National mining memorial to be unveiled today
At around 8.10am on October 14, 1913, a huge explosion ripped through Senghenydd’s Universal Colliery.
The UK’s worst mining disaster took the lives of 439 men and boys working underground plus the life of a rescuer.
The Wales National Mining Memorial will be unveiled on Monday October 14, 100 years since the tragedy, and will commemorate the lives lost in 1913 and other Welsh mining disasters through the years.
The memorial will consist of a garden, designed by Stephanie Wilkins, a wall of 521 tile naming each victim of the 1913 and 1901 Senghenydd disasters and a bronze statue depicting a miner and a rescuer. The tiles and statue have been created by artist Ned Haywood and sculptor Les Johnson respectively.
A dedication service will be held at 11.30am in a newly instated landscaped Memorial Garden.
In the evening, bell-ringers at St Martin’s Church in Caerphilly town will attempt to ring the church’s eight bells in a way normally reserved for Remembrance Sunday.
The ringers will attempt to ring a peal of all 5,040 possible combinations of all of the church’s bells.
The evening tributes, beginning at 5.45pm, will see a ‘promenade performance’ by Striking Attitudes Dance Company followed by a children and adult lantern parade from adjacent to Nant-y-Parc Primary School to the new Memorial garden. The evening tributes will come to a close with a short service.
Jack Humphreys, Chairman of the Aber Valley Heritage Group, said: “It has been a hundred years since the disaster at the Universal Colliery, but the impact that the explosion had on this small mining community is still felt today.
“We hope the event planned for Monday October 14 is a fitting tribute to the victims of the explosions in Senghenydd and mining disasters across Wales.”