Ferndale pit explosion: 150 times on

Image copyright Le Monde Image caption Men being treated after the explosion

Wales may be a person built on coal, but it is also one built around tragedy.

And nowhere was this felt more than the Rhondda Valley.

During the industry’s heyday in the late 19 th and early 20 th Centuries, 53 cavities were settled in the region, and the 40,000 strong workforce lost innumerable lives to pit falls and accidents.

Miners knew that, at some point, their pit was likely to be visited by disaster.

And on Wednesday 8 November, 150 years ago in 1867, it was Ferndale’s time.

Total killed: 178 Children left fatherless: 145 Brides left widows: 67 Age of youngest scapegoat: 12 times Number killed aged under 18: 54 Image caption An artist’s mark of gang roundup at the Ferndale excavation Image caption A funeral procession, perhaps of mining scapegoats, through Ferndale in 1890 Image caption Griffith Jones( Griff Ffaldau) 1849 – 1919 with William Jones( Pilot Bach) born 1881 waiting to go underground at No 2& 4 Ferndale craters Image caption A photo of St Gwynno’s Church at Llanwonno, where many of the dead were hidden Image caption The gratuity at Ferndale was known as the ‘banana tip’ due to its chassis. Photo taken in 1978
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