Manic Street Preachers mark Senghenydd mining disaster centenary

Image caption,
Manic Street Preachers hail from the valleys

Rock band Manic Street Preachers are backing next month's unveiling of Wales' national mining memorial and the commemoration marking the centenary of the Senghenydd mining disaster.

The explosion at the Universal Colliery on 14 October 1913, is the UK's worst pit disaster, killing 439 miners.

The Manics, who grew up in the south Wales mining communities, have given a donation and are creating a soundtrack for a dance performance in the town's streets.

The memorial will be close to the colliery, which is near Caerphilly.

It will commemorate 150 disasters, including Gleision in the Swansea Valley, where four men died in 2011.

"Having grown up in mining communities, we know only too well the devastating impact that mining disasters have had in towns and villages across Wales over the years," said the Manics' Nicky Wire.

'Worthy cause'

"It is so important that those who lost their lives in mining tragedies are remembered, and the plans for the Wales national mining memorial are a fitting tribute to victims of mining disasters across the country.

Image caption,
The pithead wrecked by the explosion at the colliery in Senghenydd

"We are only too happy to support this worthy cause."

As well as donating £500, the group's front man James Dean Bradfield is creating a soundtrack for a song with writer Patrick Jones that will end in a performance on the streets of Senghenydd called "Each for all, All for Each" by the Striking Attitudes Dance Company.

Jack Humphreys, chairman of event organiser Aber Valley Heritage Group, said, "We're absolutely thrilled that the Manic Street Preachers have chosen to support our activities marking the 100th anniversary of the mining disaster in Senghenydd.

"They may be international rock stars, but home is evidently where the heart is for these local boys.

"The funds the group have provided will be used to provide materials for children to make lanterns as part of a procession through the village to the evening memorial service.

"It's generous donations like this that are enabling us to provide a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in Wales' mining disasters."

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