MORE than 100 people turned up - 111 years on - to commemorate one of the Bolton area's worst mining disasters.

Ex-colliers from across the former Lancashire coalfields observed the anniversary of the Pretoria Pit tragedy, just before Christmas.

Three hundred and forty-four miners, lost their lives in an explosion at the Hulton colliery in December 1910.

Former Bolton West MP Julie Hilling welcomed guests to the short ceremony at the memorial stone in Broadway, Over Hulton.

Rev Lynne Readett, a retired Unitarian and Free Church minister, was the master of ceremonies.

A poem, to the youngest blast victim, 13-year-old Frederick Stanley Houghton, written by Dave Dutton, was read out by Andrea Finney.

She also read out 'Sombre Christmas', another reflective poem, later, and Corrie Shelley delivered a song called 'Johnny'.

Jim Berry, of the Houghton Weavers, gave a musical performance of The Pretoria Pit Disaster, a tribute to those lost, before wreaths were laid.

Another piece of music, again written by Dave Dutton, 'No Carols This Christmas', with Jim Berry and Corrie Shelley giving a duet, rounded off the gathering, with Mrs Hilling thanking all those who took part.

The Friends of Agecroft Colliery, representatives of the National Union of Mineworkers' Lancashire and Sutton Manor branches, were all in attendance.

A replica mine cart on railway tracks, funded in part by the Over Hulton Community Group and fashioned by a blacksmith at Astley Green Mining Musem, was unveiled by Metro Mayor at the Broadway site in 2018.

Ex-miner Tony Hogan, who has conducted tours around the old Hulton Colliery site, had previously found the rails in the ruins of the site

Another memorial stands to the victims in Ditchfield Gardens, Westhoughton.

Newsreel footage of the aftermath of the disaster is still held in the archives of the British Film Institute.