TWO services will be held to remember those who lost their lives in the Pretoria Pit Disaster.

Lancashire’s worst coal mining accident on December 21, 1910, claimed the lives of 344 men and boys.

St Bartholomew’s Church in Westhoughton, has held a service for more than 20 years to remember those who died.

But last year, Cllr Ryan Battersby organised a separate service at the statue of the lone miner in Ditchfield Gardens.

The service, which started at 7.40am, saw about 40 people brave the cold to pay tribute last year.

It was organised to give people who work a chance to remember those who died if they could not make the church service.

A neckerchief is tied around the neck of the statue.

Cllr Battersby, who is now Mayor of Westhoughton, said the anniversary of the Pretoria Pit Disaster was one of the things he was looking forward to most in his mayoral year.

When he became Mayor in May, he said: “I’m most looking forward to Remembrance Sunday and the anniversary for the Pretoria Pit Disaster, as I think it is very important that these events are continued to be remembered.”

The early morning service will again take place at the statue on Friday, December 21 at 7.40am. Maroons will be fired at 7.50am.

A service will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church in Westhoughton at 10am.

Wreaths will be laid at the Pretoria Pit monument following the service.