Blaenavon's Big Pit hosts concert 300 feet underground

MUSIC MINE: Dan and Laura Curtis, performing, watched by Big Pit guides Barrie Stevenson and Peter Richings

MUSIC MINE: Dan and Laura Curtis, performing, watched by Big Pit guides Barrie Stevenson and Peter Richings

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A PIANO was lowered 300 feet underground at Big Pit in Blaenavon today for a private memorial concert to remember fallen miners.

Saturday marks the first anniversary of the Gleision Colliery tragedy and the concert acted as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives a year ago. Several dignitaries and special guests attended the concert including the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Torfaen mayor Wayne Tomlinson.

An upright piano was placed in the cage and lowered into the mine.

Daniel and Laura Curtis who are considered as one of the foremost ambassadors for the preservation of the music of Ivor Novello and The Great American Songbook performed at the concert along with Welsh writer and actor Boyd Clack who also wrote a new poem to mark the event.

Daniel Curtis said: "I have wanted to do a concert at Big Pit for a long time. I contacted the museum with my fingers crossed that they wouldn t think I was crazy. Luckily it wasn t the craziest request they had ever received.

"My great grandfather died in Senghenydd Colliery and I really wanted to hold a concert to pay tribute to pay my respects and raise awareness for those who have died in mines. Singing was an important part of mining history with many miners being members of their local Male Voice Choir.

"The number of people who lost their lives through the years is one the biggest tragedies running through the history of Wales and Britain."

Keeper and mine manager Peter Walker added: "We have had many weird and wonderful events underground."

The piano was donated by Pianos Cymru, a dealership in North West Wales.

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