Archiver > GLAMORGAN > 1999-03 > 0922610497

From: "Burrell" <>
Subject: Re: Albion Colliery disaster
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 09:41:37 +0100

Hi Selwyn

I bow to your superior knowledge of cleaning and repair shifts and whether
it consisted of inexperienced workers. My information is purely book
based - the book on the Albion disaster 'One Saturday Afternoon' states that
"Many on the shift were the unskilled newcomers to the industry and as was
the custom they would have to work in the industry many years as rippers and
repairers before they could become the elite of the industry- the miners who
cut the coal and received better wages."

I'm sure you're right that whoever was being employed there, they were there
because the economics of it were for the benefit of the pit owners and no
other reason.


-----Original Message-----
From: Selwyn Davies <>
To: <>
Date: 27 March 1999 19:17
Subject: Re: Albion Colliery disaster

>May I contribute a little to the discussion about the Albion Colliery
>To suggest that all men working outbye of the coal face as "inexperienced"
>miners is nowhere near the truth. I form my opinion because I was employed
>working underground in and out of the coal face for ten years from the age
>of 15.
>Non-coaling shifts were used to make and or repair the roadways, doing
>tasks such as "digging pookins", ripping to make height in the roadways,
>repairing the numerous falls of stone, that were caused by the ever moving
>rocks above and below each seam of coal;delivering supplies of timber;
>removing dangerous situations etc..etc..
>Often these were men who had been put on "light duties" after a lifetime of
>working as colliers. Think a little about the large number of men killed on
>this off shift at Albion Colliery. There were over 300 men working there -
>and even moreso in those days than now , men were not employed because of
>the pit bosses being "good natured" and philanthropists. They were there
>to contribute to the production of coal at the least cost to management.
>Profit was the keyword, not safety or social conscience by the owners.

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