Sunday, 14 October 2012

On this day in 1913......

.....there was an explosion at Senghenydd Colliery which took the lives of 439 miners (boys and men) plus 1 rescue worker. The entire area was devastated by the news. Although she did not live in Senghenydd, my grandmother did live nearby in Caerphilly and I remember her telling me about the effect it had on the South Wales mining communities. It was still very much part of our folklore when I was growing up.

The mine manager and the owners (who had previous form - 81 men had also died there in 1901, just 12 years earlier) were prosecuted and fined a paltry £24. This caused national outrage and newspapers of the time wrote that the life of a miner was worth just one shilling and a penny farthing. I guess that the outrage was scant compensation to the widows and children left behind.

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