A special ceremony has been held to mark the re-dedication of the Abercynon Mining Memorial. A large crowd gathered in glorious weather for the service, led by Area Dean, Reverend Michael Jones.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr John Watts, who himself worked in the coal industry, was among the special guests for the unveiling of the new plaque. It follows the theft of the original bronze plaque in 2012, which sent shockwaves through the whole community.
There were performances by Cor Meibion Abercynon throughout the service, followed by the Blessing and speeches by ward councillors Alby Davies and Rhys Lewis, along with local historian John 'Wenglish' Edwards.
Cllr John Watts said: “This has been a huge honour for me, as I retired in 2010 after a long career in electrical engineering, a career which began in 1958 with my NCB apprenticeship at Tonypandy Powerhouse, later moving on to Cambrian Colliery and Lady Windsor Colliery.
“It has been an important day for the whole community. We now need to give the Abercynon Mining Memorial the utmost respect that it deserves.”
Abercynon Colliery was opened in 1889 by the Dowlais Iron Company, at a cost of £270,000, to feed the steelworks in Cardiff. Two mine shafts were sunk.
During the construction of the colliery, 18 men lost their lives. A further five men lost their lives underground during an accident in 1906.
At the height of its production, 2,794 people worked at Abercynon Colliery, which was later connected underground to Lady Windsor Colliery, Ynysybwl. It finally closed in February 1988.
The Abercynon Mining Memorial, situated at Navigation Park - on the site of the former colliery - is in memory of those who lost their lives and in honour of everyone who once worked there.
Thieves sadly desecrated the memorial in 2012 and stole the bronze plaque. It was one of many metal thefts in South Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf, in partnership with South Wales Police, launched a hard-hitting film in response, titled Metal Snatchers: The Dark Side of Metal Theft.
The short film revealed the serious impact of thefts of this nature.