Fochriw’s growth was germinated to a lesser extent by the Rhymney Iron Company’s requirement for ironstone and to a greater extent by the Dowlais Iron Works’ requirement for coal which was converted into coke, an essential ingredient in the production of iron.
Over a period of about 130 years the landscape changed from rural to industrial and back to rural as it is today. However, the latter changes did not take place until relatively recently when nearly all the remnants of the mining industry were removed from around the village.
The memories of the industrial landmarks, or eye-sores, that remained following the closure of the Fochriw and South Tunnel collieries are only retained by those of a certain age and the younger generation no longer have the “experience” of living in a community which is centred around coal.
Times have changed, and I certainly do not want to live in the past, but I think it very important that we be made aware of what it was like.
It will also be evident that the working environment was harsh and often very tragic.