AN IMPORTANT part of Tredegar's coal mining history could become a memorial to the men and boys of the area who were killed in mining disasters.

Once the entrance to Tredegar’s National Coal Board site was busy with miners. But today, with the UK's coal mining industry little more than a memory, the gates are all that remains.

And Ken Sullivan, who worked in Oakdale colliery for 24 years, wants the gates to be restored and made into a memorial to the 59 miners from the town who were killed in four seperate disasters. Of the 59 fatalities, four were only 12 years old, and two died alongside their fathers.

Mr Sullivan, 69, has been active in campaigning for miners pensions, rights and memorials. He said the Tredegar Miners Memorial will need £15,000 to regenerate. So far £4,000 has been raised towards the scheme.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

The former miner explains the vision for the memorial in the video below:


"This all happened less than 100 years ago," he said.

"Boris (Johnson)'s comments the other day about closing the mines was a mockery.

"I have been fighting for the last few years over miners pensioners. It had over 106,000 signatures. We went to Westminster to debate getting £1.2 billion back to miners pensioners. Nothing has happened.

"He doesn't like the miners, but he likes the miners' pensions."

The prime minister's comments about Margaret Thatcher and the closure of the UK's coal mines has caused anger in Blaenau Gwent.

Mr Johnson had claimed that Mrs Thatcher had given the UK an "early start" in the shift away from fossil fuels by closing pits.

Mr Sullivan has drawn out plans for how the gates could look:

South Wales Argus:

Mr Sullivan said: "Please remember the gates are the last bit of the mining history that is left in Tredegar. And Tredegar is still a great place to live in so let all do this for this place.

"We are looking to put the gates by the post office in town where the wooden fence is. We still have a lot of work to do."

However, this is how they currently look:

South Wales Argus:

Mr Sullivan said that there should be a national memorial for the whole of Wales to honour the miners. He suggested a statue should be in Cardiff, similarly to the brown Aneurin Bevan statue stands at the end of Queen Street.

Blaenau Gwent is traditionally a coal-mining and steel-working region. In Six Bells there is a statue, constructed for the 50th anniversary of the Six Bells colliery disaster tragedy with friends still affected by the event today.

What do you think about getting a National memorial for the Welsh to remember their mining heritage? Let us know in the comments.