Sunday, January 27, 2008


South Wales' last deep coal mine, Tower Colliery, (the only one in Britain to be owned by its workers) closed this week after 200 years of mining. The miners pooled their redundancy money to buy it after its first closure 13 years ago, providing jobs for hundreds of miners. Unfortunately the coal has now run out. But the mine’s chairman was confident that those miners who wanted to continue working will be able to find jobs at the local drift mines.

Miners and local people staged a celebratory parade to mark the closure of Tower Colliery just as they did when they bought it over 10 years ago. It’s hoped that the site of the mine will now be re-developed, ideally to create new jobs and houses for some of the local people, a fitting tribute for a local landmark.


Jackie said...

The Welsh miners have never had it easy. I remember the horror stories my Welsh Dad told me about children in the mines and also mine closure during the depression which left thousands starving and out of work.

Our mines are closed at the moment due to shortage of electricity. Being short of electricity as our economy has grown faster than electricity produced. Being a top gold exporter will have a terrible effect on the economy plus 450,000 miners with jobs at risk. It is estimated that each miner looks after an extended family of 11 on average with his salary so unless things can be sorted out we will be in major trouble.

I therefore, like the whole country have many blackouts. They are meant to be rolling but never stick to schedule so you are suddenly plunged into darkness or offline or your food left half cooked. Glad I don't have children.

Sandy Carlson said...

That's sad, interesting, and bittersweet. Perhaps some new, clean power source will generate jobs for these good folks. God bless!

Naomi said...

Yes that was a terrible time Jackie as so many people relied on the mine for their livelihood. I didn't realise that so many mines were being closed in South Africa. That will have a devastating effect on people's livelihoods and the economy. Didn't realise you had so many problem with the electricity and blackouts over there Jackie.

We can only hope and pray it does Sandy.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Back in 1987 I went into a coal mine museum in Wales called "Big Pit". I still have a postcard that says "Amgueddfa Lofaol" (which I think is Welsh for museum). Anyway we went down a coal mine shaft for the tour. I remember it being sooo cold down there

Naomi said...

I wouldn't fancy going down there myself Rick. I would imagine it would be quite claustrophic. I prefer to be in the open air myself. I've heard people say it gets very coal in the mines.