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Photographer's Note

Like Monday, Sunday was a wet day too. No doubt South Wales has its fair share of sunshine, but somehow the wet grey day seemed to match my mental image of the place !

On this occasion though we were not thwarted by the weather as we were going underground at Pwll Mawr, or Big Pit, one of the last working coal mines in South Wales. Though now no longer producing coal, it has been made into a wonderful museum.

We went underground, down this lift shaft, just like countless thousands of miners would have done before us. A slightly eerie sensation, going as a tourist where so many, including children, have had to go just a earn a crust. One of the things I like least about tourism is this very sensation of voyeurism, though no doubt there is much for us to gain by better understanding what has gone before.

The valley in the background today looks green and verdant; in the days when the mine was at it peak, it would have been covered in dark slag heaps, and not at all as appealing. It was no doubt hard times, but times, you might gather from the museum, of great pride, great friendship and strong society.

Alternate view in WS



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Additional Photos by Martin Richter (MJR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 250 W: 69 N: 761] (3360)
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