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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Help buy a headstone for Sal Madge

THE gravestone of one of Whitehaven’s most famous characters is set to be replaced – and residents are being asked to donate money towards it.

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wrecked: The former stone

The Sal Madge Headstone Fund has been jointly set up by keen historian Tony Lowrey and monumental stonemason Clive Hasley.

It has been launched after posts on numerous Facebook groups, set up by local resident Mark Shackley, about the history of Whitehaven.

Mr Lowrey said people have commented on the historic gravestone of Sal Madge, which was destroyed in July 2010. Vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage at Low Road cemetery by smashing up five headstones, including Sal Madge’s memorial which was put up by the Friends of Whitehaven Museum in 1993.

Mr Lowrey said that if enough donations are received, a replica of the headstone will be made. If a smaller amount is collected, a plaque may be created instead.

He said: “It will cost between £1,500 and £1,700 to replace the headstone and a further £101 for five years’ insurance. The headstone will be a replica of the previous one which was smashed into seven pieces. It is beyond repair.

“People can donate as little or as much as they want to the fund – it will all be going to a good cause.”

Sal is one of Whitehaven’s most famous characters and was one of the last women to work at the pits. She was born in a workhouse in Penrith in 1831 but lived and worked most of her life in Whitehaven. She died a pauper in 1899 but huge crowds attended her funeral.

To donate to The Sal Madge Headstone Fund, contact Clive Hasley, 16 Newtown, Whitehaven, Cumbria or ring 01946 66202. Alternatively contact Tony via Facebook or on 01946 67823.

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