Thousand remember Senghenydd mining disaster
10:30am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of residents from Senghenydd and beyond turned out to witness the unveiling of the first National Mining Memorial.
A day of activities and presentations marked 100 years since the worst mining disaster in British history, where 439 miners and a rescuer died at the village’s Universal colliery.
The colliery pit hooter, used on the day of the tragedy, was sounded at 8.10am to mark exactly a century since the tragedy.
The Aber Valley Heritage Group, chaired by Jack Humphreys, was mainly responsible for the building of the memorial. It features a statue, a wall of remembrance, a ‘path of memory’ with tiles dedicated to each of 152 mining disasters that have occurred across Wales, and a memorial garden.
Lindsay Whittle AM was brought up in the area and lost his great-grandfather in the 1913 disaster.
He said: “(The hooter) was chilling, haunting, and very moving indeed. There were a few tear,s I can tell you.
“Everyone’s very proud of the committee and the work they have done – it’s outstanding.
“We deserve something like this. We come down here every year to remember those who lost their lives – this will ensure that we will never forget them.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones, who laid a wreath, said: “I am delighted we have been able to provide funding to support this (memorial).
“The Senghenydd tragedy has come to symbolise the dangers and sacrifices made by those who went underground in search of coal, but never returned home.
“It is fitting that this should be the location for a memorial dedicated to all the miners who have died in mining disasters across our nation.”
Harry Andrews, leader of Caerphilly council, said he was honoured to be at the ceremony, remembering the men and boys who lost their lives.
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