Bagshaw’s standing. It is a beautiful provincial museum. It is quite an attraction and quite a valuable attraction in terms of the history of the local area.
“I think the Dignity of Labour is an important part of what became Bagshaw Museum.”
The statue will be available for public viewing from 12pm on Monday, May 1.