Fuelling Britain

Last week I showed you this picture…

…of the Point of Ayr Gas Terminal on the North Wales coast.  This is where gas, being pumped out from under Liverpool Bay, is brought ashore. 

But take a look at the surrounding land.  The weed strewn areas of tarmac indicate that there used to be something else here.

Point of Ayr has a long history of fuelling Britain. The gas terminal opened in 1995, just before the closure of the Point of Ayr coal mine in 1996.

Coal mining began here in the 19th century.  In 1896 there were two shafts and the mine employed 356 men.  By the middle of the 20th century a further shaft was added, and the workforce had increased to 738. 

Pit ponies were used to help bring the coal to the surface.  Much of it was then loaded onto ships to be transported to where it was needed.

Notice how close the sea is.  The mine shafts were on the land, but once at the bottom, the mine extended out underneath the seabed.

Today, next to the gas terminal, nature is reclaiming the site.  Point of Ayr has a nature reserve and you can explore via the Welsh coast path and cycle route. 

There are just a few reminders of the coal mining past and a few clues that this place was a hive of activity until quite recently…

…such as this quite modern looking footbridge over the now disused branch from the railway line.