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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Miners honoured on pit memorial
The memorial being erected
The memorial includes the names of those who died at Windsor Colliery
A memorial honouring miners who lost their lives working in a south Wales valleys pit has been unveiled.

The names of 154 men have been engraved onto a specially commissioned monument which will stand at the former Windsor Colliery in Abertridwr, Caerphilly.

They lost their lives during the pit's 89-year working life, including six who died in 1902 when a platform fell.

Windsor Colliery is near the former Universal Colliery, in Senghennydd, where 520 miners died in two disasters.

The accidents in 1901 and 1913 made international news and overshadowed the losses at Windsor Colliery but members of the community have worked in order for those men to be remembered in the form of a monument.

Senghennydd Action Linking Together (Salt) were instrumental in the efforts to provide a permanent reminder of the tragedies at Windsor.

Research work to find the names of those who died at the mine has been hampered as few records remain, unlike those kept for the Universal.

On 1 June, 1902, nine miners were working on deepening the mine shaft when the platform they were working on collapsed throwing them into 25 ft of water below.

Three escaped by clinging onto debris but the rest perished.

Research

Noel Griffiths who worked at Windsor for 31-years researched the names of those who died at the site.

"I thought it was going to be an easy task but I was in for a big surprise," he said.

"The names of those who were killed there was good up until 1914 when the first world war started.

"Then right through until the end of the second world war wasn't so good - the details were very thin."

With help from former miners at the pit including a 94-year-old local man, Mr Griffiths managed to collate the names of about 90 miners who died at the pit.

He also used newspaper archives which were stored in Bargoed library to locate the names of a further 50 and he even travelled to Swansea University where he found records of two more deaths.

In total there are 154 names on the monument, but he admits there could be more.

"There is a gap of about 20 years where no accidents are recorded," he said.

Time capsule

Funding was secured by the Communities First project and heritage body, Herian for a monument to be built at the site.

The memorial holds a time capsule filled with items and memories from local residents and school children.

The names of all those who died has been carved onto the memorial.

A dedication ceremony and the unveiling of the monument took place on Wednesday at 1830 BST.

Ex-miners who worked at the pit have been invited as well as local politicians, members of the community and school children.

"It will be interesting for them to open up the time capsule in 100-years time and see what they make of it then," said Mr Griffiths.




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