We spent the day talking to locals and capturing 3D portraits at Glyncorrygw.
Glyncorrygw is a lovely isolated village at the end of the Afan Valley and surely one of the most wellcoming parts of Wales.
We were offered the use of Glyncorrygw Rugby Club as a base for the day. Our aim was to try and expand on the experince of women in Welsh coalmining. Coal was the mainstay of the locals, and just about every male worked in Glyngorrwg’s South Pit.
Elenor Lee and Jennifer Thomas talked of their love for the valley but also highlighted the perspective the wives and daughters of miners had on the industry.
Whilst the the men were slaving away underground they had the added burden of the worry; worry that the dreaded colliery hooter would sound, signifying the untimely and often horrific end of a life for one of the men in the community. Whilst the hardship and danger brought the men together as a band of brothers, who revelled in comeraderie, the women spent a lot of time worrying.
We also had the pleasure to meet Wayne Pendrick, a Welsh-speaking miner from Abernant Colliery. Wayne, a passionate Welshman, recounted ammusing stories from Welsh speaking mines, as well as how the ’84 miners strike opened his eyes to politics, “millitancy” and gross distortions in a the press and media he once trusted.
The audio and visuals will form part of the “Kings of The Underground”exhibition in The National Waterfront Museum.
A big thanks to Glyncorrygw Rugby Club and especially ex-miner and Rugby Club Sec. John Thomas and his daughter Jo for helping arrange the visit and sharing his mining stories. – ends