Oil gilding.

Signs by Umberto was hired to sign write a memorial near Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

The memorial is a pit winding wheel sat on a base. The wheel [memorial] is situated at what was once the entrance to the South Yorkshire coal mining pit Cadeby Main.

On one side of the wheel is the makers mark stamped into the cast steel including a monogram, all of which was gilded in 23c loose gold leaf.



The opposite side - the side that faced the entrance to where the pit once stood had the name of the pit including opening and closure dates gilded again in 23c loose gold leaf.


It was an honour to work on this memorial and to have the sig writing proudly on show for the local community to pay respect to those who lost their lives working at Cadeby Main pit. The history of it's disaster: In the early hours of 9 July 1912, a huge explosion ripped through Cadeby Main Colliery near Doncaster, killing 35 of the 37 miners working in that section of the pit. Hours later at the height of the rescue operation a second, more violent blast resulted in the deaths of another 53 men. Three other miners died later, bringing the total death toll to 91. However, the scale of the tragedy would have been much worse had it not been for the fact that the explosion occurred a day after the local community had turned out for a major royal visit.


On Monday 8 July 1912, King George V and Queen Mary had visited nearby Conisbrough Castle, an event attended by hundreds of miners from Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries and their families. Many of the miners took an unofficial day's holiday for the royal visit, which meant only 117 reported for work on the Monday night shift. The previous week, 450 miners had clocked on. At 01:30 on Tuesday a methane and coal dust explosion occurred in the pit's South District. A miner working at the end of the district was knocked off his feet and contacted two colleagues in another area to come and investigate. Senior mining officials joined the Cadeby and Denaby Main rescue teams and volunteers to head underground to recover the victims of the explosion.After inspecting the South District and finding several bodies they contacted the surface of the mine and informed them of the explosion. The emergency procedure was put into action. But at 11:30 a second explosion occurred, killing every member of the rescue teams and most of the volunteers. That evening, King George V and Queen Mary visited the pit head and vast crowds were reported to have been moved by the appearance of the royal couple. Despite the terrible impact the events had on the local community, it was not until 2010 that two former Cadeby miners realised there was no memorial to all those who had died in the disaster. The Cadeby Main Colliery Memorial Group was formed in 2009 to raise funds for permanent memorials in Denaby and Conisbrough Cemeteries, where most of the victims are buried.





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Signs by Umberto

Traditional signwriter based between West Yorkshire and Manchester specialising in reverse glass signs and gold leaf application.

All work © of Robert Walker - owner of Signs by Umberto.

Artwork except Knuckle on the pages Record Sleeves and Reading are not the work of Signs by Umberto and are on display only to showcase the inspiration to the sign writing.

All images copyright of Robert Walker 2017