Blaenavon in old picture postcards

Blaenavon in old picture postcards

:   Roger Bowen
:   Torfaen
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2269-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Blaenavon in old picture postcards'

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.Blaenavon Works. liIom .. outh:;hire.


19. An aerial view taken in 1922 and showing the massive scale of the B1aenavon works at the Forge Side site. By this time steel was beginning to decline greatly in importance. The B1aenavon Cernpany's profits were affected in the closing years of the 19th century by industrial unrest and economie slump. Profits varied grearly between ±:6,800 in 1893 and ±:84,000 in 1906. By the second decade ofthe 20th century, ho wever, the boom in coal had the effect of offsetting the decline in the steel industry, thus arresting for a time the fall in Blaenavon's fortunes.

20. What is apparent1y an idyllic country scene at Lamb Row in the first decade of the century can be constrasted with the picture on the opposite page, which shows the same cottages dwarfed by the massive Blaenavon Company works at the 'New Side'. Vet even in the former scene, we are reminded of the town's industry by the ladle slag tip seen to the right of the trees.

21. Blaenavon steelworks at the 'New Side'. This picture was taken at approximately the same time as the one opposite. Lamb Row, seen in the lower half of the photograph, is more correctly known as Aaron Brute's Row; it was named after the owner of the nearby coallevel. Also visible is the iron bridge over the Afon Lwyd (or 'Grey River'). The Afon Lwyd was colloquially known as 'The Black Rivet', because it was formerly polluted by coal waste.

22. The syrnbol of Blaenavon's prosperity in the first decades of the 20th century: a young coal miner. Seen here in 1903, at the age of thirteen years and on his first day 'down the pit', is William Philby. Although he Iived until weil into his eighties, he eventua1ly died of pneumoconiosis - 'the dust' (the disease that killed many miners).

23. A general view of Big Pit, which has now been made into a mining museum. The decline in iron in the mid 19th century caused the Blaenavon Company to turn to coal in order to bolster profits. The pit was sunk in 1860, and it is over 95 metres deep. At the height of the coal boom, in Edwardian times, the town produced half a million tons per year; it was a time when half of the coal mined in Wales was exported. Blaenavon's quality steam coal was ideal for both railway and stearnship use.

24. The First Brigade, Blaenavon Mine Rescue Team, seen here in 1911. The team played a vital part in the valley mining community during the early years of the century, when dangerous conditions led to many tragic accidents. Local author Harry Taylor is on the far left, front row.

25. Opened in 1843, Milfraen Colliery was originally independent of the Blaenavon Company, It was the scene of a disaster which killed nine men in 1929. The wooden headframe ofthe winding gear eau be seen in this picture, taken in 1910.

26. Above: This picture shows the long wait at Milfraen Colliery following the accident in 1929, which caused its closure. Doctor Crowe, the figure in thc raincoat, was a highly respected Blaenavon practitioner of the time. The life of the Welsh mining valley doctor was described in A.J. Cronin's book 'The Citadel'. Scenes from this work were recently filmed for BBC Television at Blaenavon's Big Pit.

Below: A funeral at Upper New Rank. It is believed to be that of one of the victims of the Milfraen Colliery disaster.

27. A group of miners at Garn Pits, Garn-yr-erw, on the 21st of June 1890. The Garn was one of several pits then being worked in the Blaenavon area. Note the dress of the miners in this photograph. The 'gaffers' can be recognised by their bowler hats, and all the underground workers carry naked lights in their helmets for illumination (th is was before the introduetion of safety lamps). Note also th at many of the boys carry 'water jacks' and food boxes for refreshment during the long hours underground.

28. Above: A steam-driven coal wagon of a type very unusual to modern eyes, It is seen here in a photograph taken at the Coal Yard, Stable Row. The man at right is apparently in military uniform.

Below: Blaenavon steelworks at the New Side showing the blast furnaces and Pig Beds. Pig Iron derived its name from the similarity of the rows of moulds into which the molten metal was poured to suckling piglets.

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