A RETIRED miner turned campaigner is gathering support to save an important piece of Gwent mining history.

Ken Sullivan, 60, is campaigning to restore the gates of the N.C.B Works in Tredegar.

He's no stranger to raising awareness of mining issues, and was one of four miners who gathered more than 100,000 signatures in support of changing the terms of the Miner's Pension Scheme agreement with the Government.

South Wales Argus:

(Ken Sullivan collecting signatures for the fight against the terms of the Miner's Pension Scheme)

Mr Sullivan said: “I started to look into the history of Tredegar a bit more about two weeks ago and found that there were four mining disasters in Tredegar in the 1880s and 1890s.

“In those times, they classed a disaster as more than five people killed underground.

“59 people were killed across the four disasters, including four 12-year-old boys – two of whom were killed alongside their fathers.

“I saw that there was nothing in Tredegar to commemorate these disasters and I thought this was not right.”

Mr Sullivan approached Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council who agreed to put a stone and memorial plaque in the town centre with all the names and dates on.

The plaque is being funded by Tredegar Town Council and will hopefully be installed in the next couple of months.

Further research made Mr Sullivan aware of the National Coal Board Works in Tredegar.

The old gates from the building are still at their original location.

He said: “The old gates are still there, rusting away.

“I want the gates to be restored to their former glory and displayed where people will be able to see and admire them.

“I set up the Tredegar Miners Memorial page on Facebook, we have a GoFundMe which has raised £450 so far and we also have a bank account with the Credit Union in Tredegar to keep things local and community based. The pages were only set up last Friday.”


There has been further good progress as a letter was received by the group from the council – giving them ownership of the gates.

Mr Sullivan believes that the history of the country, and Gwent in particular, should not be forgotten.

He said: “Everything has changed over the years and we are losing too much history in Wales.

“At the time of the disasters, there was no welfare state and so Tredegar Medical Aid was created to help the families, this became the foundations for the NHS.

“Tredegar has a lot of important history and we must not forget about it.”

Mr Sullivan believes that they will need to raise £5,000 to fund the restoration of the gates themselves.

The GoFundMe page can be found