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Mining disaster to be remembered at upcoming memorial service

A remembrance service will be held at Parc Slip Nature Reserve on Thursday 26 August to commemorate the 129th anniversary of the Parc Slip Colliery disaster.

An explosion at the colliery in 1892 tragically saw 112 men and boys lose their lives as well as 16 pit ponies.

Their lives will be remembered at a special ceremony at the site, now a thriving nature reserve, on Thursday at 8.15am. The short service will take place at the recently enhanced memorial area of the southern end of the reserve.

Parc Slip Colliery closed in 1904 and remained as a derelict area of old coal tips until British Coal Opencast started removing the old coal tips and mining the remaining coal reserves in the 1960s. Restoration of the land began in the early 1980s with the backfilling of the opencast mine.

In 1994, the Coal Board built the Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre for educational purposes on the site. It is now a base for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales which has transformed the former open cast coal mine into a nature reserve made up of wildflower meadows, grassland, woodland, and wetlands.

In 2019, Parc Slip was allocated £400,000 by Welsh Government Valleys Taskforce for creating a range of facilities and carrying out works to enhance the overall visitor experience after becoming part of the Valleys Regional Park.

The work, carried out by local contractors in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust and The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, included the creation of a memorial path naming all the people involved on that fateful date in 1892, reclamation and restoration of an original dram, a new handcrafted wooden bench featuring a pit pony and miner, a new colour information panel, a wildflower meadow area, and an audio u-turn machine which tells the story of the day’s events in 1892. The memorial itself was built in 1992 by the voluntary Parc Slip Memorial Committee.

The Parc Slip Colliery disaster was a tragic event in south Wales’ history and it is important that we continue to commemorate it and pay tribute to those brave men and boys who lost their lives on that day in 1892.

The recent Valleys Regional Park investment has helped to enhance the nature reserve and preserve the memory of the industry which was so vital to the surrounding area and its people.

Councillor Stuart Baldwin, Cabinet Member for Communities

The Valleys Regional Park has been supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and seeks to make the most out of the wealth of natural, cultural and heritage assets in South Wales.

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