The Demolition of Six Bells Colliery
The colliery was mothballed for several years in the 1930’s due to a lack of demand but reopened under the ownership of Partridge Jones & John Paton in 1936, and became known as ‘Six Bells’ in the period after nationalisation in 1947.
Six Bells was linked underground to Marine Colliery in 1977 and to Blaenserchan Colliery in 1985, before coal production officially ceased on 7th September 1987.
Six Bells colliery was finally demolished in 1989.
This short video captures the demolition of a colliery that had existed for almost 100 years.
Although the colliery is gone, its impact on the lives of the people in the local communities is still felt strongly.
For more information about the colliery and Six Bells, contact the Abertillery and District Museum (01495 211140), or visit the website.
The Stone Memorial
In the 1990’s a memorial was erected in Six Bells in memory of the victims of the 1960 disaster and to all who had lost their lives at Six Bells Colliery.
Over time however, the Portland stone memorial eroded which rendered some of the text inscription almost illegible.
The condition and appearance of the memorial even led some of the younger community members into thinking that it represented a war memorial.
Consultation with the local community and groups including the Abertillery and Llanhilleth Community Council, indicated that there was a very strong desire to replace the memorial with a new, fitting tribute to those who had given so much to the coal mining industry.
Following this consultation in 2009, the Six Bells Communities First Partnership Board developed plans for a new, iconic memorial that would meet the needs and aspirations of the local community.
“In doing my research for this, I looked at the more conventional types of mining memorial and found they were all of a likeness – your typical miner holding the pick-axe and the lamp.
“That’s fine, but I wanted something that would tell a different kind of story.
“I just had this thought, this image of this man – almost stripped bare.
“Maybe he’s one of the helpers or maybe one of the survivors who has managed to come out from the pit.
“This man is conveying the sense of loss.
“A sense of something that’s almost impossible to understand.”