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Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Memorial marks mining tragedies

The history of mining is one that features tragedy
A memorial to miners who died and were injured in colliery disasters in south Wales has been unveiled by actor Glyn Houston.

Mr Houston - star of Softly Softly and The Rescuers - led the tributes to the thousands of miners who died and suffered during 150 years of mining in the south Wales coalfields.

The monument at Rhondda Heritage Park was commissioned by friends of the park and takes the form of a six-foot tall replica miners' lamp.

It features an "eternal flame" and is set on a six foot plinth made from local Pennant stone, close to the former pithead of the Lewis Merthyr Colliery, at Trehafod, near Porth.

Friends' group secretary Martin Doe said the idea had begun with a book of remembrance to list the names of all those who had been killed in accidents.

Dedication

"Research proved difficult and it became impossible to make a reliable list of all those involved, although 9,000 names were obtained," said Mr Doe.

"It was calculated that the total might have reached well over 30,000.

"The committee thought again and came up with the idea of a memorial in theform of a miner's lamp and the dedication was widened to include all those who not only through accident but disease and otherwise."

Rhondda-born Mr Houston was joined at the ceremony by Rhondda Heritage Park director Mick Payne and the Lewis Merthyr Band.

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24 Apr 00 | Talking Point
Is the coal industry worth saving?
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