Relic from Senghenydd Mining Disaster

Contributed by Nigel Owen

Relic from Senghenydd Mining Disaster

The object is an ink well formed from the hoof of a pit pony called Kruger who was killed in the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster 14th October 1913. The event was the worst mining accident in British history in which 439 men died. It occurred close to the zenith of coal mining in South Wales when Cardiff exported coal to the world.
My great grandfather, James Davies and one of his sons Robert Davies were among the dead. My grandfather, Herbert Davies was amongst the crowd who waited at the pit head for the bodies to be brought out. Following an enquiry about breaches of regulations, the mine owners and manager were fined £24. As a local paper said, "miners lives at 1s 11/4d each".
I don't know how the horses hoof became an inkwell - perhaps many such were distributed to the families, but it reminds me of the enormous scale of the south Wales coalfields and their role in the industrial revolution, the cost to the families and the cheapness of life to the mine owners.

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Senghenydd, south Wales


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