A £50,000 statue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Ifton colliery in St Martins is taking shape.

The bronze statue, depicting a miner carrying a lamp with a pickaxe over his shoulder, will be sited at the Memorial Garden in November.

So far, £38,000 has been raised – and fundraisers are confident the outstanding cash will be forthcoming.

Sue Schofield, a parish councillor and one of the team behind the statue project, said: “Everything is going very well.

“We went to the Castle Fine Art Foundry in Llanrhaeadr Yn Mochnant last week to see the statue being cast in bronze – and we were all in awe of it. It’s very, very impressive. It is going to look amazing.

“It will be unveiled to the public on Saturday, November 24 at a special ceremony.

“In the morning there will be a commemoration service at the church when the names of all the people who died while working at the colliery will be read out.

“We will then go to the Memorial Garden where the Ifton Colliery Band will play before the statue will be unveiled by he last manager of the colliery – who is now 94 and living in Swansea – and former miner Terry Ellis.

“As the covering comes off, the original colliery hooter will be sounded.

“The statue will be facing into the gardens for the ceremony, but once it is all over, it will be moved so the miner will be looking in the direction of where the colliery once stood.” A series of fundraising events have left the kitty £12,000 short of the £50,000 target.

“We still have some money to come in and some promises of cash, which will take us to about £42,000,” said Mrs Schofield.

“We have some other ideas and projects and we are confident we will reach the total – although we could always do with some more help!”

A specially-struck Ifton Colliery medal is still available, which costs £25 and is on sale at Stans Superstore in St Martins. All the proceeds will go to the statue fund.

Mrs Schofield added: “We are always happy to speak to anyone who can help us reach our target.”

Mrs Schofield can be contacted on 01691 777710.