#158 – Bargoed Colliery 1977 Part 2

 More from Bargoed. I’ve always thought that colliery headstocks / headgears are massively symbolic, more than any other industrial structure. Their great height meant they loomed over their communities as a constant reminder to everyone of their working lives.

This selection of photos is about men and machines. The industrial revolution resulted in a huge demand for coal, and pits became increasingly mechanised, but they ultimately relied on manual labour to work in or on the seams, and this meant hot, hard, dirty and dangerous work.

Not too bad if you can walk round, but narrow seams required the miners to be in their hands and knees and from my experience of crawling round an old mine under Winter Hill in Bolton, I know how hard that is! 5 hours of that and I was physically exhausted, and I wasn’t even digging coal! Allied to the ever present dangers of collapse and explosions, this was not an easy life, and it is easy to look at these photos through rose tinted spectacles, ignoring the after effects of silicosis and vibration injuries.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Traven says:

    The above carries the same photos as you and then some more. It also discusses more modern developments, such as a bypass that now passes through the site.

    I lived in Bargoed for three years back in the 1960s and delivered newspapers to miners from that and other local collieries. A generous bunch they were. I like Bargoed people immensely. I have been back in recent years and the spirit still seems to live on. The valley looks a lot greener these days. I live abroad, but I reckon life in the valleys is as good as anywhere in the world. if not better! I could and would live there again.


    1. andy says:

      Thanks for the comments, and thanks for the link also. I scanned the photos from a Finnish book, but as I don’t speak a word of Finnish, none of the captions meant anything to me! Interesting to get some insight from someone with some local knowledge.


  2. Des Jones says:

    I worked there as a apprentice electrician 67-70
    I worked in the S5 face on nights regular in 74 as a supplies man
    These photos bring back strong memories of how the layout once was
    I can see from the photo of the man walking up the path past what we called the Dusty which was a flour mill that was demolished prior to this photo, you can see where it was sited near the steps by the pit entrance
    On this photo I can recognise what was the electric shop and next door the Winding house,it was a electric winder unlike Elliots colliery in New Tredegar which was steam,that is still existing as a museum
    Great memories,thanks for the presentation
    Des Aberbargoed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      Thanks for commenting on the post with your recollections Des, glad it brought back some memories for you.


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