Armed with my new 35mm camera I wandered down to Pengam, Mon. railway station (long since gone)and stood on the footbridge just below the entrance to Pengam Housecoal. Inside the colliery gate I remember seeing the pit canteen where my Grandfather would sometimes buy me a Walls icecream (greaseproof paper wrapper) at a time when most things were only available on Ration Cards.
Anyway, as I was standing on the bridge a coal train came down the line from the Britannia colliery and it stopped to take on water just below me.
I cry when I see the poor quality of these prints but I was young then and unable to get the best from the negatives.
Negatives? All of this has long gone and only these tatty 8 x 10 prints have survived.
I'm sure I've more photos somewhere and when I come across them I'll add them here with these low reolution copies.
This was a damp and dismal day and I took refuge underneath the coal hoppers alongside the railway line just in time to see this passenger train nearing Pengam, Mon. station from the south.
Then it was possible to travel to Newport for about 3s. 6d. (return) passing through Maesycwmmer, Bedwas and Machen.
I should have taken more notice and taken more photographs but then you don't do you?
The steam trains would always be there, wouldn't they?
My Grandfather (who had recently retired) took me on a visit to Pengam Housecoal and I took my new camera.
We came across this miner who was waiting to start his shift so my Grandfather insisted that he sat down there and then and have his photo taken. You can see by his Wellingtons just how wet and muddy the underground conditions were going to be.
I can't recall this collier's name and he never saw this photo so if you know the family I'll try and pass on a copy.
These colliers are standing at Pengam Housecoal colliery on a date unknown.
My maternal Grandfather William (Will) Farley is standing 4th. from the left in the front row. Many have commented on the lack of safety wear but that's how it was there at that time.
Hard to date but I guess 1947ish.
Somewhere I have a copy of a poem by Patrick (Pat) Maloney in which he names many of the miners working this pit at this time. If I find it I'll post it here so that others can enjoy reading it.
This is a black and white photo but as you can see it's badly creased and stained.
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Michael Steele, Blackwood, Tel. 01443 831512
except for some images from unknown sources which have been rescued,
held and preserved for historical reasons.