Monday, April 30, 2007

Views through Britannia Colliery

Here are a some photos taken from the top of the tip looking down the valley.
This will be the route that the road will take to come into the park

Britannia Colliery

Here are a few photos of Britannia Colliery

I was talking to a gentleman today (Wed 30th May 2007) by the name of Les whose father was the first colliery worker to be issued with a "Hard Hat" at Britannia Colliery.
He has promised me a photo of his Dad just coming home from work before the pit head baths were installed. Will add it in as soon as I get it.

Health and safety would go nuts today, working in the mines without safety equipment.
Think of the volumes that the risk assessment would take for a mine worker today.
Now we know why they closed all the mines.
Not enough paper for all the risk assessments required!

Can anyone tell me what the tower in the centre of the photo above was for ?

2nd Phase

The Second phase of the reclamation was done by Nuttals
Photos to follow soon!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Construction of the River Tunnels

When the colliery was working the River Rhymney was diverted from it's original course to run through the colliery to be used to clean the coal.

As part of the reclamation a stretch of the river was to be tunnelled over. It had to be an exact amount of tunnel due to the fact that fish would not swim up through the tunnel to breed in the upper reaches of the river.

The walls for the new river course were constucted with hexegon slabs then faced with stone and massive concrete arches were constructed on site for the tunnels.

The river was then diverted back to run through the new course.

As I mentioned earlier in the blog the Rhymney River was in a terrible state when it was used to clean the coal from the colliery.

Nature is wonderful though, less than a decade later and you can see how clear the river is in the picture below

Here is a close up of the same photo and you can see to the bootom of the river.

First Phase Completed

These are two photos after the completion of Phase 1
You can get a good view of the new river walls

First Phase

Here are photos of the 1st phase of the tip reclamation
This phase was done by Walters

Here you can see where they hit a "Hot Spot"
where the centre of the tip was burning
and they had to drill down into the tip
to see how far the burning went

Summer and Autumn

Here are two photos taken from the same spot at different times of the year.
They are taken from on top of the tip looking down onto Tredegar Terrace.
With the school site behind


It was a very windy day when this one was taken

you can see how the trees were bending in the wind

More School Site Photos

These photos are not so good but I had to show them just for you to see how close the machines were to the houses in Tredegar Terrace, Duffryn Street and West View Villas the noise and dust must have been horrendous

The three story houses on the right of this photo have since been demolished and the area grassed over

Having a slight problem with the photos can't seem to get them in the order I want but will keep trying.
Here are a few more of the School site.

Aberbargoed Primary School Site

The site where the Aberbargoed Primary School is now was once a grassy bank where the local chapel "Caersalem" used to hold their Whit Sunday get together. Many school children used to play cricket and football there whatever the season and fad was. It was also where the old feeder reservoir for the colliery was. Thousands of gallons of water were in the reservoir and when the sluice gates were opened the water just dropped out. Kids used to swim in the res unconcerned about the dangers of being sucked down when the the res was drained and they were always being chased out by the colliery staff and police.

One story goes that a group of boys were skinny dipping in the res when the shout went up that the police were coming and they all run out only to find all the girls laughing as they had pinched their clothes and hid them and there were no police in sight.

These photos show the school site being built up using the waste from the tip.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Demolishing of Bargoed Colliery

Here are a few photos of the actual demolishing
of the colliery

The photo alongside is of the river wall collapse
This was after the colliery had been demolished but before any reclamation had started.
As you can see from the waste tip in the background with all it's trees intact.
You can also see the old black tower is still standing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Unique Concrete Bridge

Here is a very interesting photo it is of the concrete bridge that gave access from the top rail yard to the bottom yards one side of the colliery to the other across the Rhymney River. I am informed that it is one of the earliest concrete span bridges and was constructed by a German firm. I am still waiting for a date of construction and more information on this

The river was used to wash the coal that came up the shafts and was itself like black slurry after it was used.

When we were kids we were forbidden to go down to the river. Nothing lived in it only rats. As kids do we would go to play down the "Rhym" but was always found out by the black tide marks around our legs from wading in the river.

One story which I can not confirm mind you! Is that one enterprising fellow use to fish by tickling trout. On his way home from working nights at the colliery he thought he saw something move in the river so he got down on his stomach to tickle it out. When he made a grab for it and threw it onto the bank it was the biggest fattest rat he had ever seen

He never tried to fish in the Rhym again.

I'm Back

Sorry about the lapse in updating the blog but my computer went on the blink and I had to restore it to the factory setting.

As you can imagine along with everything else I lost all the photos I had scanned ready for the blog and had to go out borrowing them again. I have learnt my lesson though as I scan so I save to a disc.

Since I was here last they are getting on with the temporary road bridge over the railway line. This will be the roadway for them to take the waste from the tip to where it is being used to build the plateau for the propose store development.

I still have some old photos I want to share with you so I will put those on first and give you the updated ones later