Ackworth Grit, and the true cost of the nation's wealth
The wealth of my home village of Ackworth in part originated from the local stone quarries.
The other day, I was at a Memorial Service, remembering those that have lost their lives in the Ackworth Quarries. It was here that 14 men – including a 13 year old boy – were tragically killed.
The memorial, which is made of stone, bears the names of each of the men who died. It was wonderful that the volunteers of the Ackworth heritage group made the memorial possible.
And on the memorial you can see many well-known Ackworth surnames, families who remain here to this day. But there are also names of men who came to work in the local quarries from all over the country.
The quarry site is where the local Co-op is now. And you can see the memorial on the green not far from the road.
Many of the houses locally are built from the quarried stone. In fact the wall that surrounds my house is built with such stone. Although the stone is quite soft and used to build houses and walls, it also has other uses.
When it is broken up, it becomes gritty and was used as an abrasive all around the world.
But this got me thinking about how people in Yorkshire are described as “gritty”.
At the end of the ceremony it was said that the price of stone was measured in pounds, shillings and pence.
But the true cost of grit can only be counted in the lives of men who died.
Ackworth’s wealth was partly created through the grit that was produced, by gritty Yorshiremen whose lives we should never forget.