It was with disbelief to recently discover my list of Eston mining fatalities on the sides of the 'mine wagon' on Jubilee Road. The owners of the wagon, Eston Residents Association, are responsible and they had no permission whatsoever from me (creator and copyright holder of the list).
Their "Tribute of Remembrance" as they call it, is not so virtuous. It is a self-serving, underhanded attempt to steal credit and thwart my long-held plan to have a major miners memorial erected in the area. I unveiled my design to the public in 2016 when I was involved with The Friends of Eston Hills. Having bought land at the Nab, we wanted to promote the site and proposed to erect a memorial there. Council bosses loved the idea and were talking big funding for it. There was however public concern that the location would not be accessible to all and be vulnerable to vandals. I accepted this and looked to alternative sites in Eston. The most suitable site was the small garden next to the Institute. This was safer, fully accessible and very appropriate given that the Institute was founded by the miners. The site was maintained by Eston Residents Association so I approached their chair, Mrs. Higgins. We have had our differences in the past but for the good of the town, I proposed the idea that ERA, FOEH and RCBC collaborate to build it there and make the garden a dedicated Miners Memorial Garden. I received a stern rebuke from her and Mr. Higgins. It was no surprise, they've never liked me. So to now steal my list for their own memorial is just so shockingly poor not to mention being in breach the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. Both my solicitor and myself wrote to ERA asking for the list to be removed and they actually refuted that they have copied it. This is ridiculous. It is identical down to the last detail !
The list comprises 375 men and boys killed in Eston mines. I published it in 2004 as an insert with my 'A Century in Stone' DVD. I went to inordinate lengths and obscure sources far and wide over several years to create it. Such a list had never existed before. I never made it available electronically which means they can have only re-typed it. They even had the audacity to include "unreserved apologies for any errors / omissions". Errors and omissions by who? Me when I created it or them when they ripped it off?! They did however glaringly omit one name and that had 'Copyright 2004' next to it. They trusted the integrity of all my research but didn't have the integrity to ask my permission to use it and credit me?! To tarnish something virtuous with such deceit is a disgrace. ERA should hang their heads in shame. The memory of these men deserves so much better.