Navvies Memorial

The Navvies Memorial in the grounds of Otley Parish Church was built to commemorate the lives lost during the construction of the 2.14-mile-long Bramhope Tunnel in 1845-49. I suspect that the grandeur of this monument is alien to the standard of living many of those men were used to. The text on the plaque cites the Lord Jesus’ words about the eighteen who died when the tower of Siloam collapsed, and urges the reader:

“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish

Every grave, every memorial, every tombstone should serve as a blunt reminder of our own mortality and pending summons to judgement. Atheism is a convenient defence against such a doom, but it will fail us when the hour comes.