Universal Colliery Disaster remembered at Senghenydd
The 99th anniversary of the Universal Colliery Disaster in Senghenydd was marked on Monday with the release of hundreds of black balloons.
The Aber Valley community gathered at a special memorial service outside Nant-y-Parc Primary School, on the site of the colliery, to honour the men and boys who lost their lives.
In total 521 black balloons were released represented the 440 who lost their lives in the 1913 disaster and the 88 who perished in the earlier explosion in 1901.
Reverend Sue Rees, of St Peters and St Cenydd, and Captain Paula Hubbard, of the Salvation Army, led the service.
Pupils from Cwmaber Infant and Junior Schools, Ysgol Ifor Bach and Nant-y-Parc Primary School performed moving musical tributes to those who died, and the Head Boy and Girl of St Cenydd School read a poem that was written by a local woman after the disaster. Flowers were also laid on the memorial.
Cllr Harry Andrews, Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, paid his respects at the memorial service.
He said: “Each year we remember those men and boys who were killed in the Universal Colliery disasters a century ago. 99 years after the 1913 disaster it is still evident that the two Universal Colliery explosions completely devastated the communities in the Aber Valley. The new memorial, which is due to be in place by the centenary of the 1913 disaster next year, will further commemorate those who tragically lost their lives in the two explosions.”
A Welsh National Mining Memorial is to be built on the site with a Memorial Wall with the names, age and address of each victim of the Universal Colliery disasters, a sculpture and a memorial garden.
For more information about the plans and development of the new mining memorial visit www.abervalleyheritage.co.ukFollow @CaerphillyObsvr