and there may have been other changes of ownership etc. Mining brought prosperity to the Rhondda without doubt; but it brought darkness to the valley too: truly a valley of the shadow of death. Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the mine’s new owners had 3,162 men on their books and underground. With water flowing in fast from a neighbouring, abandoned pit, the men’s only hope of survival was to keep their heads above the current. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. For workers at the Great Western colliery in Hopkinstown, the date might have given a hint of foreboding. When fire broke out at the Great Western colliery on 11 April 1893 – 125 years ago today – … Since then she had dreaded to think of the future and was always pleased when her husband was at home. The fifth hero was an intelligent district fireman called Thomas Rosser, aged only 23, who realised at an early stage in proceedings that smoke and noxious fumes endangered the lives of the 72 men who were working on the Four-foot seam. The Four-foot seam was enlarged, as were the Five-foot and Nine-foot seams. Even then, these gasping, dehydrated, exhausted, and improbable survivors had to wait for a cage to descend the shaft to take them to safety. At its peak, in 1913, it provided employment for a quarter of a million miners capable of extracting 57 million tons of the mineral annually – a fifth of Britain’s total. The explosion at the Moorfield pit in November 1883 must have left the East Lancashire countryside looking like a war zone. Zone 3. 1872 Ackers and Whitley began to develop the Bickershaw Colliery at Plank Lane, Westleigh. List of miners killed in the 1938 disaster who were buried in Barlborough . The whole trek – the sort of miracle usually seen only in a Hollywood movie – took over three hours. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Colin Gee-Pemberton. Man City beat Olympiacos 3-0 in the Champions League but two of Pep Guardiola's subs didn't go to plan as a result of the late goals. 49 August - November 2008 YOUR HERITAGE £ 1 in partnership with Wigan Council 100thAnniversary MaypolePit Five did not, however. 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Peel wants to bring the long-vacant site back into use by building a mixture of detached and semi-detached properties, although the exact design and layout will be subject to a further planning application. Pemberton Colliery, which closed in 1959, is allocated for employment use under Wigan’s Local Plan. At the Great Western, the Hetty shaft was closed in 1926. The location of the artwork dedicated to Colin can been seen here. We are always looking for people to join our friendly project working group and volunteer team. GEE-PEMBERTON – In loving memory of a dear husband and daddy, COLIN GEE-PEMBERTON, Barlboro’ who lost his life in the Markham Disaster, 10th May 1938. The former industrial zone is now a green lung near Dusseldorf, Nature has begun to reclaim the land around it, The land around the mine is now a kind of park, Zollverein's main shaft has become the symbol of the area, Guided tours of a coal mine are more interesting than you'd think, Zollverein's been transformed into an event space for locals. From early in the 19th century, the coalfield of southern Wales grew to be the richest in the UK. Labour was plentiful, non-unionised; and crucially, that workforce was replaceable. – From his Sisters and Brother, The Tymawr shaft was then declared out of bounds for other rescuers. In that same year, the Port of Cardiff alone exported 11 million tons of top quality coal. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. If you have any information to contribute to the research please contact us. Instead, he became disorientated in the midst all the smoke and heat and lurched forward as if to leave the cage prematurely. Pemberton Colliery, which closed in 1959, was the site of two mining disasters where explosions killed nine workers in 1830 and 36 men and boys in 1877. Crowds await news at the Universal Colliery in Senghenydd, Robert Thomas’s commemorative statue to the miners of the Rhondda was unveiled a century after the Great Western disaster, A coal miner at work at a colliery in Northumberland circa 1961. After a first sale of Gyfeillion in 1854, the Great Western Railway took a controlling interest, hence the mine’s poetic name ever since, although ownership reverted to Calvert for a time.