This was the question Wakefield Council posed to Audio Trails Ltd with the launch event fast approaching. A year earlier Wakefield Council had successfully applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a project that celebrated the lives of the men who worked at Lofthouse Colliery from 1873 until 1981. Exactly one hundred years after it opened seven men lost their lives when three million gallons of sludge and water from old mine workings inundated the workface.

Lofthouse Colliery was not only a nationally known pit it was the lifeblood of the community. As a result the Lofthouse Colliery Action Group had been busy recording interviews with ex-miners and collecting old images. Four new panels were also to be installed on site, but there was something missing – something that would bring the site to life.

The answer was a GPS-triggered app that takes visitors to the site of the overground buildings and triggers location-specific multimedia content. At each stop you can hear the tales of the ex-miners – the Lofthouse Family – and view their photographs. The app, produced in just four weeks, contains poignant along with amusing stories from the ex-miners who recall the exploits of their daily lives and their first hand experiences of that fateful day in 1973 when disaster struck.

At the launch event on the 30th November 2013 Sue Worrall, Countryside Officer Wakefield Council, commented that, “Audio Trails Ltd were fantastic to work with, from the initial idea to the final product. Not only have they done exactly what we asked, but they’ve added so much more, with your many creative ideas.”

Sue added, “The community group enjoyed their visits to the site, and we are all delighted with the finished app. It’s great to be able to share the miners’ memories not only with people visiting the site, but with others around the world too!”

Download the free iOS and Android apps

Audio Trails Ltd have produced a suite of heritage apps for sites across England and Wales, take a look at their showcase.

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