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BBC Wales's Melanie Doel
"Many banners are now being carefully preserved in museums"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 4 April, 2000, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Children re-create miners' banner
Children's banner
Children in Aberfan have designed a miners' banner
The traditional miners' banner - once a sign of strength and unity in a mining community - is making a comeback.

The demise of the south Wales coalfield has led to many being lost for good while others hang in museums.

But children from Aberfan have unveiled a new banner, the first of many that are being re-created by villages in the county of Merthyr.

Ironcially, it was spoil from the local colliery that caused the Aberfan disaster, but the children are looking to the future.


Children work on banner
Children at work on their traditional banner
The banner they designed will be used as a focal point for any community gathering.

The youngsters met with miners from Tower Colliery - the last deep mine in Wales.

Glyn Roberts, of Tower Colliery, said: "I've been in the industry for 35 years and I've seen three or four pits a year closing for all these years. Part of my heart died.

He added that banners would often not be seen again once the collieries closed.

The children in Aberfan were not even born when communities across south Wales joined forces to fight pit closures.

It is hoped that reviving the tradition of banners will help keep the history of the coalfields alive.

The miners' banner was a symbol of unity and also one of defiance as pits throughout Wales were closed one by one.

Many banners are being preserved in museums to make sure the tradition is never forgotten, while others have been lost forever.

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