This place has an amazing story, I was interested in seeing this place as it was the deepest and the last deep level mine to close in the UK so it had some history to start, Miners were on site and after asking them nicely they allowed me to take some photographs and one lovely fellow actually give us a quick tour of the buildings explaining what was where and how things work! Really interesting!
These are where the old clean and dirty locker rooms were; the showers in between, ensuring the workers didn’t go home dirty after their shift!
This is a personal respirator which all the miners had, the numbers correlated with the lamp number each miner has and it was used in cased of emergencies fire etc.
In 2014, John Redwood, the Secretary of State for Wales in 1995, and also Director of Margaret Thatcher’s Number 10 Policy Unit 1983-85, wrote of the period of pit closures and Tower Colliery:
“At the end of the dispute I tried to get the government to offer the miners the right to work a pit the Coal Board claimed was uneconomic for themselves, as I was suspicious about some of the pits the Coal Board wished to close. I wanted a magnanimous aftermath. John Moore the privatization Minister worked up some proposals but they got into the press before they were fully thought through or cleared with the PM, so the whole idea was lost. It was not until I was in the Cabinet myself that I was able to help one group of miners do just that, at Tower Colliery. They demonstrated that free of Coal Board control it was possible, at least in their case, to run the pit for longer.”
It wasn’t the result they wanted during the mid 1990’s (Closure) the miners themselves banded together and brought the site and reopened it allowing money to be made for over a decade! Its no all too often that the workers prevail in a situation like this!
I would love to go back and capture a little more of it before its gone!
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