NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER 2002

Welcome to the 2002 Welsh Mines Preservation Trust Newsletter. This year has seen the retirement of two directors of the Trust, Christopher Williams and Rob Vernon. The Trust thanks them for the valuable work they have done over the years and wishes them all the best for the future. The directors of the Trust for the following year are Terry Evans (Chairman), David Bick, George Hall, Tony King, Nigel Chapman, Simon Timberlake and Graham Levins (Secretary). The Trust has been invited to join the National Library of Wales, Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland, Welsh Mines Society and the Geological Survey of Ireland, in the securing funding for the Mining Journal Digitisation Project. The aim is to have the Mining Journal 1835 to 1920 scanned and recorded in a digital format, that will be accessible via the Internet. The Preliminary Information Release is contained in this newsletter. At present the Trust is considering its involvement. When a decision is made, an article will be placed in the Welsh Mines Society Newsletter. NEW SECRETARY Following the retirement of the Trust Secretary Christopher Williams in February this year, Graham Levins has taken over the role of Secretary. His address is 1 Stonecrop Close, Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9EP. Email:- graham.levins@virgin.net MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS Due to a large increase in the insurance premium the Trust has to pay for each member. We have had to increase the Membership Subscription from £3.50 to £5.00 for the forthcoming year. With the insurance world going crazy since September 11th 2001 and also a large claim being made within the leisure industry, it is likely there will be a further increase next year. We may well have to consider whether or not we take out insurance for Trust members. You will find a membership renewal form at the end of this newsletter. WORKING DAY/WEEKEND The Trust are planning to have a joint Welsh Mines Society, Welsh Mines Preservation Trust working day or perhaps a weekend, next summer. Sites that have been suggested so far are Dylife and Red Dragon. If anyone has any ideas of a mine site in Wales that would benefit from a day or two of cleaning up, undergrowth clearance or minor repairs, please let me know. There is also the possibility that a longer-term project could develop. A decision on the location and date of the working day/weekend will be made at the WMS meeting at George Hall’s next March and will be published in the next WMS newsletter. This will be a great opportunity for us to put something back into mining history to repay the enjoyment we all get from visiting and exploring old mine sites. So think about coming along and getting your hands dirty, and I am sure the day will end with a good meal and a few pints.

- 2 DATABASE OF UNDISTURBED MINE SITES The Trust is committed to the preservation of relatively undisturbed mine sites in Wales. The first step is to create a database of these sites, we would be grateful for any suggestions, along with details. Each location will be considered with a view to protecting and preserving it, and what could be done to achieve these aims. The Trust is in contact with CADW regarding the possibility of getting further mine sites scheduled, we would be much obliged if members would advise us of any which they think should be included. ENVIRONMENT AGENCY’S METAL MINE STRATEGY FOR WALES The Agency’s Strategy document has now been published. It can be seen by going to their website at www.enviroment-agency.wales.gov.uk For those that do not have access to the internet, a photocopy of the Executive Summary (8 pages) can be obtained from Graham Levins, please send A4 SAE. NORTH EAST WALES NEWS The Trust has previously been consulted about a draft conservation plan for the Clive Engine House at Talargoch Mine. Denbighshire County Council are keen to purchase the site and to proceed with the conservation work. Unfortunately the owner will not sell at the valuation price. However, the Welsh Development Agency have funded both a limited structural survey and a geophysical survey of the surrounding site. Following suggestions from the Trust, Denbighshire County Council have agreed to carry out limited conservation work on two mine sites, which are on land that the council owns. This will include:a) consolidation work on the waterwheel pit at the Glan Alyn Mine at Loggerheads, b) the clearance of a hundred years growth of vegetation, from the sole intact mine reservoir and associated leat system at the Maes y Safn Lead Mine at Maeshafn. Both projects will be funded by the Welsh Assembly’s Environment Development Fund, as the sites lie within the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Work on the later project is due to start in November 2002. Tony King DIGITISING THE MINING JOURNAL. Preliminary information release A proposal to create an indexed digital archive of the Mining Journal, 1835 to 1920. The Mining Journal, which is still published to this day, provides the single most comprehensive and detailed account of the evolution of the mining industry in Britain and Ireland, and elsewhere internationally. The journal was initiated in 1835 as a specialist journal dedicated to recording and commenting upon all facets of the industry, technical, legal, economic and social, as they arose and as they developed over time. Now it is an enormously valuable research and general knowledge resource. However, locating and accessing copies of the Journal is difficult. Less than half a dozen libraries in Britain and Ireland have anything approaching a continuous

- 3 run from 1835. Added to this extant copies have become increasingly fragile. Microfilm copies can be obtained, and are used by some libraries, but these have a limited life as working copies and are prohibitively expensive for individual researchers. To address these access and conservation issues a consortium of agencies in Wales and Ireland, including the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland, Welsh Mines Society, National Library of Wales, and the Geological Survey of Ireland, are exploring the potential for funding from the Interreg IIIA Programme, a European Union initiative promoting cross-border co-operation, to establish a digital archive of the Mining Journal. The archive would contain scanned images of every weekly issue from 1835 to 1920, with a subject and geographical index for those Welsh and Irish mines located within the designated Interreg area. If feasible, character recognition techniques will be used to create a searchable text database. The archive will be accessible free on the Internet using the World Wide Web, and available offline using appropriate digital technologies. The consortium believe that such an archive will be of considerable benefit to both Ireland and Wales with their long history of mining activity. Parts of Eastern Ireland and West Wales have a potential asset in their mining history and archaeology. A substantial market exists for heritage tourism within which mining has a significant role. Environmental issues, including remedial work on abandoned mine sites to improve water quality, will have an impact on the archaeological and landscape values of both areas. The proposed archive will provide an information resource relevant to sustainable development of mining heritage and environment, and in doing so will foster co-operation between Eastern Ireland and West Wales. Whilst investigations are taking place to see whether the Interreg IIIA programme could provide funding for the project, the consortium will still require up to 25 percent from other sources. The National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO) has already agreed to provide funds towards planning costs, but implementation of the project will be reliant on the generosity of other sources in Ireland and the UK. Peter Claughton THE CWMYSTWYTH MINES by Simon Hughes Members may be interested to know that Simon is shortly going to publish an enlarged version of his book The Cwmystwyth Mines. It will be published on a CD, this will allow many more photographs and plans to be included. It costs £5, and can be obtained from Simon Hughes, Lery Mills, Talybont, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY24 5ED. At £5 it is a bargain, you will not be disappointed.

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GLYN PITS CONSERVATION WORK This year has seen the start of conservation work at the Glyn Pits,.

Following the Trust AGM on October 6th 2002, the Directors visited the Glyn Pits to see the progress of the work. Pictured left to right are Graham Levins, David Bick, Terry Evans and Nigel Chapman.

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The Engine Houses shrouded in scaffolding, a sure sign that work has begun.
Please note:- Would anyone planning to visit the site please note, at present the site is classed as a building site and for your own safety please do not climb over the fence or gate. There will be plenty of time to see everything when the work is complete. FUTURE NEWSLETTERS It is very difficult to produce a newsletter if I have very little news to publish. I would be most grateful if members would send me items for inclusion. NADOLIG LLAWEN, BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA. All that remains is for me to wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year, and please do not forget to send your Membership Subscriptions. P.S. At a meeting of Trust Directors held on 17/11/02, it was decided that the Trust would join the consortium, planning to digitise the Mining Journal. We will apply for £25,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Peter Claughton was also elected as a director of the Trust. More details in next Newsletter. All articles and photographs by the Secretary, unless otherwise stated.

Graham Levins Secretary WMPT

Nov 2002