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Stunning Aberfan art piece to stay permanently at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience

Aberdfan Memorial - Winding Gear - Chimney - Miners - July 2021 - Summer-1

The stunning Aberfan memorial created by renowned local artist Nathan Wyburn will become a permanent feature at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park, it has been confirmed. 

The sculpture was created by Nathan as part of the Sky TV’s Landmark programme, in which artists were tasked with creating a piece that reflected their nation.

Nathan created “21.10.1966 144 9.13am”, named in reference to the date and time of the Aberfan disaster, and the number of people who were killed when a colliery tip collapsed on the village on that awful day.

The piece was created using concrete and steel and features 144 clocks, each stopped at the time of 9.13am in a poignant memorial to those who lost their lives in the disaster. It has been on display temporarily at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience for more than a year.

It has now been confirmed the memorial will remain at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience, a fitting location for such a poignant mining statement.

A Welsh Coal Mining Experience is built on the site of the former Lewis Merthyr Colliery and many of the original features and fixture of the mine remain in place.

Guides who lead the Black Gold Underground Experience tour are former miners themselves, working in the coal mines of the Rhondda since they were boys.

Guests who arrive at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience can take the time to view the sculpture upon arrival. The on-site exhibitions and displays explore what life was like during coal mining, explaining the importance of coal and how it powered the world.

The Courtyard features original workings of the mine, including drams of coal and the Andersen war shelter. There’s also The Forge exhibition, exploring the role of the colliery blacksmith and the horses that helped the miners.

The main feature is the Black Gold Underground Experience Tour. Meet the men who worked in our mines as boys. Be fitted with your miner’s helmet and join them on a journey underground and back in time, where they will share their personal stories and memories with you.

Dare to ride DRAM! a simulated ride to the colliery “surface”.

Find out more and book online here:

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure, said: “We are so very honoured to be able to permanently host Nathan Wyburn’s incredible memorial to the Aberfan Mining Disaster.

“It remains a tragedy we will never forget and Wales falls silent every year to remember those affected by that tragic morning.

“As a venue with its roots firmly in coal mining, in the heart of what was one of the most intensely-mined areas in the world, it is fitting the memorial is here for people to see. Rhondda Cynon Taf suffered thousands of tragic losses as a result of colliery disasters and so we have a connection with Aberfan.”

Posted on 26/08/2022