Laser Etched Slate Plaques erected in Ogmore Vale Primary School containing names of all the Miners killed in the Ogmore Valley Coalfield from 1865 to 1984.
On Friday the 14th May 2004, in Ogmore Vale Primary School, the Culmination of many years research and several months planning came to fruition when the “Ogmore Valley Miners Memorial”, consisting of sixteen A2 sized slate plaques, laser etched with the names of every man and boy killed in the collieries of the Ogmore Valley, was unveiled and dedicated. The date was deliberately chosen and significant in that on 14th May 1888 not more than 200 yards away on the Aber Mountain in Aber No 2 Colliery, (above the present-day Aber Farm) five men lost their life in an explosion, which was to equal the worst loss of life in a single accident in an Ogmore Valley Colliery.
The Ogmore Valley Local History and Heritage Society believe that this Memorial is possibly unique in the UK as it names all the men and boys killed in every working colliery in the complete history of the Valley’s coal industry. It would be true to say that, even after many years research, we fully believe that there may be names out there we haven’t yet unearthed. (At the time of writing we now know of five more fatalities we were unaware of at the time of the dedication of the memorial).
At 2pm prompt, silence fell amongst the invited guests, which were headed by Mrs Edwina Hart, M.B.E. A.M., Minister for Social Regeneration, Mrs Janice Gregory A.M., Assembly Member for Ogmore, Mr. Tyrone O`Sullivan, representative of Tower Colliery, (last deep mine in South Wales), representatives of every South Wales Mining Organisation, Dinas Mines Rescue Service, all uniformed rescue services, including the Police and Ambulance services, the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council and all the valley`s County Councillors, the chairman and the council of Ogmore Vale Community Council and the heads, governors and children of the three schools connected with the valley.
It was with the kind permission of Mr Paul Booth N.P.Q.H., head of Ogmore Vale Primary School that we were able to site this important project within the school and it was then fitting that Paul started the proceedings with a short welcoming address.
This was followed with a sparkling performance by the ladies of the Ogmore Valley Ladies choir who sang a melody of songs including the “Lords Prayer” and “As Long As I Have Music”. Pastor Brian Dallimore, of Christchurch, Ogmore Vale, ensured that the proceedings flowed with seamless perfection, despite our best efforts of changing the proceedings at the last minute, with Brian’s first duty being to introduce Mr. Harry Radcliffe of Nantymoel, who as the Society’s oldest surviving miner, was given the honour of unveiling the plaques, an honour Harry was only too glad to accept.
The Ogmore Valley Male Voice Choir then performed “Nant-y-Mynydd” to precede Mrs Edwina Hart`s address to the assembled guests, which was then ably followed by the children of the Ogmore Vale Primary School Choir singing “Gwlad y Gan” and Nantymoel Primary School Choir singing “Abba, Fe`th Addolwn”. Each choir gave a magnificent rendition of their chosen songs and were a credit to their schools and families, and rightly deserved the magnificent applause they duly received.
Reverend Kevin Lake of St. David`s Church, Wyndham performed the service to dedicate the plaques, which was followed by a heart-rending performance of “Take Me Home” by the Ogmore Valley Male Voice choir, which in turn was followed at the lectern by Mr. Bert Jones, who then gave a moving address on behalf of the Society. The Ogmore Valley Male Voice choir then concluded with yet another excellent performance, their final song being “Gwahoddiad”.
Pastor Brian Dallimore then delivered a closing address summing up to the day’s events perfectly, with the whole event finished off with the entire assembled audience singing the Welsh National anthem.
The result is that the Valley now has a magnificent memorial to all the miners, both men and boys that have laid down their lives to win what for many centuries was the very life blood of this country, with an added bonus for the society, being that the memorial will not only be used as a standard for several other “Miners Memorials” now in the planning stages but will also be used as a teaching resource for many generations of the valley`s future heritage, which are its children.
For more information go to: http://www.ovlhs.btik.com/p_Campaign.ikml
For a full list of the miners killed go to our website: http://www.ovlhs.btik.com/documents/2481068911.ikml
or contact the secretary, Huw Daniel (firstname.lastname@example.org)