In the heart of the valley over looking the community stands ‘The Guardian’, towering 20 metres into the sky this steel structure of a sinewy minor is a memorial that stands as a stark reminder of the 45 miners that lost their lives in the towns 1960 underground mining explosion.
We parked in the signposted car park & took the 10 minute tranquil stroll up to the structure, set surrounded by rolling green valleys ‘Guardian’ exuded a sense of awe. The kids seemed to lap up a lesson in history & the fragility of life. This visit only took us an hour at most, strolling and taking a good amount of time to absorb the atmosphere & appreciate the significance of the site.
Guardian is the largest mining memorial in Wales which commemorates the 1960 Six Bells mining disaster in which 45 men & boys lost their lives in an underground gas & coal explosion, The Guardian was unveiled on June 28th 2010 to mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster.
Costing over £200.000 the memorial of a miner 12.6 metres high and stands in a plinth display the names & ages of all whom perished. He is made up of 20.000 individual slices of 10mm thick cor ten steel, a weathering steel that enables a protective rust to form on its surface.
The memorial towers over 20 metres high looking over the former Six Bells colliery.
Our visit was very thought provoking especially after visiting the Big Pit heritage site nearby & having the opportunity to go underground & grasp an idea of mining life.
Both places are free to visit & great to install some Welsh heritage education.
(Six Bells, Abertillery NP13 2NQ)Would definitely recommend a visit.
Here’s how our walk went..